Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Week 2: Monday, August 29 – Sunday, September 4

Welcome to Week 2, our first full week of the semester!

  • Many thanks to those of you who have already completed the first week’s activities … if you’ve done all-the-things, huge congrats πŸ™‚
  • If you haven’t done so already, take a few (more) deep breaths, roll up your sleeves, and get into it. Make sure to complete this work ASAP, as we’re moving forward this week with new content and homework (check out the Week 1 Announcement & the Schedule to review what we covered)

Last week focused on introducing the course, the OpenLab, and the syllabus. You added content to our course site using both posts and comments; a friendly reminder: these are different things — check out the “Learn the Basics” section of the OpenLab for Students to learn more (& don’t forget to click all the links to see more content). You also experimented with a number of technologies (the OpenLab, of course! but also GoogleForms, Dropbox, and CamScanner).

This week we’ll be focusing on how to be a successful student (especially an online student), how to actively read / effectively annotate texts, and how to produce reading responses and reflective writing. We’ll continue to make posts and comments, and we’ll even have our first “Class Discussion” on the OpenLab. There are a few readings in the mix too — three short ones and one longer one.

Don’t forget that student content (that’s the writing you all publish on our OpenLab site, via posts & comments) is part of the required reading for the course as well — you’re all authors and deserve to be read! So check out what your classmates are publishing, and engage with them by dropping comments where you see fit (you can ask questions, offer suggestions, make connections, give praise / validation — all the good stuff!).

Finally, we’re going to be adding in one more technology (it’s the last one for a while — I promise!). It’s called Perusall, and it’s an online tool for doing collaborative annotations. You’ll be submitting your annotations via Perusall, and it is also where we will come together as a class to discuss the assigned readings.

As always, you can find more details about all of these activities and assignments as well as what is due and when on … yup, you guessed it! The Schedule. I told you it was your best friend in this course πŸ™‚ )

Know that I’m here to support you, so feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. It was SO wonderful to have so many of you come to my Office Hours last week, and to see your faces, hear your voices, and get to know you. My next Office Hours are this Thursday, September 2nd (11:30am-12:30pm, via Zoom) — you’re all welcome there πŸ™‚

You can also always email me privately, but if you have a question that you think the class would benefit from, you can post it as a “comment” here on this post. And if you know the answer to a question a student has posed, feel free to answer it or offer help by commenting in return (I’ve been fielding a ton of emails this past week, and many of you have similar questions). We’re all in this together, so let’s help one another out πŸ™‚

Thanks all, and have a fantastic 2nd week of the semester!


  1. Jill Belli

    A bonus Pro Tip for being successful in this course:

    You’ll notice that I have broken down the weekly work into two sections — work due Wednesday and work due Friday (both by noon). It’s important to do these sections in order, and to complete the individual components within each section in the order they are listed the Schedule.

    So, for example, you will need to review / reflect on the Syllabus and course content before reading / annotating the short “tips” readings, and to do that next step before participating in the class discussion, and that before making your “message to future self reflection post” (and so on and so on).

    This is because writing is a process, and the work we do together builds on what came before. It’s important you engage with each step thoughtfully and intentionally before moving onto the next piece. (and of course, if you haven’t yet finished Week 1 work, you should do that before moving on to Week 2).

  2. Jill Belli

    Hi everyone! A friendly reminder to please, if possible, ask your questions about the course/work here. I’m getting a ton of individual emails, and many of them are asking the same thing. So we could all benefit from asking / answering them in this communal space. Thanks!

    • Jill Belli

      Oh, and please read the Schedule (and the announcements) from me carefully before posing your questions — many of them can be answered there πŸ™‚

  3. Jill Belli

    One question I’m getting a lot is about where / how to submit certain homework (such as the Syllabus Reflection, or annotations for the Syllabus/Schedule and three short “tips” readings), so I’m going to address it here:

    Different things are submitted in different ways, and the instructions differ as well depending on what we are working on. All of this information will be included/linked from the Schedule page, so that’s a good place to check for everything. Just follow the details for each particular activity/assignment.

    If there isn’t a link or instructions about where/how to submit something, that means that it is individual (private) homework, and I’m not expecting you to turn it in to me at this point. Sometimes homework will be collected right away (on the due date), sometimes it won’t. But it’s always important to do the work and then save it, as I may collect it at a future time. And all the work in this course is cumulative, and everything builds on what came before, so in order to be successful you want to keep up with the work and engage with it all, whether it’s collected (and/or graded) or not.

    • Henry Ren

      Thank you for the clarification, everything is online and I’m not used to being asynchronous so I’m still adapting, but this clarified a lot of questions I had.

      • Jill Belli

        You’re welcome Henry! And I definitely get how it can be a (sometimes steep!) learning curve taking an online, asynchronous class for the first time. You’ll get used to it soon enough — just keep on doing the work and asking questions when you need. I’m here to support you all. Glad this was helpful πŸ™‚

  4. Jill Belli

    Happy Wednesday all! You all are doing great work — keep it coming πŸ™‚

    We’re shifting into the second half of the week’s work today, which focuses around annotations in Perusall of “How to Read Like a Writer,” and then your own reading response blog) Thanks to those of you who have already joined our Perusall course site and started to annotate there.

    This is a really helpful resource for using Perusall, so I encourage everyone to check out this website and watch the “Getting Started with Perusall” video there:

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