Walking Tour of Brooklyn Heights
Urban Tourism HMGT 4987
Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity
The entire class goes on a walking tour of Brooklyn Heights using the Brooklyn Historical Society’s self-guided walking tour of the neighborhood. In addition, students go on a scavenger hunt, developed by Prof. Karen Goodlad, assistant professor in Hospitality Management, in which they work in groups to find specific objects during the tour and take photos of them. Photos are shared on Blackboard and on OpenLab. Students write a reflection of the experience.
Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?
1. Understand the history of Brooklyn Heights
2. Assess the resources for tourism in the neighborhood (and later compare it to that of their own neighborhoods)
3. Experience a walking tour
4. Work in teams
Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?
This activity is done in the first two-three weeks of the semester. The entire class period.
Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?
Students are given materials to read about the neighborhood before the tour and an assignment to answer questions from the reading that is due in class the day of the tour. The walking tour activity is both low stakes and high stakes: Students really enjoy the experience. It is usually the first walking tour they have ever taken. In addition, they build on the experience to complete their term projects (group) to create a themed walking tour. Students also begin to observe the campus area, their neighborhoods and the city. After the tour, they start to take notice the cultural heritage of neighborhoods, for example.
High-Impact Educational Practices: Which of these practices based on George Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices (and other innovative approaches) does this activity incorporate? Choose all that apply.
Brooklyn waterfront; Place-based learning; Interdisciplinary projects
Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?
Students write a reflection of the experience. There is no rubric for the assignment but I have developed a rubric for the final walking tour project.
Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?
The activity is very successful and I have been doing it for several semesters. A highlight of the tour is the discovery of the Promenade by students who have never seen it before. Each semester, there are many students who have never been to Brooklyn Heights, and they are surprised at the beauty of the neighborhood and its rich history. And that it is close from campus, but far. They are amazed when the walk down Montague reveals the Promenade. (I liken it to how the walk down that narrow path reveals Petra.) The walking tour experience is the basis for the students to develop their own themed walking tours of the campus area. They begin to observe what they see around them and learn from it. Students are highly engaged in this fun and informative activity and build on it.
Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These could be in the form of PDF or Word files, links to posts or files on the OpenLab, etc.
Students’ pictures from the Walking Tour: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/8a74dk1a62mw86r/AACgxRM9-WRG7VjJhG3IsNY0a?oref=e
Example of students’ presentation: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/urban-tourism-city-tech/files/2014/02/Walking-tour-Downtown-Brooklyn-Fall-2013.pdf