Students design and film a Public Service Announcement, using evidence-based principles of persuasion and attitude change. Pairs well with lectures or readings on the Elaboration Likelihood Model, social norms interventions, etc. This activity scales well from small discussion sections (where it can be used as an in-class activity) up to large lecture courses (450+ students), where it can be used as a multimedia written assignment/video completed outside of classtime. Students can work alone or in groups.
The attached PDF includes guidelines for use as a written assignment for a larger lecture course; to modify for in-class use, have students complete any relevant readings/lecture ahead of time and shorten assignment to a 30-second video. When used as an in-class activity, PSAs can be designed and filmed in a single 50-minute class period using students' camera phones. Optionally, resulting PSA videos may be shared with the class as a whole in subsequent class periods.
Students draw a diagram of their first-year dorm, and write a brief paper analyzing the friendships (and other relationships) that emerged from a spatial ecology perspective, using assigned readings on the propinquity effect (Festinger et al., 1950), environmental spoiling (Ebbesen, 1975), and research on communal attitude change (e.g., eating disorders in sororities, Crandall, 1988; alcohol attitudes in dorms, Bourgeois & Bowen, 2001)
Can be modified for non-residential students, by choosing a similar communal living situation to analyze from their own life (e.g., Greek life, military housing, overnight camps, shared housing with roommates, etc).