OpenLab Pioneers!

You are currently viewing a revision titled "Tips for teaching with the OpenLab", saved on December 22, 2011 at 6:35 am by Elizabeth Alsop
Tips for teaching with the OpenLab
Now that we've begun using the OpenLab in our teaching, we can compile a tip sheet based on what we've done well--and what we wish we had done! Here are a few categories to get us started, but feel free to edit them as you see fit.   Signing up
First assignments
  • As students to do something relatively easy and early  so that the assignment itself doesn't intimidate them--then they will have mastered the technical skills by the time the assignments get more challenging.
  • If you have your site set to allow anyone to post, you might want to set it to require moderation for the first comment from any user or email address.
  • If you need to moderate a comment, no one can see it until you do! That means that you have to check in frequently if you want students commenting to each other at the beginning of the semester.
  • Only authors can write posts, but anyone can comment (if you choose that setting). That means that someone who can't get signed in for whatever reason can still comment--this can be helpful at the start of the semester. Transition to posts after an initial registration and troubleshooting period.
Semester-long assignments
Using categories and tags Tips from “Teaching Introductory Courses Digitally," presentation at CUNY IT Conference (Dec. 2, 2011) [From Tom Harbison, Baruch/Modern American History]
  • Ask students to include an image along with their first post; use these images as the header for the course site on a rotating basis
  • If you have two sections writing to the same site, ask students to comment 2x on posts written by those in their section, 2x by those in the other section
  • Have students revise their posts based on commenters’ suggestions
  • Have a “no repeat” rule: students can’t repeat something already on the blog (this incentivizes early posting)
  • Ask students to assign at least 3 tags to their posts (a useful metacognitive activity, it also facilitates the growth of the tag cloud and students’ sense of ownership over the site)
  • Include assignments that emphasize creating and making: e.g. “micro-monographs” in a history course
[From Erica Kaufman, Baruch/Composition]
  • Ask students to generate a lexicon or glossary, and to edit the entries of others – without using a dictionary
  • Adapt the strategy of the dialectical or double-entry journal a course blog: ask students to comment on and pose questions about their peers’ posts
  • Include a digital essay assignment to accompany traditional writing assignment – e.g. ask students to interpret a poem visually in a Composition class