A Peek on the Inside: Place Based Learning at Body World Exhibit

A Peek on the Inside: Place Based Learning at Body World Exhibit

Linda Bradley

Nursing/School of Professional Studies

Phyiscal Assessment NUR 3010

Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity

The Bodies exhibit provides a fun and engaging way to provide the students with the ability to take abstract concepts and make them into a tangible reality. This will impact their practice and thus the thousands of people they will come in to contact for their lifetime as a nurse. There is no grade for this I would consider this low stakes.

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

Physical Assessment course includes review of anatomy and physiology, description of alterations in a system and assessment techniques which the student practice. As with most courses it does so in sections, thus providing the students with this learning experience it will:
1. analyze the connections between the organ locations and physical assessment techniques
2. understand the body’s normal and abnormal function
3. appreciate stress and lifestyle impact on the body

General Education SLOs:
Which of City Tech’s General Education Student Learning Outcomes does this activity address? Please be as precise as possible.

Information Literacy is the Learning outcome that this activity addresses: The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.

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?

1. On first day of class during introduction of the course, devote time to introduce the students to the planned experience

2. Schedule the experience toward the end of 2/3rd of the course

3. Offer the course during one of the online course days or if your department allows students to participate in learning as part of their course offsite on their own then schedule it based on your departments abilities

4. State length of experience expectations which is approximately 2 hours at the exhibit

5. Provide pre and post experience assignment documents for student’s completion

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

1. Discuss and gain consensus for this experience with fellow course faculty and Chair of your department. Decide how you will fund this experience, if this would enhance a portion of your course or would replace an assignment, low stakes or high stakes, grade or not, the class schedule and best possible time that would allow this experience to occur. This then would require that you consider this experience well in advance of the beginning of the semester to receive the maximum amount of participation.
2. Contact the Body World Exhibit group number and discuss date, time, number of students and faculty and other pertinent instructions. Ask for a Group sales account representative 866.987.9692 info@tsxnyc.com 226 W. 44th Street New York, NY 10036
3. Once you have completed your initial discussions and have gained consensus in all areas required for the success of this endeavor next steps would be to provide the students with an overview of the experience, expectations, pre-experience assignment, in class discussion and post experience assignment. Generate a list of students and faculty who will attend. Provide everyone with the required Travel Waiver. (If your students are under 18 there is specific instructions on the document)
4. Obtain final list of all attendees and all must complete Travel Waiver and submit to Evening office more than two weeks before the trip.
5. Complete and send travel waivers to of which your Chair and your Dean/Provost would sign for approval of the off campus trip
6. Faculty must have complete a current Title IX training and signed document which must be included in the forms send to the Evening office along with all of the travel waivers.
7. Meet the students at the site at the specified time (If your students are under 18 there is specific instructions on the document)
8. Enjoy the experience! But be sure to seek opportunities to turn the students attention to areas related to course content, SLOs and any other area you deem valuable
9. Provide the students with an expected due date for their assignment

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?

Assessment of this place-based learning experience would be through:
1. I would provide the students with a question prompt within the course Open Lab site. Prior to this I would utilize the computer lab at the beginning of the course to provide Blackboard and Open Lab orientation
2. Students would then add their own question for consideration prior to the experience. I
3. Students would choose those most appropriate and post them.
4. We would then meet at the exhibit and then they would return to those questions and complete them. I would also provide them with an opportunity to provide a reflection of their experience.
5. I would use the Information Literacy Value rubric
6. This course would be a 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?

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 most definitely would repeat this experience. The challenge will be funding, scheduling and timing so that the majority of the students would be able to attend, obtaining signed travel forms in advance of the experience. The change I would make is to include more student input as noted in the assessment process indicated above.

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.

Why is this change different?
*It will incorporate student’s decisions as to what will be the area of focus related to the planned experience
*Students will be provided with an opportunity to determine the scope of the questions and key concepts before the experience and use them post experience
*Systematically analyze their own and others assumptions and evaluate the relevance of contexts when they present their positions.

What inspired the change?
* Incorporation of importance of classroom climate—adding humor and fun into the classroom
*Teaching to the needs and learning styles of the students and not that of the faculty
* Need to make abstract scientific and clinical information into tangible transferable information

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

Government Concepts Explained with Photos from Brooklyn

Government Concepts Explained with Photos from Brooklyn

M. Victoria PĂ©rez-RĂ­os

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

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/

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