Government Concepts Explained with Photos from Brooklyn

Government Concepts Explained with Photos from Brooklyn

M. Victoria Pérez-Ríos

Social Science/Arts and Science

GOV 1101 American Government Spring 2016 Perez-Rios

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

A multiple-step assignment that incorporates open access technology used in a secure setting and that is going to be used to showcase student work. To complete the assignment students will have to find relevant sites in Brooklyn and use video, audio and the written word to connect those sites to basic concepts and/or institutions of the American government. In addition, they will find newspaper articles that support the relevance of the concept, evaluate other students’ work and self-reflect on this activity.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

(1) Making learning American government meaningful to students
(2) Fostering deeper understanding of basic concepts and processes of American government
(3) Facilitating peer-to-peer learning.
(4) Creating together with my students a content-rich video/audio resource helpful to students beyond our classroom

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?

I used it after the midterm.

The class time devoted to it was a total of two hours and a half hours. (1) After the midterm I divided the class into groups to discuss their assigned concept (1 hour and a half). And (2) in the next class meeting we went on a tour of the surroundings of City Tech during an hour.

If students are thorough with the assignment, it will take them a minimum of two hours: (1) One hour to open an account in OpenLab and access the course, post the photos and check other student’s work and post their comments. (2) Half an hour to find newspaper articles and comment on their connection to each student’s assigned concept. And, finally, (3) half an hour to reflect on their learning experience.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The preparation included:
(1) Asking students to open an account in OpenLab and requesting an invitation to my course.
(2) Familiarizing myself with the immediate surroundings of City Tech.
(3) Checking whether all students have cameras or iphones to take the pictures/video

I have added the instructions for this exercise as an addendum at the end of this document.

The activity is low stakes (only 7 points in total) and it is for extra credit.

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?

The activity was and extra credit activity and I assigned three points to Step 3 and four points to Step 4.
Students who followed the instructions got full credit; I didn’t detract points for poor editing but for lack of relevant content.

No, to the best of my knowledge this course is not part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative.

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?

Some of the steps worked better than the others. 1) The preparatory steps (1 and 2) worked quite well and involved most of the students in the class. Step 1 or the in-¬¬class group discussion of assigned concepts was effective because most students took advantage of the time allotted in class to understand their assigned concepts in a more in-depth manner. I talked to each student and they shared their thoughts and examples on their assigned concept. Step 2 or the outside class activity of checking the surrounding area of City Tech also worked well and most students remained with the rest of the class for the whole hour I allotted for this activity. From the perspective of an Introduction to Government class, it was an ideal day for completing this activity because next door to City Tech the press and regular people were standing outside the Brooklyn Supreme Court waiting for the decision on whether former NYPD Officer Peter Liang had the right to a mistrial. Some students were very interested in making videos because there were also police officers in crowd control duty. Other students were excited about this event and started to talk about freedom of the press and of speech when a passerby started to insult Liang who was not present. Step 3 was completed by thirteen students and Step 4 by six. Almost half of the students that completed Step 3 didn’t post the photos and comments for all to see but as file attachments. In Step 4, four students completed a good self-reflection.

The two main challenges were: (1) keeping students together during the out-of-class activity. To overcome it, I made sure that the students who were restless took at least two photos and explained to me how the photos related to their assigned concept. And (2) making sure that there was enough student participation in steps 3 and 4. I may solve this in the future by offering this activity earlier on in the semester and as part of the regular assignments and not as an extra credit.

If I am scheduled to teach GOV 1101 in the future, I would like to repeat this activity but I will probably dedicate more time to prepare the guided tour. For example, I am thinking of bringing maps of the area to a class meeting and organizing an itinerary for the class and alternative ones for the students to do on their own in their way to and from the college.

As mentioned before few students chose to complete the self-reflection but I the ones that did liked the guided tour because it was something different from what they are used to in other courses. In addition, most students liked working in groups and they were happy to have their work presented outside of the classroom so other people can learn some basic concepts of the American form of government. The following are direct quotes from students’ self-reflection assignments [I didn’t edit their words; they are as they were posted]:
Melissa Feliciano: “This assessment was a good learning experience because I was able to explore more the meaning of government on my own. It definitely helped me learn the concepts in a better way since the definitions and examples were made by us the students which make it easier to understand than by reading complicated terms in a textbook. Also, despite the fact that it can be difficult for me to work in groups, it was fun to share the different ideas we had about the concept and being able to mash it together to make a unique and complete definition. Going out of the building to take pictures of our surroundings that would explain our assigned concepts was also very fun because we got to do something that rarely happens and at the same time we were being aware of what was around us by trying to relate it to our class. Furthermore, I do like the idea of sharing our pictures and examples to everyone out there because through this we are in a way leaving a mark in the world by sharing our ideas and helping others understand these concepts learned in government class”
Nazmon Nahar: “In class we also do group work that help us to know better our lesson and each other’s thought. When you don’t understand something if you work together in groups it help you to understand. That’s why I liked to do group work.”
“The most amazing day was the day we all went outside to take photos and videos for our assignment. Learning is just not only taking notes and my teacher proved that by doing different activates in class.”
Anthony Paton: Did you learn the different concepts better than just by taking notes in class and studying them for the tests? Why? Why not?
“I feel like I did learn this concepts a little bit better than just taking notes in class and studying them. The reason is because when I define the word, I had to find example of what I was defying. When I found the example, it made a clear understanding of what I was reading and I gain more knowledge over the concept. I’ll start doing this with more school work from now on.”

Did you like working in groups with other students? Why/why not?
“Yes I did enjoy working in groups with other students. The reason is because you get to hear another student’s opinion. Sometimes they might disagree with yours but that’s the fun part. You get to talk about and discuss your opinions on popular issues. For example students should have free metro cards would have a lot of students engaging in a conversation.”

Did you like going out of class to take pictures/video? Why/why not?
“Yes I enjoy going out side to take pictures and video. That was my very first time happening to me and I never expected it to be like that. I was actually shocked that people of different races were siding with the African American [Press and onlookers on the case of Officer Liang]. I quite happy and wanted to tell them but I didn’t.”
Do you like the idea of your photos and comments being used by other students in the future as part of an interactive map of Brooklyn populated with political terms? Why/why not?
“Yes I like the idea of my photos and comments being use by other students in the future as part of an interactive map of Brooklyn populated with political terms. The reason is because it allows students to teach and learn from one another. Students will probably have a better understanding after looking at these.”

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS
STEP ONE (in class): In groups of three discuss your assigned government concept and write down a definition that you will hand in to me at the end of the class. Include examples. Keep in mind that in our next class meeting we all tour the surroundings of City Tech to take pictures that will illustrate the concepts that you have been assigned. NOT GRADED.

STEP TWO (outside of the classroom): During the next hour we are going to tour, the whole class, the surroundings of City Tech and find sites, events and objects that illustrate the concept that your group was assigned in last class. Take several photos because you will be required to use two for Step Three. If you do not have enough time to take relevant pictures, feel free to take pictures in your spare time as long as they are taken in Brooklyn. NOT GRADED

STEP THREE (to be posted on OpenLab): What do you have to do?
1. Access the course on OpenLab where you have to post the exercise
• Students who have received an invitation to the course: I have invited to My Course, Open Lab all those students who have active accounts that could be identified by First and Last Names. You have to accept my invitation and then you can post asap.
• Students who have not received an invitation: Since this is an extra-credit activity it is your responsibility to access the course in OpenLab and request membership. NO EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED. If you do not have an account at the school, it is your responsibility to get one. The course in OpenLab is: GOV 1101 American Government Spring 2016 Perez-Rios
2. What has to be posted? Once you access the course you will see my example [See: below the sample of the exercise that I provided as the first entry in my OpenLab page]
• Every student has to post two photos that show in images the concept that you defined in class. Add a 50 word minimum comment to each photo. In addition, add a caption to each photo with your name, what is it, place where you took it, and date [This information does not count toward the 50-word minimum comment]. POINTS: 2.50
• Finally, you will have a look at the photos from the other groups and you will comment on at least one of them; the comment has to be 50 words minimum and it should include an assessment of how well the photo shows the meaning of the concept through images. In addition, you could evaluate the creativity of the student. POINTS: .50 of a point
3. POST ON OPEN LAB BY DUE DATE: TH, APRIL 21 AT 2:00 PM

©M. Victoria Pérez-Ríos/Brooklyn Bridge/Manhattan views from Brooklyn/October 2015
GOVERNMENT
It is an institution that provides services and protection to individuals who reside in a country, state or locality. In addition, the government controls the legitimate use of force within the territory over which its power is recognized. The USA is characterized for its federal system in which federal and state governments, as well as local governments, have decision-making powers.

PHOTO USED TO SHOW THE CONCEPT OF GOVERNMENT
You can see the Brooklyn Bridge that was inaugurated to the public in 1883 and facilitates communication and transportation of people and goods between Brooklyn and Manhattan. This bridge is a National Historical Landmark (NHL) and a city historical landmark. The Department of Transportation of New York City (DOT) “owns, operates, and maintains” the Brooklyn Bridge which allows pedestrian, vehicular and subway transportation without paying tolls (See: New York City DOT, “Infrastructure: Bridges,” http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/infrastructure/bridges.shtml). However, the city government benefits from resources provided by the Federal government when this bridge, for example, needs repairs: “$30 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds” (See: “Mayor Bloomberg And Vice President Biden Mark Start Of Brooklyn Bridge Rehabilitation Project” 2 June 2010, http://www1.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/247-10/mayor-bloomberg-vice-president-biden-mark-start-brooklyn-bridge-rehabilitation-project#/8).

CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CONCEPT AND THE PHOTO
The photo shows a relevant piece of infrastructure—a bridge—that is necessary to conduct intra and interstate commerce. The regulation of interstate commerce is one of the delegated powers of the federal government (See: Art. 1(8) of the Constitution of the USA) and the regulations of intrastate commerce is a reserved power to be exercised at the state/local level (Amendment 10 of the Constitution of the USA).
GOVERNMENT: SAMPLE EXERCISE BY THE INSTRUCTOR
Below you can see two examples of student work (Figs. 3 and 4).

STEP FOUR (to be posted on OpenLab): What do you have to do?
1. Add two newspaper articles (write down author, title, newspaper, date and internet address) that show the relevance of your assigned concept and post them in OpenLab. Each article should be accompanied by a 50-word comment on the connection between the article and the relevance of your assigned concept. POINTS: 2
2. Write a 100 word assessment of this multi-step exercise (POINTS: 2). Include at least the following:
• Did you learn the different concepts better than just by taking notes in class and studying them for the tests? Why? Why not?
• Did you like working in groups with other students? Why/why not?
• Did you like going out of class to take pictures/video? Why/why not?
• Do you like the idea of your photos and comments being use by other students in the future as part of an interactive map of Brooklyn populated with political terms? Why/why not?
• Any other comment
4. POST ON OPENLAB BY DUE DATE: Sun, May 15 at 11:59 pm.
STUDENT WORK POSTED IN OPENLAB: STEP THREE

Melissa Feliciano/ New York City College of Technology/CUNY College From Brooklyn, April 2016

This Image is an example of the concept of government since the institution, New York City College of Technology, is part of the City University of New York which is a public system subsidized by the government. As many other public colleges around the country do, students have the privilege to attend a four-year college without having to pay high tuition rates and often are granted loans and financial aid that is also granted by the government.

Melissa Feliciano/SUPREME AND FAMILY COURT/ from Brooklyn, New York
April 2016

The picture above is also a good example of government since it shows the Supreme and Family Court of the State of New York located in downtown Brooklyn. This is a governmental institution that enforces the law. When creating the new government, our founding fathers put the judiciary in charge of ensuring the American people with “equal justice under the law”.
FIG. 1: GOVERNMENT: EXERCISE COMPLETED BY MELISSA FELICIANO,
A STUDENT IN GOV 1101/D733, SPRING SEMESTER 2016

Anamaria Reyes: This picture was taken on April 14, 2016 at City tech. This picture show students who attend the college to enhance their education. (Waiting maybe for next class to start)

In this photo it shows the diversity in the college setting. The picture demonstrates the different cultures that attend city tech to enhance their education. Diversity is important in the education system because different cultures and races can contribute towards the students’ academic development. For example when students who socialize with someone of different racial groups or discuss racial issues this contributes to the student’s cultural awareness and commitment to promoting their cultural background to others. Having a diverse student body attributes to having a stronger commitment to multiculturalism, promoting creative thinking, and preparing future workforce.

Anamaria Reyes: Taken on April 14, 2016 in front of the Family court on Jay street metro tech. Those people are Journalist who have chosen that career path and interact with different culture, race, age and gender.

Diversity plays an important role in the jobs of each individual career choice. This picture was taken outside of the family court where reporters of different backgrounds came to record and interview an important case of a cop who had “Murdered” a civilian. As shown in the picture there are Asians, black, white and Hispanics come together to protest or record. This picture shows the diversity between gender and age in field of journalism.
FIG. 2: DIVERSITY: EXERCISE COMPLETED BY ANAMARIA REYES,
A STUDENT IN GOV 1101/D733, SPRING SEMESTER 2016

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Greenmarket ingredient photo essay

Greenmarket ingredient photo essay

Alejandro Cantagallo

Hospitality Management/Professional Studies

Introduction to Food and Beverage Management

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Assume the role of a purchaser for a restaurant and visit a Greenmarket and look for a fruit or vegetable that you are not familiar with, strike up a conversation with the people at the stand and describe in detail what the products is, how it is grown, who grows it and under what circumstances. With this information write a persuasive argument for the chef about why she/he should use the product. The assignment should include research about how the food item is grown and used, a statement about why it caught your attention and details about the farm that it is grown on that should include the name and location of the farm as well the name of the person that you spoke to. This assignment is to be posted on the Openlab as a photo essay and must include at least one photo of the product and you are encouraged to post a selfie with the stand worker/farmer as well as other relevant media. Your photo essay should be between 500 words, should include at least one photo and active working links to any companies, organizations or people mentioned where applicable.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

•To have students engage professionals about what they do and why and how
•To use various methods to research and describe something that they knew little or nothing about before the assignment
•To integrate the various sources of research to piece together a narrative that is concise
•To effectively use the openlab by posting a blog entry that includes various steps and specific formatting rules

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 assignment is assigned on the first day of class and is due on the 7 or 8th week to correspond with our classroom discussions about purchasing and defining value. I typically schedule a field trip to the Union Square Market with the intention of offering a tour and giving the students a chance to take care of the assignment. Students are welcome to visit other markets though. We will spend about 2 hours total of classroom time and students will only need about an hour of extra-class time to complete the project if they choose not to participate or miss the field trip.

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 need to either visit a market or attend the field trip. They need to have an openlab account and have requested membership to the classes site. Students will need to have a way to upload photos to the openlab. This is a low stakes assignment that ties into our broader course material as a way to enhance the conversation about food systems and food procurement/sourcing and value

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?

Yes I use the Information Literacy Rubric

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?

I have not administered this assignment in its current form yet, but in the past I have seen some good results, albeit with room for improvement.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Assessing the Whole Student

Assessing the Whole Student

Jason Montgomery

Architectural Technology/Technology and Design

ARCH 1130 Building Technology I

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this course, students are required to set up their e-portfolioon OpenLab. Here the e-portfolio is used as a learning log, assignment submission system, and assessment tool. All aspects of the student work for the semester are documented and uploaded, including their sketchbook sketches, their notes from assignment readings, as well as their technical drawing assignments.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

There are multiple goals of this approach to using the e-portfolio:
1. Students learn to use an internet tool to present themselves to an audience.
2. The way the students organize the site, the clarity of the presentation, the rigor of the organization, the care put into the graphics (clean scans, neatly cropped versus smartphone picture with poor focus or lighting and background distraction…) is an opportunity to assess digital skills, engagement, presentation skills and to work with students that need help with these.
3. The e-portfolio serves as a learning log, where students can become more conscious of their learning, seeing the connections between various activities in the course and across different courses when this activity is more broadly utilized (breaking out of silos).
4. The faculty can use this tool assess the student holistically, especially with a range of required activities in the course (such as reading comprehension, building foundational knowledge in the discipline, technical drawing, thinking and articulation of ideas through freehand drawing)
5. The e-portfolio becomes a tool for subsequent faculty to assess the skills of students at THE BEGINNING of the semester, so they can tailor assignments and adjust sequence to address needs of that particular group of students.

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?

The e-portfolio must be introduced at the beginning of the semester in order to effectively capture the whole semester of student work. The students require more or less a one hour demonstration of how to set up their site, the interface on OpenLab, scanning and uploading images, adding pages and organizing menus. It is important to show them the support pages on OpenLab and the help desk.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The faculty member may need training in OpenLab to be better able to administer and support this activity. The faculty member and the students could benefit from seeing examples of other’s e-portfolios to inspire and help them visualize what they are trying to do.

This activity is important if it becomes part a broader tool across a department, so the stakes are significant in this context.

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?

This activity is a tool that facilitates assessment, but it could be assessed directly too, with a rubric that gauges the care and organization of the site.

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 students’ portfolios expressed a wide range of skill and care, but this in itself is useful. As the end of the semester approached, the students had a very clear visualization of what remained to be completed; they had a clear sense of their responsibility to meet the course requirements.

Many students struggle with what are becoming entry level skills with technology: scanning, manipulating and converting files, digital editing… These skills become important to the success of the students, but are often not part of the curriculum. This activity raises awareness of the need to support the students with their development of these skills.

Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These can be links to pages or posts on the OpenLab.

A particular component of this activity, which will be documented in a separate L4 activity template, is the reading and note taking activity that was part of the e-portfolio submissions. This activity proved much deeper and more direct as a tool for assessing student reading comprehension than a typical quiz.

Please share a helpful link to a pages or post on the OpenLab

Reading Notes

A Gothic Guide to Brooklyn: Gothic Spaces Presentation

A Gothic Guide to Brooklyn: Gothic Spaces Presentation

Laura Westengard

English/School of Arts and Sciences

Eng 3407 (Gothic Lit. and Visual Culture) https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/gothic-nyc/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Students created a travel guide for visitors interested in finding the “Gothic” spaces in Downtown Brooklyn (and the surrounding neighborhoods). Each group found a space in Brooklyn that they thought exhibited some of the Gothic elements we discussed in class. Then they created a profile of that place that describes the Gothic elements, analyzes the space in terms of one of the theoretical concepts discussed in class, and connects the space to one of the assigned literary texts.

These profiles will be posted on OpenLab along with images and videos. It will become a “Gothic Guide to Brooklyn!”

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

This place-based activity was designed to get students to view local architecture as a kind of text that they could analyze in relation to course concepts. They learned to synthesize course materials, apply course concepts to subjects outside of class, perform written and verbal analysis, work collaboratively, and use the online platform to deliver this information with appropriate style.

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?

I introduced the assignment early in the semester and scaffolded some in class activities each week leading up to the presentation (approx. 10-15 minutes a week). As we discussed the assigned readings and course concepts, we kept a running list of Gothic terms and concepts on the course OpenLab site so students had a glossary with which to interpret their chosen location.

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 need time to schedule out of class explorations of the neighborhood surrounding City Tech. I provide them with a handout that explains the requirements, and they also need some way to create images and/or videos of their site. It is fairly high-stakes (10% of the final grade).

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.

Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Wrriting-intensive projects/assignments, Place-Based Learning, Brooklyn Waterfront

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?

I use a worksheet on which each required item and its point value is listed. Next to that item, I included notes assessing the students’ work along with a score. This was not a VALUE rubric.

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 first time I assigned this activity, my class was too small to complete it in groups, so it had to become an individual activity. This was not ideal because one of the learning goals was to provide an opportunity for collaboration. The creation of the list of Gothic terms and concepts was collaborative, however, and we also collaborated as a whole class to create and design the OpenLab project. We had a conference-style presentation day in class in which students gave feedback on their classmates’ work. I am currently repeating the activity in a larger class as a group project, and I plan to have the current class add to the existing project site.

Students enjoyed the place-based aspect of the assignment, and they seemed enthusiastic about the creation of online travel-blog style profiles with images and videos. They were very creative!

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.

Link to Spring 2016 Activity Handout: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/westengardeng3407sp2016/files/2015/01/Gothic-Spaces-Group-Presentation-Prompt-Eng-3407-S-16.pdf

Link to Completed Project Site from Spring 2015: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/gothic-nyc/

Open Lab Food Experience Blogging Exercise

Open Lab Food Experience Blogging Exercise

Claire Stewart https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/cstewart/

Hosp. Management/ Professional Studies

https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewarthmgtintlfall2014/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Students are asked to eat something from the geographic region which is highlighted the week they acted as chef. They then write about the new food and describe its taste, texture, color, smell, or any unusual properties. They must document this experience and post a photo or video of this item in its various stages and how it was acquired. Next students post (or create) a video clip of a traditional song or dance, festival or religious ceremony. Or they may craft a video of a walking tour they made of their trip to an ethnic neighborhood or grocery store. Posting comments on the work of others is also required.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

I would like to enlarge students’ view of their world, and for them to learn the differences and similarities of regional life. This is done by having the class investigate native foods, which pupils will find are inevitably tied to religion, geography and history. I also hope to develop the students’ vocabulary, and increase their ability to work in new environments with unfamiliar ingredients. The more terms, place names, and components that students are exposed to, the greater the chance that they will be able to draw conclusions about new concepts by finding similarities to what they have seen before. This assignment also works to nudge participants out of their comfort zone, asking them to try something that they may not otherwise have tasted or experienced.

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?

Every student has a different time line. I ask that their post go up no more than one week after they have acted as chef. The brigade with the day that the student will be chef is established on Week 1. Students devote a lot of time creating their week’s chef report, so I make this assignment due the week after they have been chef. I feel this way they can have more fun with the assignment, as they are no longer nervous about their performance. This assignment is ideal because there is very little lecture time at all during class. This is a production class and dinner has to be done ready in order for the dining room to open.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

This assignment is worth 10 points out of 100. I give specific instructions that students must cite their sources, and also get permission if using photos of others. Students investigate the culture of the region for which they were class chef. By the time this assignment is due, students have learned about this region, and are invested in what they come to consider “their” territory. Being chef for the day is a significant event for these students, so by tying in the assignment to this, I find students “buy in” to the activity with enthusiasm.

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.

Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Capstone courses and projects, Place-Based Learning

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?

I do use a rubric that includes whether the student worked within the time line, and if they cited sources. Also if they proofread and presented themselves as professional in their online work. I did get valuable information from the Living Lab assessment workshop. I ask the student to consider who the audience for the assignment is, and what the role of the presenter is.

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?

This worked very well. I am repeating it in this year’s class. I also made a similar assignment in a different class and it was a true success.

This is a link to my Culinary Improvisation class, in which there was a weekly blogger.

https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewartculinaryimprovsp2015/

Students take photos of their food anyway, so by creating an official class blogger I am expanding on something they already enjoy. I learned to make a cut-off date for comments because I found many students made all their comments only at the end of the semester. I now ask them to post a minimum prior to midterm, and not all on the same day or on the same topic. I would still like students to proofread their work more however. Students participated fully in this project, and I had no one not do so. I was pleased to see that classmates accompanied each other on their explorations, and I saw in their photos that they were voluntarily doing class work that was not required; they were doing it for fun. This project tries to harness students’ desire to surf the net and to see videos and make comments, and to do so in a structured environment with specific expectations.

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.

The link below is an example of a student blog entry from Culinary Improvisation
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewartculinaryimprovsp2015/2015/03/

I posted this link after our class went to the Museum of Modern Art. Students had various tasks assigned while there; all in hopes of them finding links between art and food.
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewartculinaryimprovsp2015/2015/03/19/museum-of-modern-art/

This is the link to the assignment
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewarthmgtintlfall2014/assignments/

This is a great example of student work
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/stewarthmgtintlfall2014/2014/09/28/a-slice-of-hungary/

Bustling Vacancy_ Mapping “behavioral” city patterns to produce architectural space

Bustling Vacancy_ Mapping “behavioral” city patterns to produce architectural space

Loukia Tsafoulia

Architectural Technology/Technology & Design

ARCH3609_Integrated Software in the Architectural Office https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/3609-integrated-software-in-the-architectural-office/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this course, I create a project with multiple components that incorporates research, evidence, reading and thinking critically, demands organization and presentation skills and requires the ability to work collaboratively. Students work in groups of 2 or 3 over a semester period to produce a highly conceptual design project that is generated following rules of grammar, logic and mathematics. The project brings together the Urban and the Architectural scales through a series of NYC data abstractions and the establishment of rules that will define the students’ design in the architectural scale.

The students are asked to come up with a design dictionary of 3 main architectural elements that serves as their “alphabet” for space creation. At the same time, each group focuses on developing a visual language to discuss, collect, measure, map and quantify NYC behaviors/patterns. The students will respond to the literal and symbolic notion of “Motus” in the city, and create mappings, diagrams, data visualizations and diaries. The projects will ultimately be based on the cartography of their architectural
elements in such a way that they relate to the city mapping analysis. The assembly of these elements will ultimately create a spatial 3d pattern which programmatically serves as an open air experiential space in an empty city lot.

The assigned project involves four process stages:
– “Alphabet” stage
The “Alphabet” stage involves the creation of a design dictionary of three basic architectural elements: stair, wall and atrium. These are the “bricks” students will be using to construct their space.

– “Data” stage
This stage involves the study of New York City’s five boroughs using data analysis in order to identify and map “behavioral” city patterns such as patterns of noise, circulation, population, income, crime rates, programmatic uses, urban density, energy consumption etc. The teams select a minimum of two datamaps and numeric tables supporting these maps and through research, observation and analysis they correlate them and create a series of abstractions.

– “Syntax” stage
During the “Syntax” stage the students extract rules out of the city patterns that will define in a later stage their design. Outcome of this phase is a series of 2d diagrams and graphs explaining the “behavior” of each of the maps and their diagrammatic interpretation in 3d.

– “Composition” stage
This stage is about composing all the material produced during the Alphabet, the Data and the Syntax phases. The students employ the generated rules in order to assemble their architectural elements’ studies. They put together selected wall, atrium and stair studies (a minimum of 2 studies) following the rules extracted from the city pattern research to create a project. The projects will not take data literally. They will rather depart from conventional data definitions and ask what is the city, what is data, and how can they be re-applied in an architectural scale.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

For this project the students are provided with guidelines for a better understanding of the integration of specialized software into all aspects of the architectural profession. The class simulates the design office space complexity so the students familiarize with its demands.
Students work in groups, demonstrating teamwork spirit, schedule and manage their time in collaboration with others, be professional with timeframes, enhance their speech and rhetoric skills. They have to weekly fill out timesheets learning how to be efficient with the hours spent per task.

The work environment demands that employees work together responsibly so learning in the classroom is initiated in a highly collaborative, interactive, and experiential way and the evaluation and feedback given in between them is encouraging, learning focused and transparent.

Students have to use data related to their city as their driver towards design. During this process students develop research, analytical and compositional skills. They conduct research related to NYC data using online resources such as https://nycopendata.socrata.com/ , http://nyc.pediacities.com/Nycpedia ,
http://wirednewyork.com/forum/ and learn how to properly cite sources. They gather, interpret, evaluate, and apply information discerningly from a variety of sources. Students present regularly throughout the semester to invited professionals from the architecture and urban design as well as curatorial fields. The presentations are in the form of printed boards 24”by36” (I provide them with the template) and oral presentation. Through publicly presenting their work students gain confidence and conscientiousness on their production, engage in constructive dialog with professionals and through this personalized experience increase their interest towards higher education levels.
Students curate all the work produced for the class including their group project in an individual book / portfolio. Main emphasis is given into the narrative of their design concepts and how they all tie together. Story telling is the center of their curation. Every book represents each author so each student should manifest his/her arguments through this book. Together with a printed version the students are also asked to use OpenLab, Archinect and Issuu as platforms to digitally create their eportfolio.

In the end of the semester, I showcase students work at my online digital platform PLB_Education (see link below) giving students the opportunity to be exhibited, to make their achievements visible not only to School’ ‘s community but also to the wider public. For the next semester I plan to also use OpenLab as an online platform in which students will post their blogs and discussions participating in a more interactive learning process. This project and its supportive materials (online archive, recordings etc) create a strong base for continuation past the course’s teaching period. Each subsequent class will build on previous semester classes’ work and therefore document how NYC data progressively alter.

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 a semester long project. I introduce the project on week #2 when I spend 30 minutes in class explaining the details, giving references and engaging on brief discussion with the students. I also post the project’s detailed description, resources, references and tutorials on Blackboard. For this coming semester I will also use the OpenLab platform for discussions and open feedback. From that point on my lectures and weekly assignments support with knowledge on integrated software the evolution of the project.
After Midterm I split the class in two sections: first part is a lecture or workshop on software and technical skills and the second part (60mnts) is organised as desk-critiques or open discussion on each team’s progress and concept.

Students are required to work in groups and meet once per week with their collaborator/s for two hours of brainstorming. Then they have to distribute the tasks between them in order to meet the weekly goals of the project as defined in the weekly assignment handouts. I expect students to devote 4 hours weekly over the course of a semester. They use a timesheet template created in google drive to control the time spent per task. Generally, I will allow some class time for students to meet and discuss and for me to check in with their groups, however, students are expected to devote time outside the classroom for gathering and analyzing their data and composing their design.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

The students are given step by step all the software and theoretical support needed to develop the project’s multiple components in the form of weekly lectures and class discussions. So, the project is broken down to 10 weekly assignments/tasks outlined in the form of instructional handouts. I also post on Blackboard:
Tutorials and Class Recordings so I support them with possible software questions they may have outside the class hours.
– References and Resources.
– Base files for their convenience.

The students are given a template they have to follow and fill with required visuals and text description for their project’s presentation. These are boards 24” by 36” that they gather all the material needed to visualize their project (see project’s brief). Additionally, the whole class is sharing a google spreadsheet that serves as timesheets documenting hours spent per task as individuals and as groups for the project (see project’s brief).

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.

Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Undergraduate research, Capstone courses and projects, Place-Based Learning

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?

This project is 50% of the overall grade. All the students have to weekly upload their work digitally on Blackboard following a given file name protocol. I have designed and posted on Blackboard a Rubric relevant to the project’s learning objectives with 5 scales (needs improvement, satisfactory, good quality, excellent quality). The class is broken down into four big presentations (1/4 pin up, Midterm Review, 3/4 pin up , Final Review). The overall grade for this project is outcome of their weekly submissions grade (40%) as well as their 4 main group presentations grade (60%) throughout the semester.

The performance criteria I asses for their group project presentations in my Rubric are based on oral communication:

Organization
– Ability to collaborate and present successfully as a group a highly sophisticated project.
– Professionality in presentation and meeting the given deadlines.
– Followed layout and visualization instructions for the project.

Quality of Supporting Material:
– Neatness and accuracy of the visuals.
– Quality of written description.
– Quality of city data analysis and data interpretation.
– Quality of final design as defined by the constraints set by the city data each team is analysing.

Delivery
– Quality of oral presentation. The presentation techniques, speech and posture as well as
coordination btw the group members are appropriate and appealing.
– Quality of plotted boards (nicely cut, pinned and in great resolution).

The performance criteria I asses for their weekly group project digital submissions are:
– followed instructions and submission on time
– file composition
– file neatness & accuracy,
– file line weights & resolution
– file presentation.

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?

This is the second semester I assign this project and students have positively responded addressing it as one of the most motivating and challenging projects they have dealt with. It has been a motivator towards high quality of work and a very interactive and vivid class. I am very excited to implement all the knowledge obtained through the Living Lab Seminars related to the use of OpenLab and the incorporation of HEP and General Education SLO’s to the project’s brief. This assignment has many components so in order to create a very clear methodology for the students I have to provide them with very specific visualization steps, templates and class recordings. Directing all the steps of the project, creating an online platform to exhibit their work, creating timesheets, refining the rubrics for this project’s assessment and providing them in advance to the students has made my teaching overall more effective.

The main challenge is having the students work in groups and being able to manage their time accordingly. For that reason, I create an hierarchy similar to the office space where the working team reports to the project leader regularly through emails, timesheets and notes on each others projects shared with the whole class.

This project by nature relates not only to architectural, urban and preservation design oriented fields but also to Curatorial Fields and Social Sciences. Since this project is based on both qualitative and quantitative data analysis there could be a correlation with Math fields as well. Finally, the project focuses on developing a visual language to discuss, collect, measure, and quantify data. The students and create mappings, diagrams, data visualizations, diaries so I could imagine this project being part of Visual Arts Studies. In the future, I would like to further the project to better connect STEM fields with Liberal Arts.

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.

This is link shows the course’s OpenLab page with the courses syllabus and the weekly handouts, and the description for this project. This website is still under construction and will be used for the next
semester:

https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/3609-integrated-software-in-the-architectural-office/

This link showcases students work from the previous semester:
http://www.plbny.com/#!3609-bustling-vacancy/c1y5p

Drugs in the News

Drugs in the News

Anna Matthews https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/amatthews/

Dental Hygiene/SPS

DEN 2315

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This low-stakes assignment is one of the four OpenLab assignments for second-year Dental Hygiene students who take DEN 2315, Oral Pharmacology, in the Summer session. The purpose of the online assignments, including “Drugs in the News”, is to continue the conversation related to the subject of pharmacology beyond the walls of our classroom and to supplement our limited classroom time (Summer session lasts only 5 weeks – 9 in-person sessions + final examination). Assignment description for students can be found here: Drugs in the News Assignment 2015

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

1. to relate information about drugs presented in the media (print, TV) to the information students learn in the course (DEN2315);

2. to evaluate the information from the news source (article, TV segment, TV ad, blog post) for correctness by finding the original source such as the research article, textbook, professional resources and websites;

3. to share the information about drugs (which can be newly developed or approved medications, or recent updates about medications available previously) with classmates on OpenLab by creating a post and including the links to the original source and references;

4. to read each others’ posts and comment on at least two of them.

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 is the first of the four OpenLab assignments and it is due after the first week of Summer session. Students have three days after the posts are available to comment on each others’ entries. Late posts or comments are not accepted and an appropriate penalty is applied as described in the syllabus.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

because of time limitations and very tight schedule of our session, I invite students to join our OpenLab site ahead of time and upload their syllabus before the session starts and assignments at least a week before they are due. Students must be OpenLab members and know how to create a post and reply to each other. I demonstrate it in class during our first session. No other special arrangements are required.

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.

Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Wrriting-intensive projects/assignments

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?

this assignment is 5 points of the students’ final grade in DEN2315. Half of the grade (2.5 points) was given to the students’ original post and half to their two responses to each others’ posts. I did not use the VALUE rubric but evaluated the students’ work using a simple Grading rubric, which I created myself based on the examples from Bean’s “Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom” (2011).

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?

I designed and first used this assignment in 2013, and have used it since with success. The students are required to find and share a new article/news segment, published or aired within a year from the beginning of our session, so when they share these news about drugs on OpenLab, we all learn from each other and there is a very active conversation. Consistently, there are many more responses from each student than the two required by the assignment, and each of the posts receives a lot of attention. For example, in our group of 25 (24 students and I) there were 151 posts and comments for the “Drugs in the News” assignment, averaging 6 per person!

The students often surprise me by finding something very unique and sometimes even unbelievable, such as this year one student found a small article about a common medication lansoprazole (Prilosec), an OTC medication for heartburn, which showed promising activity against the bacterium that causes tuberculosis! I was very intrigued but quite skeptical until a few days later an original research article was published in Nature Communications.

This assignment has been a rich source of learning for our students and me every time I offered it in my Pharmacology course, and I intend to include it in my sessions in the coming years.

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.

Tell Me About Infinity

Tell Me About Infinity

Jonas Reitz https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/jreitz/

Mathematics/ School of Arts and Sciences

MAT 2675 Calculus II https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/2012spr-mat1575-reitz/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this low-stakes writing assignment, students create a blog post exploring the concept of infinity. The post must respond to one of several prompts focusing on personal experiences of infinity, and must include a photo that illustrates infinity in some way. Extra credit is offered for providing a thoughtful comment on another student’s post.

Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?

This activity is introduced in the course MAT 2675 Calculus II as we prepare to embark on the study of infinite sequences and series, the first rigorous introduction of infinity in a mathematical context. Before students begin to wrestle with the (challenging!) technical details of the subject, I want them to reflect on their preconceptions about this pervasive and slippery notion of “infinity”. I want to give them the opportunity to make connections between infinity as it appears in other areas of life – philosophy, art, religion – and as it appears in the curriculum. In addition, I use this activity to build or reinforce technical skills – how to create a blog post, upload images, and add tags. I want to get students writing in a low-stakes environment, where their focus is on the content. Finally, I want to give students a chance to respond to one another, building community and trust in my class.

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 tied to a particular topic in Calculus II, infinite sequences and series, which traditionally makes up the last third of the course. The assignment is given just before we begin this topic, around week 9 or 10, and it is due two weeks after it is assigned. I spend 5-10 minutes discussing the project in class when it is assigned, and in subsequent classes I will provide a little time for students to ask questions or raise concerns. I expect students to devote 2-4 hours to this activity, over the course of 2 weeks.

Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?

I post the assignment, including detailed instructions, on the course OpenLab site (see below). I will spend a very short time in class discussing the assignment and answering questions – but I will NOT go over every detail (they are expected to carefully read the assignment and follow all instructions). I try to make the assignment stand-alone, with links to appropriate resources (including, for example, how to create a blog post, how to upload an image, and so on).

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.

Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Wrriting-intensive projects/assignments

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?

The assignment includes a list of 5 specific expectations (“You should create a new blog post including the following”), and I use this as a checklist. The assignment is worth a certain number of points, and a student’s score is based solely on the checklist. I want this to be low-stakes in terms of writing — grammar and spelling are not evaluated, and the structure and content of the written work need only loosely fit the instructions. I write a response to each student’s post, and while I don’t share their point score at that time, I will point out if there are significant problems or missing items and encourage the student to make revisions.

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?

This has been one of my most successful writing prompts – I was excited and impressed with the variety of creative and thoughtful responses. Asking them to write about their personal experience provided freedom to talk about the subject without fear of “being wrong,” and gave a rich source of material from which they could draw. Many posts spurred great comments, and I noticed in several cases the comments developed into real conversations (although the extra credit offered for commenting on another post did not extend to multiple comments).
I think this assignment could adapt quite easily to many disciplines. It is often the case that certain words, familiar from our daily lives, take on a specific and technical formal meaning in an academic context which gives students trouble – especially as the “formal” and “informal” definitions may be at odds with one another. I can imagine this activity applying to many such cases – by asking students to explore their existing experience of a word or concept, they begin to focus on the meaning of it in an intentional way, which prepares them to compare and contrast their informal definition with the formal usage.

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.

Link to Assignment: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/2012spr-mat1575-reitz/2012/04/04/openlab-assignment-7-tell-me-about-infinity/

Link to Student Work Examples: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/2012spr-mat1575-reitz/?s=infinity