This spring I will be teaching a physics course that is new at our school. Titled "Relativity for Poets," it's a nonmathematical freshman gen ed course on Einstein's theory of relativity, and cosmology. There is no lab, and there will be only a tiny amount of traditional-style problem-solving. I'm looking for things I can have my students do that will (a) give them some practice wrestling with the (difficult) concepts, and (b) give me something other than just exams on which to base their grades.
A possibility that I've thought of is something I'll refer to as a "learning narrative." I'm sure I'm not the first person to come up with this. The idea is that the student is assigned to write a 1-2 page paper on a topic that they initially had trouble with. They describe the topic, what they didn't understand, why (in hindsight) they didn't understand it, and how they overcame the difficulty. This should be written in such a way that a future student could read it and benefit from it.
Have others done anything similar to this? Was it successful? Any tips for implementing it effectively?