Faculty: This Class Agenda post demonstrates how you can provide detailed information about each class for your students. It uses the category “Class Agendas” and can be found under Agendas in the site menu. Use the suggested outline below to structure your class posts.  Add dates and revise assignments as you see fit.  Please delete this informational block when you are ready to share your site with your students. For help working with OpenLab Course sites, visit OpenLab Help.

Week 1

By end-of-day, Day 1


  • Sign up for our OpenLab class site: if you encounter problems, please email me at ___________________.
  • Review the course site: be sure to read the introduction to the course, look over the syllabus, and open and review all course tabs/sections.
  • Review: “Tips for Success” on “The OpenLab for Students.”

WRITING: Introductions

  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Introductions”: Write a paragraph (approx. 100 words) discussing your academic interests, why you chose your major, what you enjoy reading, listening to, watching, and doing in your spare time, or anything else you want to share (include your pronouns if you wish).
  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Online Learning”: Write a paragraph (approx. 100 words). Discuss any questions or concerns you have about taking an online writing class. Mention anything that confuses or worries you. You may also discuss positive aspects (either that you’ve experienced or that you foresee) about online learning. At the end of your response, share one or two tips from your own online experience (either in school, at work, or in other day-to-day use of technology) that you think other students might find useful.
  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Our Syllabus”: Discuss three pieces of information that caught your attention on the syllabus. These could be questions you have about grading or deadlines, comments on the online component, or observations about the chosen readings… really anything that catches your eye is fine. 
  • Take the online technology survey.
  • Sign up for your free subscription to The New York Times: https://library.citytech.cuny.edu/help/how/nytimes.php
  • Check out the City Tech Writing Center on OpenLab: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/writingcenter/

Questions? Want to discuss further? Visit Office Hours: [link and info for office hours]

By end-of-day, Day 2


WRITING: Habits and Techniques

  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Your Reading and Writing Habits”: Olivarez reflects on his reading and writing experiences as a high school student and comes to the conclusion that, ultimately, he had to write for himself the stories he was “craving to read.” Write a short paragraph (approx. 150 words) about yourself as a reader and writer. In your paragraph discuss the following:
    • Think about the kinds of reading and writing you are drawn to, connect with, or even crave. Also, consider the type or reading and writing you avoid or dislike. Make a list of both categories.
    • With your lists in mind, note patterns in your reading and writing habits. What are your reading and writing preferences and challenges? Why do you think you lean towards certain types of texts and away from others?
    • How long are you able to read without thinking about your phone, the fridge, or something other than the reading? Do an experiment! Use your phone and time how long you can read without becoming distracted. (Use the Bunn essay or any other material to do this.) Mention your results in your paragraph.
  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Strategies from Bunn”: Write a short paragraph (approx.100 words) responding to the Bunn essay: identify one specific moment you found useful and you want to try out as a reader. Quote or paraphrase this moment, and explain why this idea appeals to you.
  • Respond to the Discussion Question “Connecting to Woodson’s TED Talk”: Write a short paragraph (approx. 100 words) responding to Woodson’s ideas. In your response consider the following:
    • Woodson discusses the value of reading slowly and connects it to her work as a writer. She explains that reading and writing allow her to look deeply at the world, to understand the future and the past, to get lost and forget, to remember those who came before, to drown out the noise, and to pay homage to ancestors. She also says stories connect people to each other. Discuss how her ideas on reading and writing resonate with you. Be sure to refer specifically to an image or detail that Woodson includes in her talk; likewise, use details from your experience to explain why her points relate to you in some way.

Questions? Want to discuss further? Visit Office Hours: [link and info for office hours]