Year 2 in review

Opening Gateways is a 5 year collaboration between the New York City College of Technology and the Borough of Manhattan Community College with the goal of supporting student success in gateway mathematics courses for STEM disciplines (read more about Opening Gateways).  The second year of the Opening Gateways project comes to a close on September 30th, 2017.  It has been an exciting and eventful year, focussed on supporting and enhancing the college algebra and trigonometry courses at City Tech (MAT 1275) and BMCC (MAT 056). In addition to ongoing efforts developing WeBWorK and other Open Educational Resources (OERs), we had the pleasure of working with the first cohort of Opening Gateways Fellows as they participated in the Opening Gateways seminar and implemented OERs and active learning strategies in the classroom.  Here is a brief look at our activities:

Opening Gateways Faculty Seminar

The first annual cohort of faculty fellows (23 in all, across two campuses) joined the project in Fall 2016 and spent the semester attending an intensive seminar series.  Participants explored active learning, open digital pedagogy, open educational resources, flipped classrooms,  WeBWorK, video development, advisement best practices, and STEM application development.  In the Spring semester faculty fellows implemented what they learned in the classroom, bringing together resources and practices to enhance their teaching and reflecting on the results.  They presented their work at the Opening Gateways Colloquium in May.   You can take a closer look at the first year faculty seminar activities on the 2016-2017 Opening Gateways Faculty Seminar OpenLab site.

The second cohort of fellows joined the project this month Рthis group will focus on the same courses for a second year, MAT 1275 at City Tech and MAT 056 at BMCC, extending and expanding the work of the first cohort and helping to solidify best practices for future years.  Their experiences will be documented on the 2017-2018 Opening Gateways Faculty Seminar OpenLab site.

Open Educational Resources

Our OER development teams were closely involved in the faculty seminar activities, providing technical and pedagogical support for the resources they had developed and collecting valuable feedback as these resources were used in the classroom in a variety of ways.  Ongoing work is taking place to refine and improve resources based on this feedback, and to enhance and extend resources in response to needs identified over the course of the year.  OER development has included custom WeBWorK assignments mirroring the course syllabi and integrating pedagogical best practices, as well as custom video development and development of a video resource site on the OpenLab.

OpenLab-WeBWorK Integration

Team members at City Tech have worked closely with external developers to design and build this exciting technological integration of two open source platforms, WeBWorK and WordPress/BuddyPress (the technology underlying the OpenLab). ¬†The system underwent testing in Fall 2016 and was rolled out across all City Tech Fellows’ sections in Spring 2017. ¬†Enhancements, including new feature development, are taking place and will be ready for testing in Fall 2017. You can take a look at current activity¬†by visiting the¬†WeBWorK on the OpenLab¬†site.

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