Research Project Peer Critique

Research Project Peer Critique

Ellen Kim

Hospitality Management

Hospitality Management Research Seminar

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This activity is designed to provide students with an opportunity to conduct self-assessment on their research project and to receive feedback from their peers as well as the instructor. Students will perform self-assessment on their assignments, (1) Problem Statement & Thesis Statement and (2) Draft, using the rubrics provided by the instructor upon completion of the assignments. The homework submitted via Blackboard will be, then, evaluated by classmates by one week after the deadline. In addition to the instructor’s assessment, evaluating students need to provide the complete rubrics along with suggestions for improvement. Reviewers and reviewees will be paired up during the class period to clarify the feedback and to discuss further about the arguments established.

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

• Identify and evaluate the clarity of the research problem statement.
• Determine the theoretical or logical rationale of the research problem.
• Appraise the thoroughness and relevance of the literature review.
• Assess the credibility of the research (application of APA citation).
• Assess the theoretical perspectives and/or appropriate assumptions of the researchers.
• Assess the clarity and consistency of the results.
• Strengthen writing skills.

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 exercise consists of two phases:
1) Phase 1 (Problem Statement & Thesis Statement): Students will be asked to submit the formulated problem statement and thesis statement in Week 4. Peer evaluation will be completed by Week 5 and class discussion will follow for about 15 minutes in Week 5.
2) Phase 2 (Draft): The research draft following APA citation is due Week 10 and peer assessment is due Week 11. Peer discussion will be done in Week 11.

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 exercise needs clearly defined grading rubrics and an instruction on how to grade students’ work with the rubrics should be provided to students during the class period.

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?

Existing grading rubrics will be refined for this exercise. Students will use the updated rubrics for self-assessment and peer-review.

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 ran a pilot test of this activity in Spring 2016. I found that students could gain various perspectives on tourism issues for investigation in a dynamic environment.

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

Site Visit, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Site Visit, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Karen Goodlad, https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/karengoodlad/

Department of Hospitality Management, School of Professional Studies

HMGT 1101, Perspectives of Hospitality Management, https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/goodlad-hmgt1101-f14/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

Engage in a site visit of the Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as the surrounding community and lead discussions about tourism on the Brooklyn Waterfront as it pertains to a particular area of tourism.

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

A number of goals can be achieved through this place-based activity. Student Learning Outcomes
• Discuss scope of the hospitality and tourism industry
• Gather information from observation in regard to the hospitality industry from a local, national and global perspective
• Evaluate and apply information discerningly from a variety of sources

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 positioned early in the semester in order to provide an example of critical observation. But it can be conducted at any point in the semester. Weather is consideration.

An entire class session (2 ½ hours) is devoted to the place-based activity. Students meet at the designated location which is in walking distance to campus, consideration is given to ensure students coming from or going to other classes can do so without concern of being late. In addition to the actual day of visit, 10 minutes is dedicated during the prior class session and 5 minutes in the subsequent class session.

Outside of class it is expected that a student would spend 30-45 minutes in preparation and 15 minutes to reflect. The information gathered can be used to support future assignments.

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

Faculty should communicate with any industry partners that may be involved in the activity. I secure the date 4-6 weeks in advance and confirm 2 weeks and 1 week prior.

Students receive instruction about the subject specific prep they must do, and are asked to bring facts about tourism as well as the Brooklyn Waterfront in particular. They are also asked to learn about the industry partners that might be involved. In this case The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy and Brooklyn Roasting Company. In addition, they are told how to find the meeting location and are asked to exchange phone numbers with at least two other classmates.

The activity is low stakes but is used as a support parts for two other written research projects.

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.

First-year seminars and experiences, Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), 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?

A rubric is not used for this particular activity. Assessment is conducted through reflection.

This course is part of the Gen Ed Assessment initiative but other assignments are used (Information Literacy and Oral Communication).

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 used this activity was 2011 and it has been an important part of the course ever since. I feel that when teaching, especially first time freshman, it is valuable to model what you expect and use scaffolding techniques.

There are challenges in all assignments and activities, for this one in particular I have found that working with industry partners needs to be done in a diligent manner.

I usually change all my assignments and activities in a small way each time I teach them. In 2014, and then repeated in 2015, I shifted to having the students come prepared with historical facts about the Brooklyn Waterfront instead of having a representative from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy lead that activity. They seem to find similar facts to the professional representative and are more engaged in the process. The activity is structured in a way that can easily include the shifting development of the waterfront and changes in our student population from year to year and class to class.

Over and over again I find that this is the first time students are at the Brooklyn Bridge Park and are seriously considering what happens on the Brooklyn waterfront. They have expressed excitement about the actual location and meeting with industry professionals. Though the immediate learning opportunity is valuable I find that when students come to me 6 months or a year plus later and say “Remember when we went to the park? That was so cool. I brought my family there to show them all the things that happen there” that the time invested in preparing for and participating in the activity will have positive lasting effects. It is a great way to support critical observation.

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.

Site visit advice for students: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/goodlad-hmgt1101-fall15/site-visits/

Day of assignment: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/goodlad-hmgt1101-fall15/site-visits/brooklyn-bridge-park/

Student reflection: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/goodlad-hmgt1101-fall15/category/brooklyn-bridge-park-submissions/

Student reflection: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/goodlad-hmgt1101-fall15/category/brooklyn-bridge-park-submissions/

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/

Term Paper Peer Review

Term Paper Peer Review

Mery Diaz https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/mdiaz/

Human Services/SPS

https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/stories-of-service/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

This peer-review activity is connected to the HUS 1101 term paper and is designed to strengthen student writing for the human services. In groups of four, students will provide and receive feedback on a draft of part 1 of their term paper. Each student will receive a copy of all group member drafts. With the use of an assessment rubric, each student will provide and receive verbal and written comments on content; clarity; evidence to support argument; and APA citations and references.

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

Students will strengthen writing skills.
Students will be engaged in active learning of the use of APA citation and references, and the use of peer-review journals to support their arguments.
Students will encounter greater diversity of perspective and feedback
Students will learn to the different stages of writing and refining their writing.

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 will take place during the 5th session.
Instructors should expect to actively build preparation over the course of 3 sessions.
Instructors should expect to devote a portion of classroom time for prep and activity.

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 is a low-stakes activity that will prepare students for a high-stakes assignment near the end of the semester.
This activity will require three sessions for students to be prepared to provide and receive feedback.
During session 2 of the semester, the instructor will devote a portion of the lecture to deliver instruction on peer-reviewed journals and book sources and APA citation and references.
During session 6, the instructor will devote time to include an in-class writing assignment where students will have brought 2 sources (other than the course textbook) with prior notice to use as they begin a first draft of the first section of their term paper.
The instructor should also discuss the term paper and rubric that will be used to assess student performance.
The peer-review will take place during the 4th session during a portion of class time. Prior to this session, students will have been prompted to bring 4 typed and double-spaced copies of their drafts with reference page. Members of the group will receive copies of rubric that they will use to review and provide feedback. The instructor should model the use of the rubric and how to provide productive and respectful feedback to peers. The group should provide a summary for the instructor on what each member will need to work on to strengthen their papers.

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.

Learning communities, Common intellectual experiences (core curriculum), Writing-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?

Rubric Grading Rubric Mery Diaz L4 2015 developed for term paper. Students will use this to self-assess and peer-review.

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 activity will be implemented during the Fall 2015 semester

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.

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

“How Long is the Brooklyn Bridge?” – Field Trip

“How Long is the Brooklyn Bridge?” – Field Trip

Jonas Reitz (with Ezra Halleck) https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/jreitz/

Mathematics/ School of Arts and Sciences

MAT 1175 Fundamentals of Mathematics https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/mat1175fa2011/

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

In this introductory mathematics course students are exposed to a variety of mathematical ideas in the abstract, with relatively few built-in applications or connections to the “real world”. By taking students out of the classroom, exposing them to a local New York Landmark (walking across the Brooklyn Bridge), and asking them to use the mathematical knowledge in the course to estimate the length of the bridge, we allow them to make a concrete connection between their own experience and the ideas in the text. The field trip itself provides plenty of opportunity for informal interaction among students and faculty, and overcoming the practical difficulties (staying together, navigating the New York streets, following instructions, accomplishing the goals of the day) gives the class a shared experience that builds community and trust. We paused at the halfway point of the bridge to participate in an icebreaker activity (a bingo variant, which encouraged meeting and talking to many different classmates). Finally, students were asked to take a photo of themselves on the bridge.
Following the trip, students completed a followup assignment on the OpenLab in which they posted the results of their calculations (how long is the Brooklyn Bridge), their photo from the trip, and a reflection on the process.

The field trip combined two MAT 1175 sections (my own section and a one taught by my colleague, Ezra Halleck), and provided a great opportunity for students in both sections to make connections.

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

This activity uses an abstract idea (proportions) to answer a concrete real-world problem, “How long is the Brooklyn Bridge?”. Students compare the time it takes them to talk a known distance (the length of the City Tech block of Tillary Street, from Jay Street to Adams Street) with the time it takes them to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. By solving a proportion, they are able to use their time measurements to estimate the length of the bridge. This demonstrates the underlying idea of proportions in a familiar, outside-the-classroom context, and provides perspective on the abstract notions presented in the text.

In addition, this activity (which took place early in the semester) provided a great way to help establish a sense of community in the class. We took advantage of this activity as a way for students to form groups that included members from both participating sections, which went on to complete a larger group project over the course of the semester.

Finally, this activity was a great way to introduce technical skills – creating a blog post, uploading photos, adding tags, and so on.

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 took place very early in the semester – the second or third week of class. It was a great way to break the ice, to get students engaged with the material and interacting with one another, and to establish a new perspective on the material at hand and on the college experience generally (especially since this course has many first-time freshman students). This meant that planning had to take place very early – distributing field trip instructions, completing necessary paperwork, and preparing the class for day of the trip. We devoted about 15 minutes in class to discussing the trip (prior to the trip itself), one day of class for the trip, and about 15 minutes in class discussing the results of trip (the week following). We expected students to spend about an hour outside of class writing completing the followup assignment on the OpenLab.

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

Any City Tech field trip requires proper paperwork to be completed, including permission forms for any students under the age of 18. We provided detailed logistical instructions for the day of the trip, including directions (in case students came late and wanted to catch up with us) and suggestions of what to wear and bring (comfortable walking shoes, weather-appropriate attire, water bottle, camera, stopwatch). We also created written instructions for the mathematical part of the trip, detailing where and how to time themselves walking and emphasizing the importance of maintaining a steady walking pace. The activity is low-stakes but is counted towards their grade – we did not deduct points for wildly unrealistic estimations of the bridge length, for example, as long as they were supported by data recorded on the trip, and calculations were shown clearly. Students that missed class that day were allowed to make it up by following the instructions on their own and completing the followup assignment on the OpenLab.

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), 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?

The field trip itself was not assessed, beyond checking attendance. The followup assignment included a list of 5 specific expectations (“Create a new blog post responding to the field trip.”), and this was used as a checklist. The assignment was worth a certain number of points, and a student’s score is based solely on the checklist. We wanted 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.

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 first time I took students out of the classroom, and I was gratified by the energy and excitement that this simple change of scenery infused in the class. It was great to see students interacting with each other (and with me) in an informal setting, and I believe that the connections that were made that day had a lasting impact on the students’ experience.

I was surprised at the amount of planning and logistics that were involved in even a simple field trip, and in the future I will aim to have my planning absolutely complete prior to the start of the semester. It was difficult to carve out time in our overfull departmental syllabus to allow the trip to take place. While we did not cover a great deal of mathematical content on this day, I still believe it was a worthwhile investment of time – the mathematical content that we incorporated was presented in a way that drove home the efficacy and wide applicability of the underlying ideas, which I think our students will remember beyond the end of the course (unlike the vast majority of the other content).

I think this kind of activity is widely adaptable to many disciplines – for me, this is not a project about studying proportions, but instead about allowing students to experience a connection between course content and the outside world. Asking students to step out of the classroom immediately creates new perspective, and giving them something “hands on” to do involves them in the course content in a way that is difficult to do inside the classroom walls, in the context of a traditional textbook. In addition, the social and emotional impact on the class can be profound – especially in large, “non-major” courses in which students are not already incorporated into a discipline-specific cohort, and may not be predisposed towards engagement in the material.

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.

Field trip instructions:
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/mat1175fa2011/assignments/day-5-brooklyn-bridge-field-trip/

Followup assignment:
https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/mat1175fa2011/brooklyn-bridge-trip-followup-assignment/

Student work: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/mat1175fa2011/?s=field+trip+response

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.