Open Pedagogy Event (2/21): Curating Student Work in ePortfolios

“Red Bull Curates” by Laine Pub Company

Curating Student Work in ePortfolios

Thursday, February 21, 2019, 4:30-6:00pm (Faculty Commons, N227)

*Refreshments will be served. (Thanks to the Provost’s Office for its generous support of this event!)

*Part-time faculty are eligible to receive a stipend for participation.

*Please RSVP by commenting on this post. Please share this invitation with your colleagues!

Join the OpenLab Team, City Tech faculty and staff, and CUNY colleagues at our next Open Pedagogy event, where we’ll be discussing teaching and learning with ePortfolios on the OpenLab. While ePortfolios are the work of students, faculty and staff have a key role in helping students to build an online presence and curate an ePortfolio that is reflexive, engaging, and professional. ePortfolios on the OpenLab are designed to allow students to create professional websites that showcase their academic and professional experiences, as well as a space to reflect on these experiences. We’ll discuss how ePortfolios can be integrated into class-based assignments, and the challenges of having students curate their work in the open, public-facing space of the OpenLab. We’ll consider the following questions:

  • How can the opportunities available in digital spaces change the way we think about curation in teaching and learning (and how we teach and learn through curation)?
  • How can ePortfolios scaffolded into students’ coursework at City Tech help students curate and reflect on their academic, extracurricular, and personal growth?
  • How can ePortfolios be revised as a student approaches graduation to present a professional portfolio for their career or graduate studies aspirations?
  • How does working individually, publicly, and socially change the way we implement and consider curatorial strategies?

This event kicks off our Spring 2019 Open Pedagogy series on curation in open digital pedagogy, and we’re excited to start a conversation around how “curation”–practically and conceptually–can be integrated into teaching and learning on the OpenLab.

Save the date for our upcoming linked workshop, “Curating Student Work in ePortfolios, ” where we will share best practices for / do hands-on work for incorporating ePortfolios into coursework to facilitate student curation of their academic work (Friday, March 1, 12:00-1:30 PM Room G606).

Recommended Readings:

 

Troubling Race in the Classroom, 2/13

Our colleagues at the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center send along the following invitation:

Troubling Race in the Classroom
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
3-5pm, Room C204
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10036

Many college instructors struggle to engage students in complex thinking about race and racism. Such work is increasingly necessary, but the range of perspectives in many classrooms can make discussing such topics challenging for both students and instructors alike. Strong feelings and opinions, as well as divergent and disparate experience and knowledge, demand a thoughtful and creative pedagogical approach.

These challenges can make dialogues about race and racial justice uncomfortable, emotional, and difficult. But a classroom that features a range of knowledge and experiences also has the potential to fuel transformative learning. Students and faculty have opportunities to expand their vision of the world through reading and dialog alongside those with very different experiences.

Join the Teaching and Learning Center for a workshop where we will discuss some of the theories that have informed our approaches to teaching about race and racism in our respective disciplines. Together, we will consider both the challenges to and potential for engaging race in classroom spaces, ranging from how to address the unexpected, alarming comment to how to facilitate entire courses. We will conclude by documenting and sharing our collective knowledge about teaching and learning about race in the classroom.

Register to attend this workshop at http://cuny.is/tlc-spring-19.

(note that there are options for non-GC students at the bottom of the list of programs in the registration form!)

Workshop: Hip-Hop Pedagogy, 2/14

Our colleagues at the Futures Initiative (at the CUNY Graduate Center) send along this invitation for a workshop on hip-hop and pedagogy moderated by Futures Initiative Fellow Kashema Hutchinson. It’s at the CUNY Graduate Center on February 14 at 12pm in room 9207.

This workshop will be conducted as a cypher, a hip hop cultural event, such as freestyling or battling that takes place in a circle, to discuss the relationship between the elements of hip-hop culture and pedagogy in traditional and non-traditional educative spaces. Narratives and infographics will be used to examine the different types of hip-hop pedagogy. Topics such as identity, school to confinement pathways and mass incarceration will also be addressed. Participants will include students from the Undergraduate Leaders Fellowship.

Continue reading “Workshop: Hip-Hop Pedagogy, 2/14”

Pedagogy Profile: Professor Javiela Evangelista

Prof. Evangelista headshotThis month we’re profiling Professor Javiela Evangelista, an Assistant Professor and Caribbeanist in the African American Studies Department. Professor Evangelista assumed her current position in 2016, after joining the City Tech community in 2013 as an adjunct lecturer.

How and why did you begin using the OpenLab, and how have you integrated the platform into your pedagogical practices? 

I started using OpenLab actively as Open Educational Resources (OER) Fellow (2017-1018).  I developed the OER website on Openlab Fall 2017 and implemented it in my Africana Folklore: AFR 1130 course, Spring 2018. AFR 1130 is a foundational course for the department. In the course we learn about central concepts, issues and events in the African Diaspora and improve our writing. The course supports the department’s mission to “bring research, critical analysis, and interpretation to bear on the contributions of peoples of African descent to the genesis and the development of human civilization.” By providing a foundational understanding of the African diaspora, the course aims to better enable students to navigate future courses in the department.

The majority of the readings – from ebooks, to peer reviewed articles, websites for cultural institutions, to videos – are accessible from the Openlab. The Openlab provided a central space for the OER which aims to provide greater access, with material that is free of cost to students. This access can serve our students with budgetary constraints and also help the college keep up with relevant material and in a wide range of mediums, which often encourages greater student engagement. Towards this end the Openlab served our course by enabling the organization of the material by theme and in the case of AFR 1130, by geographic area. We added tags to each post to make material easily searchable and to allow for reorganization in the future, by cultural themes or chronologically, for example. The syllabus is posted as a pdf and also imbedded onto the page for easy access and scrolling. We added a table of contents modeled after wikipedia at the beginning of major sections, which helps students and readers know what to expect on the page, and also makes navigation much easier (especially from cell phones, which may be an important consideration for access).

How has the OpenLab transformed or expanded your pedagogy, and the pedagogical values you’re able to realize in your courses and educational practice?

With AFR 1130 as an OER, I was obligated to step outside of my comfort zone and explore a range of materials which the Openlab hosted. In order to cover an expansive geographical content (the entire African diaspora) and timeframe (14thc – present), I made an effort to cast a wide net when searching for material, not only to share in class, but also for students to review at home. This led to students listening to podcasts and watching Ted Talks by some of the same authors that we would have simply read in my other courses. For example, in AFR 1130 to conclude the course, students often read “#Ferguson: Digital Protest, Hashtag Ethnography and the Racial Politics of Social Media in the United States,” by Yarimar Bonilla and Jonathan Rosa in order to evaluate social media as a form of folklore and cultural production.  When researching Bonilla’s OERs I found one of her interviews on the Brian Lehrer Radio Show “How Colonialism in the Caribbean Affects Hurricane Prep and Recovery.” Posted on the Openlab, this new material enabled us to analyze the importance of journalism (particularly independent media) as a form of folklore, while also addressing the politics of Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory.

Aside from courses, how does the OpenLab support your pedagogical practices and ambitions?

I am an activist and public anthropologist whose social justice research, addresses civil liberties and human rights in the African diaspora. My research is in service of the public, and as a result, I participate in collaborative work with those impacted by the issues I aim to address, from research design through implementation. At it’s best, academic work expands the classroom and engages the public in support of social justice. The open nature of the Openlab works in concert with my values and pedagogy. It is important that there is transparency and access in our work. Historian Manning Marable argues that due to racial inequality which results in omissions and misrepresentations in knowledge production, African American Studies has always been and should continue to be, not only descriptive, but also corrective and prescriptive.  This is a guiding principle in my research and also my pedagogy. In all of the courses that I teach, students engage in “pracademics,” essentially the theory that those who research inequality should also contribute to changing it, in practice (Davis 2003).

In the new course AFR 2402ID The Heritage of Imperialism (which I am currently developing an Openlab site for) and AFR 1130, we take a field trip visit to Democracy Now Studios! (DN!) in order to view a recording and have a discussion with staff. During the visit, student’s learn about the value of independent media as a corrective within our society. In preparation for the visit to DN!, students analyze how stories are framed by comparing CNN’s coverage of the “riots” in Baltimore, with DN!’s coverage of the same events as an “uprising.” I teach students to define and utilize the concepts of imperialism, race, and diaspora while demonstrating an understanding of the vast application and complexity of these concepts.

Studens sit in semi-circle speaking with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! studios.
Students speaking with Amy Goodman at Democracy Now! studios.

In AFR 2402ID students also learn to analyze contemporary connections to imperialism for African descendants in consideration of various points of view. For example, students learn that contemporary continuities of imperialism may manifest in communities that are economically and politically marginalized, as well as privileged communities. Likewise, students come to understand the legacy of imperialism as not solely oppressive, but also resistive. I also guide students to analyze how race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, migration, capitalism and labor, the state and militarism, and ideals of expansion and expulsion are related to the historical and contemporary development of various African diasporic societies and hence the heritage of imperialism within the African diaspora. By considering the heritage of imperialism in their own lives and in conversation with guest activists, educators, healthcare providers and journalists for example, students engage in place-based learning and further contribute to NYCCT’s interdisciplinary mission. As a cultural anthropologist, ethnography and testimony are centered in my courses to amplify marginalized concerns and to explore strategies that may serve as correctives. The Openlab provides an important place for these conversations in a space open to the public.

As a result of a year long Writing Across the Curriculum Fellowship at Lehman College,  I initiated a Writing Resource Center within blackboard to support students as they strengthen their writing, which is a central goal in my courses. I plan to add the Resource Center to the Openlab. In the interim, the assignments are posted on Blackboard.

My teaching approach includes scaffolded assignments, formal and informal writing, and high and low stakes assignments to enable student growth through practice and process.More specifically, we use writing to: 1) Understand, summarize, analyze, and critique course material using informal and formal writing. 2) Employ writing as an essential tool for learning course material. 3) Formulate and support a central argument or claim in their formal writing assignments.4) Effectively integrate and organize evidence to support their claims. 5) Practice writing for different purposes, audiences, and in various media. 6) Follow the writing conventions of the discipline and its related professions. 7) Follow the conventions of English grammar and mechanics in their writing. 8) Compose multiple drafts in order to proofread, and revise clear and logical sentences using correct spelling, conventional punctuation, correct grammar and syntax. Use varied sentence structure. Order and connect sentences and paragraphs effectively, using transitions and parallelism. 9) Apply feedback from faculty and peers during the revision process. 10) Cite sources within the text and on a reference page according to APA, MLA or Chicago style guidelines.

A group shot of students visiting Democracy Now! studios.
A group shot of students visiting Democracy Now! studios.

CUNY IT Conference 2018

Please see below the invitation to the CUNY IT conference next Thursday and Friday, November 29th and 30th, as well as a link for registering for the conference.

The OpenLab team will be presenting, so come join us: Friday, 9:30am: “Opening Education at CUNY with Commons in A Box OpenLab” and Friday, 1:00pm: “Opening the OpenLab at City Tech: Meeting CUNY’s Challenges.” Reply with a comment to let us know when you’re presenting, too!

****************************
TO:                      The CUNY Community
FROM:               Brian Cohen
DATE:                November 6, 2018
RE:                      Invitation to the 2018 CUNY Instructional/Information Technology Conference

I am delighted to extend to you and your colleagues this invitation to attend the 17th Annual CUNY IT Conference, which will take place this year on Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30 at John Jay College. I hope you will join me in attending; registration is free for members of the CUNY community. Please be aware that pre-registration is important as we need to be able to estimate attendance. You will find an overview of the Conference, the full program and the keynotes, and the link to register at www.centerdigitaled.com/events/CUNY-IT-Conference.html

The theme for this year’s conference is “Technology and Education: Challenges and Opportunities,” which will include the following topics:

·         How does technology provide challenges and opportunities for multiple stakeholders at CUNY and across the varied sectors of teaching, learning, research, and administration?

·         How do educators perceive the challenges and opportunities of technology in the classroom? And how do they balance them?

·         How can technology create new opportunities for students? What challenges does technology present that may also be viewed as opportunities for teaching and learning?

As with prior conferences, this year will feature two keynote speakers. The Thursday keynote is the author and NPR lead education reporter Anya Kamenetz, who will offer new ideas on the evolution of education and learning, including reforms and actions necessary to advance workforce training and reduce student debt. The Friday keynote speaker is Professor Stephen Brier from the Graduate Center’s Urban Education PhD program and founder and first coordinator of the Graduate Center’s Interactive Technology and Pedagogy certificate program.

The Conference begins at 12 pm on November 29, followed by two sets of concurrent presentations, Anya Kamenetz’s keynote address at 3:30 pm, and Interim Chancellor Vita C. Rabinowitz’s Welcome to the Annual CUNY Technology Awards at 4:30 pm. Day 2 (November 30) begins with continental breakfast at 8:30 am, concurrent sessions starting at 9:30 am, Professor Brier’s keynote address at 10:45 am, lunch, two more sets of concurrent sessions, and finally an end-of-day drawing with prizes from the vendors.

I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Data & Society Faculty Fellowship

Call for Faculty Fellows


Deadline for applications: December 17, 2018

Data & Society is now accepting Faculty Fellows applications for our 2019-20 Class of Fellows. In addition to Faculty Fellows, the 2019-20 class will include Organizational Bridge and Arts & Culture Fellows. We will open a separate call for Organizational Bridge and Arts & Culture Fellows in January 2019.

The deadline for Faculty Fellows applications is December 17, 2018

Please direct inquiries about the fellows program or application process to fellowsapp@datasociety.net.

Questions will not reflect negatively on your application. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Overview


“Our Stories” of Becoming a College Student: A Digital Writing Project for First Year Students

I am super excited to share our recently published article in the The Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy. It expresses a blogging assignment that served as a low-stakes activity that encourages students to make sense of the social, emotional and bureaucratic challenges in their transition to college, and simultaneously develops digital literacy.

Our Stories of Becoming a College Student: A Digital Writing Project for First Year Students

Philip Kreniske, The HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies at Columbia University
Karen Goodlad, New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Jennifer Sears, New York City College of Technology, CUNY
Sandra Cheng, New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Pedagogy Profile: Professor Masato Nakamura

Headshot of Professor Nakamura. This month we’re profiling Professor Masato Nakamura, an Assistant Professor and BTech Coordinator in the departments of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Industrial Design Technology. Professor Nakamura  joined the City Tech community in August 2011.

How were you introduced the platform and when/how did you begin actively using the platform to support your pedagogy?

When I started teaching courses in the programs of Mechanical Engineering Technology and Industrial Design Technology in Fall 2011, I was looking for a platform that had an interactive online communication capability, as well as a simple process for uploading information, such as posting announcements, exercises, and homework assignments. Especially, I was looking for a platform that was publicly available, but there wasn’t much between twitter and a website.

OpenLab is very “open“ for any students who want access to the course information using computers at home, smart phones during their commute from home to campus, and their internship site, as well as during lectures in a classroom. Since almost all students in MECH and IND programs are involved in computer lab projects, OpenLab was a good fit.

Why did you decide to start using the OpenLab?

The OpenLab is a web-based platform that offers students easy access to info from computers, smartphones or any other tablet without any access restrictions. Also as an educator, it allows me to seamlessly share contents that I wrote on a whiteboard into a course page on the OpenLab. Unlike other Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Blackboard LMS, the Openlab is user friendly, even for new students who don’t have a login account yet, which is important for class management as a lecturer.  

Can you describe the ways you have integrated the OpenLab into your pedagogical practices?

Students love posting something to instagram, facebook, twitter, blogs, or other messaging systems to communicate with friends and family. In the beginning of the class, I usually post a small question such as “What’s new today?”, “How was the last homework?”, “Did you find any interesting engineering technology news/topics this week?” While taking attendance, I ask students to post their comments. This is a useful way of reminding them with a signal or action that we got together today, here in the classroom, to study mechanical engineering technology and the ways it connects to the industry and real world.

This complements lectures which usually include very narrow topics, and sometimes prompt students ask: “Why we study this topic?” and “How is it connected to the practical?” Through the OpenLab, I communicate this with students.

How has the OpenLab transformed or expanded your pedagogy, and the pedagogical values you’re able to realize in your courses and educational practice?

Teaching engineering technology, I see some students are struggling with an exercise, while others are not, especially when we use software and computers. Each student’s progress is so different. For example, some are almost done with a task, while some are still working on earlier steps.

Differences in learning speed cannot be handled using one or two whiteboard(s) or a handout. However, the OpenLab is a system through which I can easily update content (for example the procedure of an exercise) and add more explanation.

For pedagogical practices, this is a real-time interactive update in the classroom based on an observation of students’ real-time learning processes.

Aside from courses, how does the OpenLab support your pedagogical practices and ambitions? (Note: Think broadly about public education initiatives, course coordination, non-academic student support, clubs, and projects, etc.)

For research activities, students and I are conducting research on renewable energy and environmental simulation at MECH Department’s Energy and Environmental Simulation Laboratory. We are using the OpenLab for updating research progress and enhancing lab members’ communication.

Tomorrow: “Equity, Health, and Learning: Social Determinants of Academic Success” at the Graduate Center

Earlier this semester, the OpenLab team hosted an Open Pedagogy event focused on how open digital pedagogy can support student success in gateway courses. There was a great recap of the event. There was also a linked workshop that showcased some tools on the OpenLab and some practices OpenLab members have put in place to foster student success in their courses and at City Tech.

The Futures Initiative has sent an invitation to all interested to join them for “Equity, Health, and Learning: Social Determinants of Academic Success” (details below in the invitation). This event seems like a great way to continue this conversation beyond City Tech. Added bonus: if you attended our event or workshop, or if you’ve gotten to know the OpenLab team, you’ll notice below that OpenLab digital pedagogy fellow Jesse Rice-Evans is one of the speakers at this Futures Intiative event!

Here’s the invitation:

Dear All,

Please join us on Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 12pm to 1pm at The Graduate Center (Room 9204) for a collaborative discussion that will bring together students, faculty and administrators across CUNY to discuss challenges and opportunities that students face outside of the classroom that impact their success inside of the classroom including access to transportation, healthcare, housing, and food.

Speakers will include Peggy Groce, Former Director, Office of Travel Training, District 75, New York City Department of Education, Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor at CUNY School of Public Health, Chris Palmedo, Associate Professor of Media Marketing, & Communications at CUNY School of Public Health, and Jesse Rice-Evans, Ph.D. Student, English, The Graduate Center, CUNY.

This panel, moderated by Futures Initiative Fellows Jessica Murray and Adashima Oyo, is part of The University Worth Fighting For, a series of workshops that tie student-centered, engaged pedagogical practices to institutional change, race, equality, gender, and social justice.

This event is free. Please RSVP here, seating is limited!

You can also join us:

  • Watching the livestream at bit.ly/FuturesED-live (unedited footage will be available after the workshop for a limited time under “Recent Videos”, and we’ll post an edited version soon)
  • Following the hashtag #fight4edu and tweeting your questions/comments
  • During and after the event, adding your questions and comments to this Google Doc

Please feel free to share this invitation with your network. More details are below.

Panelist Bios

Nicholas Freudenberg is Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Social/Critical Psychology at CUNY and Director of Healthy CUNY, a university-wide initiatives that promotes health for academic success. For more than 30 years, Freudenberg has worked with community organizations, social services agencies, government and others to develop, implement and evaluate policies and programs that promote more equitable access to education and health for children and young people. Healthy CUNY’s recent report Promoting Health for Academic Success is available here. It describes how depression and anxiety, sexual and reproductive health problems, lack of access to health care and food insecurity undermine the academic success of CUNY undergraduates and how CUNY can act to assist students to overcome these issues.

Peggy Groce initiated Travel Training in the NYC Department of Education in 1970 for students with intellectual disabilities who aged out of school at 17 years of age unless they could travel independently to school. Over time, travel training instructional services were offered to students with diverse disabilities in the NYC public schools. Peggy is a strong advocate for including the teaching of disability history and the disability rights movement in our education system, especially to youth with disabilities, parents, educators, and staff of service provider agencies.

Chris Palmedo is an associate professor in the Community Health and Social Sciences department at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy. He teaches courses in health communications, social marketing, and health advocacy, and conducts an online certificate program in social marketing for health offered to students all over the world.  As a Healthy CUNY Initiative faculty fellow, his research is concerned with helping improve student access to mental health and health insurance. He recently co-authored a college textbook which covers personal health in a public health context.

Jesse Rice-Evans (she/her/hers) is a queer femme rhetorician and PhD candidate at the Graduate Center researching intersections of language, disability, and digital culture. She’s the author of five books, including HONOR//SHAME, an interactive digital chapbook out from Gap Riot Press (2018), and The Uninhabitable, forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press in 2019. She teaches queer texts and composition at the City College of New York.

Moderated by:
Jessica Murray, Ph.D. Candidate, Developmental Psychology, The Graduate Center, CUNY
Adashima Oyo, Ph.D. Student, Social Welfare, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Recap: Remixing and Sharing in Open Digital Pedagogy

Image Credit: starsandspirals

On Thursday, October 18th, CUNY faculty and staff got together for the second of two Open Pedagogy Events planned for Fall 2018, Remixing and Sharing in Open Digital Pedagogy. This event asked: What opportunities for sharing and remixing teaching materials do open digital environments like the OpenLab present? What responsibilities do you have when you share and remix the materials of others? What responsibilities do you have when you make your materials open and available to be remixed? What responsibilities do others have toward you when they remix and reuse your materials?

City Tech faculty from English, Mathematics, Computer Systems Technology (CST), and Biology, and the library  joined us in the Faculty Commons (N227). 

A special thanks to Andy McKinney, former OpenLab Community Team member, who joined us from CUNY Central, where he has been working on scaling up OER (Open Educational Resources) initiatives CUNY-wide. A huge thank you also to Cailean Cooney, OER librarian at CityTech, who has been working with faculty to create OERs on the OpenLab. Thank you both for attending the event, sharing your insights regarding open education and the steps being taken throughout CUNY to promote a culture of responsible sharing and remixing of course materials.

It is fairly common for instructors teaching a course for the first time to begin by looking into existing educational materials that can support them in devising a syllabus, assignments, and lesson plans. Such materials can be shared peer-to-peer among colleagues, as well as consulted—to the extent that they are “open” or publicly and freely available for reuse on the internet and the OpenLab. Many instructors acknowledge that sharing and borrowing educational materials has been part of what has made them successful educators. However, many also have honest reservations about making course materials open and sharing them freely given the significant time and effort they take to create. This recognition prompted and guided the evening’s discussion.

We began with a self-reflection and discussion of: “Creating and teaching a course can be time-consuming and challenging, and sometimes instructors are hesitant to make this work (either the process or product) public. How do you [faculty]  feel about sharing your course materials and pedagogy (syllabi, assignments, lesson plans) with others? What about using someone else’s materials? What benefits are there in doing so? What reservations might you have?”  During the discussion portion, we discussed a number of non-discipline-specific benefits and drawbacks of sharing:

  1. None of us can do it alone! At some point in our careers, all of us have been asked to teach courses we have not taught before. The ability to inherit existing syllabi or consult the OpenLab and other OERs for inspiration has been crucial. Open materials makes the sharing of instructional materials a public practice and validates it as a necessary point of departure for teaching.
  2. Remixing materials makes us better instructors. Whether we are teaching a course for the first or twentieth time, we all benefit from sharing ideas with colleagues and consulting open materials. Open materials get our creative juices flowing, serve as inspiration for new assignments and lesson plans, and introduce us to new readings and open textbooks that support accessible (and no cost!) student learning. When we share, borrow, and adapt, we participate in a process of collaborative pedagogy that puts a diversity of perspectives and tried and true practices into conversation. We are better instructors for recognizing each other’s wealth of experience and building on it. We can also model for students how to properly cite the work of others and debunk the myth that successful scholarship should be done alone.
  3. What is the value of sharing? Concerns and Reservations
  • When materials are open, how can we adequately value and remunerate the labor that an educator put into creating pedagogical tools? We can give proper attribution to the creators of the materials we borrow, but is such rhetorical acknowledgement sufficient? How can we ensure that the labor instructors put into pedagogy is visible and valued in concrete ways?
  • Do we need more time officially built into our instructor/ staff schedules for the sharing of pedagogical practice?
  • Along these lines, discussants expressed concern that creating an OER –or putting together an open textbook—is less well compensated than writing a textbook for a private industry publisher.
  • Quite frequently, instructors do not cite past course content creators when they borrow materials. This makes the labor of those who share invisible.
  • Many courses on the OpenLab remain closed—unavailable for consultation except by course members. This can create a tension for those who chose to keep their work open but find that their willingness to share isn’t always reciprocated.
  • Is it possible that students think less of an instructor who borrows and adapts the materials of others? Or do they recognize the value that is added when instructors build on existing tools and remix them for their own students and course?
  • How can we create a loop wherein, in addition to thanking and crediting those whose materials we borrow and adapt, we give them concrete feedback on how their materials worked in our (adapted) courses? In essence, how can we make reusing and remixing a collaborative and communicative process?

Sharing and Adapting on the OpenLab

As we shared our experiences of sharing and adapting course materials, we noted that the OpenLab, in more ways than one, lends itself to the kind of open, collaborative pedagogy many of us aspire to. Instructors can peek into the courses of others that are left open, consult their syllabi and assignments, and use these as a point of departure in creating and teaching their courses. OERs and the “shared cloning” functionality take sharing a step further, offering built-in mechanisms to keep full courses open, available for reuse and even exact copying. We offered an overview of these two new OpenLab features related to OERs and shared cloning:

  • OERs refer to educational content that is free (educational materials are provided at no cost to students) and openly-licensed, meaning that the creators of the educational content have made their work available for others to use. Learn more here. Faculty and staff have been building OER course sites on the OpenLab. The August release of the OpenLab added an OER badge, which appears on the avatar of course or project designated as an OER. Courses and project with an OER badge can also be searched for in course and project directories. You can learn more about the OER badge and searching for OERs on the OpenLab here.
  • The August release of the OpenLab also made changes to the course cloning functionality, called “shared cloning.” This feature can be enabled to allow other faculty to clone a course that is designated as available for shared cloning. Course creators who choose to enable the feature will be allowing other faculty and staff to clone the course, creating an exact copy of the existing course, including all content created or uploaded by the course admin, which can be reused, remixed, and transformed in the new version. Cloned versions of the course will include a list of credits on the course profile and in the site sidebar with attribution to any of the original courses. If the original course was itself a clone of another faculty member’s course, that course, as well as all previous iterations, would be included in the credits list as well. You can find instructions on shared cloning in our help section.
  • Please note that our linked 11/1 workshop on “Sharing & Remixing on the OpenLab” will cover how to use the shared cloning functionality, and how to search for, link back to, and properly cite OERs. RSVP here. Agenda here.

We also named a few additional resources for those interested in sharing and borrowing, both on and off the OpenLab:

  • In the Spotlight is a blog series on The Open Road that highlights a different innovative OpenLab site each week. Review the archive, and check back weekly for inspiration. The courses/ projects highlighted change every week!
  • The L4 site (Living Lab Learning Library) is “a resource exchange for innovative teaching practices, ideas big and small, and a place where educators within and beyond City Tech can interact with each other, share classroom activities, and search for inspiration.”
  • The OpenLab is home to a growing list of OERs. Find them easily by going to the search page and filtering for OERs.
  • The Teaching and Learning Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY has a site called Visible Pedagogy in which members of the CUNY community dialogue about teaching and learning.

As we wrapped up the evening, we recognized that some of the barriers to valuing open pedagogy are deeply institutionally entrenched throughout academia. To be sure, much work still remains to be done to reinforce the value (financially and otherwise) of open pedagogy. There is much work to be done to proliferate the culture of responsible sharing that undergirds open pedagogy. Proper citation practices are a good starting place, but continued development of best practices for sharing and adapting existing open course materials is also necessary, for  like all things, these will age and need to continually updated. As noted, the culture around sharing and remixing at CityTech is, opening up. The (growing) resources for making digital pedagogy open on the OpenLab are a testament to this.

Have you ever borrowed or shared your instructional materials?

Have there, in your experience, been benefits to keeping pedagogy “open”?

Do you share any of the concerns about sharing and remixing outlined above?

Do you have any additional resources for sharing and remixing you think should be highlighted?

Join the conversation below!

____________________________________________

All-in-all, it was a great evening! Thanks to all who attended the event for a rich and provocative discussion, and for the support from the Provost’s Office.

Join us for our upcoming linked workshop:

  • Workshop, Thursday 11/1 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM (AG-21): A hands-on look at remixing and sharing on the OpenLab RSVP

Learn more about workshops and office hours on The Open Road!

Check out our student blogging team, The Buzz!