Learning Places: Understanding the City course outline

Course Syllabus


Library Department / Department of Architectural Technology



1 classroom hour, 4 lab/studio hours, 3 credits


Course Description: This special topics course offers an interdisciplinary approach to investigating our built environment using a case study focused on a specific place each semester. This course combines physical examination with information research and data collection using methodologies developed in multiple disciplines. Students from a variety of departments engage in on-site exploration and in-depth research of a location in New York City.


Faculty from the Library and Architectural Technology Departments are teaching the course this semester, and will thus focus course material through a lens of architecture, urban studies, and information studies.


Course context: This special topics course is an Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts and Sciences Course that applies toward the BTech/BS General Education Common Core College Option requirements.


Prerequisites: ENG 1101 and any Flexible Core Course


Recommended Texts:


Badke, William. Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog. New York: Iuniverse, 2014.


Crowe, Norman, and Paul Laseau. Visual Notes for Architects and Designers. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012. Print.


Attendance Policy: No more than 10% absences are permitted during the semester. For the purposes of record, two lateness are considered as one absence. Exceeding this limit will expose the student to failing at the discretion of the instructor.


Course Structure: This course combines a series of research seminars with field work, site visits and documentation, and on and off campus research. Combinations of individual and team assignments as well as class participation are the basis for the final grade. The culmination of the weekly assignments is the Final Report as well as a Wikipedia Entry or Existing Site Editing. The Final Report will be published on the Open Lab and accessible to the entire City Tech community.


Grading: Final grade will be determined according to the following grade weighting:


50%     Site Documentation Reports

10%     Annotated Bibliography

15%     Team Research Assignment

20%     Final Report Assignment

5%     Class Participation


Academic Integrity: Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citation of sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the college recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion.