What is the OpenLab?

The OpenLab is City Tech’s open online community. It’s designed to support teaching, learning, and collaboration, and can be used by everyone at the college. 

  • Open: Unlike traditional closed teaching platforms, the OpenLab allows members to share their work across the college and with the world.
  • Lab: Like a lab, the OpenLab provides a virtual space where students, faculty, staff, and alumni can work together, experiment, and innovate.
Screenshot of the OpenLab homepage.

What can you use it for?

  • Courses: The OpenLab is used in hundreds of courses each semester, from Dental Hygiene to Hospitality Management, English to Entertainment Technology. 
  • Projects: Students use the OpenLab for individual and group projects; faculty and staff use it for projects of all kinds. 
  • Clubs are used by formal clubs that are supported by the Student Government Association and by informal groups; examples are Girls Who Code and the Hospitality Management Ambassadors Club
  • Portfolios: Portfolios are sites where students, faculty, and staff can showcase their work. Everyone can create a portfolio, which is linked from their OpenLab profile page.
  • The OpenLab is also City Tech’s platform for Open Educational Resources, open course materials that are free to use.

Why use the OpenLab?

  • It’s open: 
    • You can share your work with others at City Tech and beyond; 
    • You can see and learn from the work that students are doing in other classes;
    • You can use free, open course materials.
  • It’s useful: 
    • The OpenLab runs on WordPress, an open source publishing platform that powers over 35% of sites on the internet;
    • Using it gives you experience in presenting yourself online and helps you learn valuable digital skills.  
  • It’s a community: 
    • You can use it to connect, collaborate, and network with other students, faculty, and staff
    • That’s especially important when the campus is closed!  
  • It’s yours: 
    • Because the OpenLab is run by your colleagues, not a private corporation, you have a voice in how it works. OpenLab members choose how to use the site, own the materials they post there, and can take them when they leave. If you have ideas, please share them!

Take a look around!

Thousands of students use the OpenLab every year and share their work in Courses, Projects, Clubs, and Portfolios. Many of these are open to the public – that means you can check them out!

Try it now! In a new tab, go to the Courses directory and take a look around. You can use the Search area at the right to search for courses in departments you’re interested in. If a course is open, you’ll see a “Visit Site” link under the course avatar.

When you’re done, return to this tutorial and check out the next section “Get Started” to set up your OpenLab account.

OpenLab Courses directory