Professor Belli | Fall 2022 | City Tech

Category: Announcements (Page 2 of 3)

Midterm Grades

Hi everyone,

The college requires faculty to assign students “midterm grades” at the midway point of the semester, to give them an indication of how they are doing in the course overall.

The midterm grades are as follows:

P=Passing work
BL= Borderline
U=Unsatisfactory
SA=Stopped Attending

Your midterm grades are available via the OpenLab Gradebook. You can access the OpenLab Gradebook two ways:

  1. Click on the link entitled “Check Your Grade” (under COURSE GRADEBOOK) on the right sidebar of our course homepage
  2. Go to your Dashboard on our course site and then going to OpenLab GradeBook (in left sidebar).

In either case, you need to be logged in to view your grades. An individual student’s grades are only visible to that student and to me.

Sometimes in OpenLab Gradebook I will leave comments with the grade. If so, the chat bubble will be darkened / blue — please make sure to click that and see my notes for further feedback.

If you received a BL (borderline), U (unsatisfactory), or SA (stopped attending) grade, I strongly encourage you to come to my Office Hours ASAP to discuss your work and progress in the course, and for us to develop strategies to make sure you are successful going forward.

Of course, anyone who received a P (passing) is also welcome to email me to schedule a conference. I’m happy to discuss your work and provide additional feedback on your writing and participation at any point in the semester.

Cheers,
Professor Belli

Week 10: Monday, October 24 – Sunday, October 30

Hi everyone, and happy Monday 🙂

I’ve made an audio file for this week’s Announcement post … I hope you enjoy it!

Week 10 Announcement (Professor Belli)

Please listen & annotate, and then drop your questions & (required) comments below — you’ll find this week’s prompt at the end of the post. As always, all details are posted on the Schedule page.


*Please note the following correction: at the end of the file, I state that midterm grades will be posted on Thursday, 10/28 — Thursday’s date is actually 10/27.

Week 9: Monday, October 17 – Sunday, October 23

Hi everyone, and happy Monday! I hope you all had enjoyable and restorative weekends, and are ready to hit the ground running this week with research.

Thanks to all who posted their research question posts last week … I really enjoyed reading them and learning what interests you and what you plan to explore for Unit 2. As promised, last week I left detailed feedback for everyone who submitted a post on time, offering suggestions for revision. Remember that topics have to be approved by me, so you’ll want to submit your revisions ASAP.

Researching will help you as you work to to refine and focus your topics. This week we have a Writing Workshop on Library and Research Resources offered by Professor Berger (a librarian here at City Tech) that will help you with all aspects of the research process. I’ll also be posting additional content in the (existing) Unit 2 Writing Workshop, offering pro tips for proposal revision, research, and source entries. This will all guide you in conducting research and creating your first source entry, which is due on Wednesday.

Later this week you’ll be reading and annotating an essay on genre and blogging in response, as well as continuing to research (on your own) for Unit 2.

In exciting / happy news, this Thursday, October 20, is National Day on Writing! Not only is this an important day celebrating writing, it’s an (optional) extra credit opportunity for you. Yay!

There is detailed information about all of this week’s work, as always, on the Schedule page.


Make sure to submit that first source entry on time (W 10/19 by 12pm), so that I can provide feedback to you on it via OpenLab comment on individual posts / holistic comments to the class. Please be respectful of the Schedule / deadlines, my time, and your classmates’s time (we will be doing peer review for Unit 2 going forward as well). If you are having difficulty keeping up with the work, it is your responsibility to reach out to me: email me (ahead of time!) and come see me during my Office Hours to discuss options for getting back on track.

Please also accept my apologies in the delay in posting an update about grades / course progress (I have been quite sick lately, so am a bit behind as a result). I will be posting soon on that front, and definitely in advance of the “midterm grades” deadline on 10/27 (if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about that right now. I’ll be making a post explaining what midterm grades are and how to check them that the week of 10/24). I appreciate your understanding and patience 🙂


Friendly reminder that my next Office Hours are on Thursday (10/20) from 11:30am-12:30pm via Zoom. Feel free to pop by to discuss your research project, get feedback on your work / progress in the course more generally, or just to say hi!

And as always, comment below with any questions you might have for this week’s work.


We’ll continue to use this space to have low-key conversations to support one another and to build community.

Therefore, the first thing you should do for this week (after reading this post and the Week 9 Schedule) is to comment below. This week, you should post a photo that you took & tell us what it is, when you took it, & why you chose to share it with us. Everyone should make at least one comment, and then comment on others’ contributions as you feel inspired to do so.


Thanks everyone for your continued hard work, and have a wonderful week!

Week 8: Monday, October 10 – Sunday, October 16

Hi everyone, and happy (sunny!) Tuesday. I hope you all had lovely (long) weekends!

I know the past few weeks’ Schedule changes have been hard to keep up with, but the good news is that yesterday was the last one for a while. From now until Thanksgiving, the college calendar runs as normal (whew!). I’m certainly glad to return to a more regular schedule, though I’m sure we’ll all be looking forward to that time off by the time the end of November rolls around 🙂


Thanks all for your work last week: the reading annotations in Perusall, your participation in Class Discussions, and your individual blog posts about what makes you curious. This week, we’re getting deeper into research (and Unit 2), drafting more fully formed research questions, and starting the research process itself. As promised, we’re also going to take a deep-dive into the Unit 2 assignment itself through a Writing Workshop.

Because we missed Monday classes this week due to the holiday, I’ve extended the Wednesday/Friday deadlines for this week to 11:59pm. This is something many of you had asked for in your Check-In Student Surveys recently, so I’m glad that I can offer you these extensions this week 🙂

All details about this week’s work are, as always, are posted on the Schedule page. Please do keep up with the deadlines, especially the one for the Research Question blog post (W 10/12 by 11:59pm). I will be providing feedback on Thursday to each student on their topic/question, provided that they submitted their post on time.

Remember that research topics have to be approved by me, and it is likely you will have to go through a number of iterations of refining (or perhaps even changing) your topic before you get to one that will be appropriate for this assignment. Having a clear, focused question is the key to a successful outcome for Unit 2!


Friendly reminder that my next Office Hours are on Thursday (10/13) from 11:30am-12:30pm. Feel free to pop by to discuss your research project (narrowing down your topic, finding / evaluating / annotating sources), get feedback on your work / progress in the course more generally, or just to say hi! It’s always lovely to see your faces and get to talk with my students 🙂

We’ll also continue to use this space to address any questions you might have for this week’s work, so comment below for that as you see fit.

*Later this week I’ll also be posting updates on grades / course progress, so stay tuned on that front!


Finally, we’re going to continue with what we started last week: using this space to have low-key conversations to support one another and to build community.

Therefore, the first thing you should do for this week (after reading this post and the Week 8 Schedule) is to comment below to say hi & tell us something about how things are going for you. Last week a handful of you participated (thanks!), but this week we’re aiming to get everyone’s voice in the mix.

Again, you can share something interesting you did recently, something you’re excited about, how your semester is going, post a photo you took and tell us why you like it … anything really. It would be super-awesome if you would also ask a question in your comment to engage the other students (and on the flip side, if you would respond to other students’ questions). It’s all fair game — just show some signs of life, engage, maybe even have some fun! It can be SO easy to feel isolated and lost in college, especially around this time of the semester, and especially in an asynchronous course. So let’s motivate and support one another through the process — we’re all in this together 

Looking forward to continuing the conversation below. Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful week!

Week 7: Monday, October 3 – Sunday, October 9

Hi everyone, and happy (rainy, cold, windy!) Monday. Hope you’re all staying as warm & dry as possible.

Please accept my apologies for this post coming later in the day than expected. But no worries — you have until Friday at noon to complete all work for this week, so you can space it out as you see fit for your needs / schedules.

(Speaking of schedules, remember that there are no classes scheduled for Tuesday/Wednesday this week)

This week we’re continuing to ease into research, exploring what it means and what makes us, as individuals, curious about certain topics. To get the ball rolling, we’ll start with a Class Discussion on what counts as research, then read/annotate/discuss two readings in Perusall, and then you’ll post individual blogs about your own experience with curiosity and research topics.

Later this week & next week we’ll be taking a deep dive into the Unit 2 assignment itself through a Writing Workshop. I’ll also be rolling out various other content to provide additional support and feedback to you, and to guide you in other low-stakes activities (e.g., brainstorming and freewriting) to prepare for Unit 2. So be on the lookout for updates posted here on the OpenLab course site. All details, as always, are posted on the Schedule page.


Friendly reminder that my next Office Hours are on Thursday (10/6) from 11:30am-12:30pm. Feel free to pop by to discuss potential research topics, get feedback on your work / progress in course, or just to say hi! We’ll also continue to use this space to address any questions you might have for this week or thoughts you’d like to share with the class, so drop comments on this post if you’d like. Totally optional, but encouraged!


I would love to hear (“see”) everyone’s voice in the mix here this week. So even if you don’t have a question about this week’s work, everyone should still drop a note here, say hi, & tell us something about how things are going for you. You can share something interesting you did recently, something you’re excited about, how your semester is going, post a photo you took and tell us why you like it … anything really. It would be super-awesome if you would also ask a question in your comment to engage the other students (and on the flip side, if you would respond to other students’ questions). It’s all fair game — just show some signs of life, engage, maybe even have some fun! It can be SO easy to feel isolated and lost in college, especially around this time of the semester, and especially in an asynchronous course. So let’s motivate and support one another through the process — we’re all in this together 🙂

Looking forward to catching up with you all here. Thanks everyone, and have a wonderful week!

Week 6: Monday, September 26 – Sunday, October 2

Happy Wednesday everyone!

It feels weird to be making a mid-week Weekly Announcement post, but remember, that’s because of the Schedule changes in the college calendar. I hope you all enjoyed the long weekend, and that you are entering this new school week a bit more restored and recharged!

First off, thanks for all the Education Narrative (Unit 1) final draft submissions! I’m reading through them and will be in touch next week with information on grades and feedback.

Since we just finished our first formal assignment (and a full month of classes), it’s a good time to take stock of where we’ve been and where we’re going. Therefore, you should begin this week’s work with the Student Check-In Survey & Reflection (this work is completed via a Google Form, just like with our first survey of the semester, and the link is provided on the Schedule page).

I’m also introducing our second major assignment of the semester (Unit 2: Reflective Annotated Bibliography), which is focused on research as discovery. For this unit, you’ll be developing your own research question and proposal, conducting research, evaluating your sources, learning proper citation / attribution, and presenting your work. We’re NOT going to be writing a full research paper, but you will be sharing the work through the Reflective Annotated Bibliography (RAB). Wait … what’s a reflective annotated bibliography??

Learn all about it in the Unit 2 assignment, which you will read & annotate as part of this week’s work. We’ll be discussing this as a class together next week, so there will be an opportunity to do a deep-dive into it then and ask plenty of questions. I’ll be sharing specific deadlines then too, but don’t worry — we’ll have about a month to be working on it all! Even though you have the whole assignment now, there are a number of steps to this unit, and as always, it’s important to stay on task and do them in the order presented (as each one leads to the next, and there will be workshops, discussions, resources, and feedback along the way to help you with the work). So for now, you should simply make sure you digest the assignment, and you can also start thinking about something that interests you that you may want to research.

Also on the menu this week is another short reading and annotations in Perusall, and you’ll be writing your own reading response blog. Before you write this blog, please review my Writing Workshop on Blogging, and make sure you also review your previous work and make any corrections as needed.


As this a shorter week, we only have one set of deadlines, Friday (9/30) at 12pm, so you’ll see everything listed on the Schedule for then (yup, don’t forget that the Schedule page is the go-to for all details about all-the-things!).

As always, though, make sure to do things in order: you should start with Check-In Survey and Reflection, then move on to reading + annotating the Unit 2 assignment, then reviewing / participating in my blogging workshop, and then posting your reading response blog for “A Talk to Teachers.” If you skip steps (or do them out-of-order), your work won’t be as successful as it would otherwise, since you need what we cover and you practiced in the previous step for each successive one.

Last but not least, a friendly reminder that this Thursday (tomorrow!) is a CUNY Monday, which means I won’t be holding my regular Thursday office hours.

Thanks all, and, of course, feel free to reply below with any questions you might have (or just to say hi, or share words of encouragement to your classmates). And have a wonderful week 🙂

Reminder: Next Two Weeks’ Schedule Changes

Hi everyone,

A friendly reminder that the next two weeks have some schedule changes that affect our work in this course. Below I’ve outlined these changes, and what they mean specifically for us.

According to the City Tech Academic Calendar, there are no classes scheduled for this coming Monday, 9/26 and Tuesday, 9/27.

Since we follow the college calendar, this means that the Week 6 Announcement post and the Schedule updates will happen next week on Wednesday morning (9/28) instead of Monday. Of course, as it is an abbreviated week, we won’t have anything due that same day (as we usually do on Wednesdays), and we’ll have less work than a normal full week.

Please note that, because there have been a few recent Monday holidays, next Thursday (9/29) will follow a Monday schedule. That means that Thursday classes will not meet on that day because it is a CUNY Monday (even though in the ”real world” — everywhere else — it is a Thursday!). This means that I won’t be holding my Office Hours on Th 9/29.

[My next regularly scheduled office hours will be Thursday, 10/6. If you need to see me next week for any reason, you can always email me to set up a Zoom meeting at another time (make sure to include all of your availability in the email, along with what you’d like to discuss).]

I know that these ”CUNY conversation days” (when one day becomes another in the CUNY-verse!) can be confusing, so I wanted to share this explanation. If you have any questions, you can always ask them by commenting below.


A heads-up, too, that the following week (the week of 10/3) is also a truncated week: there are no classes scheduled for Tuesday, 10/4 & Wednesday, 10/5. The work will be lighter that week too as it’s another short week, but I’ll be making the Week 7 Announcement post and Schedule updates that Monday (10/3) as usual, and holding my Office Hours on Thursday, 10/6 as planned.


You can find the Fall 2022 Academic Calendar and Meeting Grid linked from the top of our Schedule page (look to the last bullet point). On the Schedule, I also list all of these (and other!) important dates for each Week under ”Important Dates.” I encourage you to look ahead, and add them to your own calendars!

Extension for Unit 1 Final Draft!

Happy Thursday evening! I know you’ve all been working really hard, so I have a gift for you!

I am extending the deadline for final drafts of the Education Narrative (Unit 1) from tomorrow (Friday, 9/23) at noon to Saturday (9/24) at midnight. This gives you an extra 1.5 days to work on your revisions! Yay!

I have updated the dates on the Schedule and the Dropbox link. Do make sure to get your work in by the extended deadline, Saturday, 9/24 at 11:59pm, as I won’t be accepting work submitted after that time.

If you’ve already submitted your final draft but want to take some extra time to revise, no worries — feel free to submit an updated version to Dropbox and then send me an email so I know to ignore the earlier version. And if you’ve already submitted (or plan to submit tomorrow morning) and feel confident about your final version, that’s fine too. Just know that the time is there if you need / want it.

Happy revising, and happy extra time to finish 🙂

Email Etiquette & Policy

*PLEASE NOTE: Going forward, I will only be responding to proper emails (that follow the guidelines provided), so if you would like a reply to your message, please make sure to email me accordingly. If you do not receive a response within the expected time frame, review your email and revise/re-send as necessary.


Thanks to those of you who reviewed the emailing resources and sent me the reflective email practicing those new skills! Your emails were really fantastic … way to step up your email games 🙂

Communicating clearly, effectively, and respectfully with me (via your City Tech emails) is one of your key responsibilities as a student in our asynchronous course. A friendly reminder that there is even a section on our Syllabus entitled “Email Etiquette”:

I encourage you to email me as soon as possible with any questions, concerns, or requests for conferences (outside of my regularly scheduled office hours). Please write a proper, respectful email, addressed to me and signed by you, including your name and course/section, and the issue at hand. Provide as much detail as possible, so that I can help you as much as possible. If you’re having tech issues, including screenshots would be helpful.

*Note: I will do my best to respond to emails within 24 hours during the weekdays (if you email over the weekend, expect a response the following week).


And yet … I am still, five weeks into the semester, fielding hundreds of messages, many of which are missing key elements of a proper email.

I want to help, but I cannot if you do not let me know what you need help with (and who you are!). Be as specific as possible. Are you are asking about an assignment? Tell me which one, specifically, and what your specific questions are (and make sure you have done your due diligence before emailing me, so you are asking an “informed question,” to use the phrase of the guidelines). Are you having tech trouble? Explain what are you trying to do, what the steps are that you have already tried, and attach screenshots. Are you requesting to meet but can’t make my regularly scheduled office hours? Share what would you like to discuss and what (all of your) availability is. Did you proofread your email before you hit send? Did you address me properly? Did you sign your name? And so on … you get the idea.


Remember, emailing is its own genre with its own conventions; writing is a process; and we always have to pay attention to the rhetorical situation (and how we communicate!).

So … review the resources provide, and definitely check out the clear write-up of guidelines that the email slideshow was adapted from. It’s a great resource to keep handy and refer back to over time.

Thank you, and I look forward to all of your awesome emails going forward 🙂

Week 5: Monday, September 19 – Sunday, September 25

Happy Monday everyone, and happy Week 5!

Thanks for all of your hard work last week composing your first drafts of your Education Narrative, and then peer-reviewing your classmates’ drafts! Hopefully you enjoyed reading one another’s work, found the feedback from your classmates useful, and are feeling inspired to improve your writing 🙂

This week, we’re continuing to work on these drafts, with an eye towards the final draft submission this coming Friday. Writing is a process, and it takes a number of steps to get from first to final draft. With that in mind, this week is all about revision!

I’ve shared a number of strategies and resources with you to help you throughout the revision process. We’re also revisiting the Education Narrative readings and Class Discussion, to continue to learn about about the genre and what makes it successful. Finally, we’re examining rhetoric, the rhetorical situation, and rhetorical appeals/strategies/choices in detail — this Workshop will help you to be more intentional and aware about how you communicate through your writing.

Being intentional and aware of how you communicate through your writing is not just for formal assignments though: it applies to anytime we speak or write. To practice these skills further and put what we’ve learned into action, we’ll be exploring the genre of email & you’ll be sending me an email as part of this work.

The Schedule page, as always, has more details about all this work.

Comment below with any questions. Thanks all, and have a wonderful week!


*If you’d like to get additional individualized feedback on your writing, come to my Office Hours and/or visit City Tech’s Writing Center — these are both wonderful resource for you!

*Don’t miss the Final Draft deadline (Friday, 9/23 at 12pm) — I do not accept late assignments! [Note: there may be an opportunity to revise for a higher grade later in the semester, but only if you turn in a final draft for Unit 1 on Friday]

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