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

Visit to a Drugstore

Visit to a Drugstore

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

Dental Hygiene/SPS

DEN 2315

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This assignment is focused on place-based learning as the activity happens outside of class. It is part of DEN 2315 course, Oral Pharmacology, taken by our second year students in a 5-week Summer session. Full description for students can be found here: Visit to a Drugstore Assignment 2015

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

1. to enhance classroom learning by observing the availability and selection of herbal and nutritional supplements, and vitamins/minerals in a drugstore or supermarket of students’ choice;

2. to work individually or in groups of 2-4, depending on the students’ preference, and learn to work in teams;

3. to investigate the claims listed on the package of the selected supplement and find information from independent academic or professional sources;

4. to explain possible adverse effects, drug interactions, and effects on dental/periodontal conditions and process of dental hygiene care;

5. to share the findings, including pictures from the visit to the drugstore, references, and personal impressions with classmates on OpenLab.

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 3rd of the four OpenLab written assignments and it is due at the end of week 3 of our Summer session.

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

as a place-based assignment, this activity requires extra time and some additional travel from students, but because they can select the drugstore to visit and choose to either work individually or in groups, it hasn’t presented any difficulties.

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

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. 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). Although reading and commenting on each others’ posts was not graded, I strongly encouraged it, and many students did reflect on information shared in group. The post authors, however, were responsible to answer any questions I or the classmates asked and to provide additional information when necessary.

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 my favorite assignment that I created and started using in 2014 and the students share with me that it’s their favorite as well. Visiting a drugstore for a specific purpose can be overwhelming due to the variety of available supplements, their brands, and dosages, and my goal is to let the students experience this and become aware of how our patients who don’t have background information that we know, and perhaps don’t have access to reliable and trustworthy sources of information, might feel in a similar situation. Many students describe this assignment as an eye-opening experience and share that they learn very much from it.

Here are some of the students’ quotes from this year’s posts:

“This assignment made me realize just how many conditions one drug can treat, as well as just how much side effects may occur with the use of these drugs. It really goes to show just how complex the field of pharmacology really is, and just how much there is still to learn.“

“This exercise helped me learn that before I buy such things it is important to do my own research. Trusting the words on a bottle is simply not enough!”

“With all that we have learned in class and my own research I have done, I have decided to stop taking vitamin supplements all together. This assignment has opened my eyes even more and I rather get my vitamin intakes from real food sources.”

I intend to continue using this place-based activity in the coming years and i hope my students will continue to learn from this experience and enjoy the trip!

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.