Beginnings

A youngish brown hare nibbling at the sprouting corn plants.
Who? Me?” by Andrew via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Last week, I was part of a First Year Learning Communities discussion about how we foster community in our courses, specifically how we use the first day to begin creating community. There were some great ideas exchanged, and now I’m trying something new to help us get to know each other better in the course I’m teaching this semester.

I’ve also been gathering ideas by looking around the OpenLab. Loved the idea from First Year Writing to change “Syllabus” to “Our Syllabus” on the course site.

What are some ways that you use the first day to bring students together, to create a welcoming space for learning?

What are other goals in that first week of the semester, beyond creating community?

We’d love to have some input from our community, so share your thoughts on either or both of these questions in a comment below.

Co-Working August 18

Triplets” by JillyAnnaJoy via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

Fall semester begins on August 25th. One week before, on Friday, August 18th from 12:30 P.M. to 1:30 PM, join us join us for a pre-semester co-working session. We’re hoping this welcoming space helps as you focus on accomplishing everything you need to prepare for the start of the semester. Bring whatever you want to work on, whether it be OpenLab related like course prep or getting your portfolio in order, or other work-related tasks like reading through all the emails, filling out forms, or completing a required training . We’ll bring bring work, too, plus some good energy for checking things off your to-do list.

You can work silently in the main Zoom room or move into a breakout room to talk with a collaborator or with one of our team members if you have specific questions we can help you with. 

We hope this co-working session is useful for you–and let us know how else we can help!

Adding a Final Post to a Course

Orange-color Supermoon in a night sky, reflecting in the water; a lighthouse glows brightly.
Supermånen og Store Torungen fyr” by Birgit Fostervold via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

At this point in the summer, you might be looking back at your previous courses to begin planning your Fall 2023 courses. Maybe you’re taking advantage of working in the open on the OpenLab and looking at colleagues’ courses as well.

If your course sites are places for student interaction, for discussions and student work submissions, the end of the semester’s energy might show on the top page of your site. Instead, you might add a final post to your courses, so that any members of or visitors to the site first see a post that acknowledges the class’s accomplishments in the semester, congratulates students for their achievements, or maybe also encourages students to stay in touch with you and each other. Here’s the Thank You post that I added to my Spring ENG 1101 course, and the Congratulations post from Jenna Spevack’s COMD 3504

Even if you haven’t done this already and last semester feels too long ago, it’s not too late! A final post can be a positive note for students getting ready to start new classes in a few weeks. And for colleagues browsing courses on the OpenLab, these final posts can be an excellent reminder of all that we–faculty and students–achieve in a semester. And then it will be part of your practice for the end of Fall 2023–and already waiting for you at the end of next semester if you clone your Spring 2023 course.

Happy planning!

Co-Working May 23

Twins” by Todd Petit via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

On Tuesday, May 23rd from 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 PM, join us join us for the final co-working session of the Spring. We’re hoping this welcoming space helps as you focus on finishing everything for the end of the semester. If you’re teaching, bring your grading! Or invite a student to join so you can co-work as they finish their project or study for that last exam. You bring the work, we’ll bring the friendly presence in the Zoom session (plus we’ll bring work, too).

You can work silently in the main Zoom room or move into a breakout room to talk with a collaborator or with one of our team members if you have specific questions we can help you with. 

Finals end on Tuesday, May 23, and grades are due Friday, May 26th. We hope this co-working session is useful for you–and let us know how else we can help!

More Co-Working Sessions!

springtime” by willi_bremen via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The OpenLab team, under the umbrella of Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab, is hosting co-working sessions each Tuesday through the end of the semester.

This week, like last week’s, is open to anyone: students, staff, and faculty. Join the co-working session via Zoom anytime in the 1:30-3:30 co-working hours. We will work together silently, and can open breakout rooms for conversations or questions.

Next week’s session, on Tuesday, May 16, 1:30-3:30, is focused on students, in anticipation of finals week beginning. Please spread the word!

In the final week, faculty are invited to join for some time to work on responding to student work, grading, and finishing the work of the semester.

Like the idea of coworking and the related idea of body doubling but can’t make it on a Tuesday? Suggest a date and time for other sessions by adding a comment on this post or by reaching out via email to OpenLab@citytech.cuny.edu.

Co-Working Tuesday!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 25565078940_fd3312735f_c_d.jpg
Pollination Hypnosis” by Wayne S. Grazio via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reminder: this co-working session is tomorrow, Tuesday, April 18th!

The last few weeks of the semester are hard not only for both students but also for faculty members, and we believe we can get through this together. Join the OpenLab team and other colleagues to work together on whatever is still on your plate on April 18th. The Zoom room will be open from 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. Drop in for a little while or stay for the full 2 hours: use the space as you need and enjoy being supported by faculty members who are also working to push through and finish the semester. 

We will have spaces available for small group discussions if anyone wants, while the main room will stay open as the silent co-working space. 

No registration is needed: when it’s time, join the co-working session

Like the idea of coworking and the related idea of body doubling but can’t make it on Tuesday? Suggest a date and time for our next session by adding a comment on this post or by reaching out via email to OpenLab@citytech.cuny.edu.

Co-Working Session – April 18th, 2023

Pollination Hypnosis” by Wayne S. Grazio via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Do you need a push to get through the rest of the semester? Join us on April 18th for the first OpenLab co-working session! 

The last few weeks of the semester are hard not only for both students but also for faculty members, and we believe we can go through this together. Join the OpenLab team and other colleagues to work together on whatever is still on your plate on April 18th. The Zoom room will be open from 1:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. Drop in for a little while or stay for the full 2 hours: use the space as you need and enjoy being supported by faculty members who are also working to push through and finish the semester. 

We will have spaces available for small group discussions if anyone wants, while the main room will stay open as the silent co-working space. 

No registration is needed: when it’s time, join the co-working session

March events CUNY-wide

Crocuses” by Peter Stenzel via Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

The CUNY-wide group of leaders from the centers for teaching and learning, call CITA (CUNY Innovative Teaching Academy) shares the following upcoming events for the month of March. If you attend any and want to share information or ideas with colleagues here at City Tech, please consider adding them to this Open Pedagogy on the Open Lab site.

You can also find out more about these events and others in the CITA Newsletter.

CFP: CUNY Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Conference

You’ve likely seen this call for abstracts in your email and in other places you see announcements:

CUNY will be hosting its next Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Conference on March 30 and 31, 2023, the theme of which will be The Illusion of Inclusion – Collaborative Solutions for Performative Diversity. The conference is seeking an array of solutions within the CUNY context. Proposals may be based on research, teaching or practice, and designed to spark engagement and discussion. Proposals that include collaborations with CUNY staff and/or students are encouraged. Topics may include: From Data to Action; Disability Inclusion; Designing Inclusive Pedagogies; Organizational Equity – Systems, People, Culture; Physical and Mental Health Pre- & Post-Quarantine: Our New Syndemic Normal. 

Are there ways you see your engagement with open pedagogy as the basis for a proposal for this conference? Does your work on the OpenLab grapple with the conference theme? Would you be interested in sharing your abstract or presentation materials on the OpenLab, either here on Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab or in your portfolio or other space? The OpenLab team is committed to prioritizing inclusion, diversity, equity, and access, and we hope to amplify this work here at City Tech, at CUNY, and beyond.

OpenLab on Twitter

The OpenLab participates in a vibrant education-focused community on Twitter, and we invite you to join us! You can follow @CityTechOpenLab.

We can also bring some of that vibrant community here to our Open Pedagogy site to share ideas and expand the conversation. Here are a few recent tweets and twitter threads that offer useful insights as we approach the start of the semester:

About PDFs and accessibility:

About classrooms and classroom furniture being inaccessible–and finding advocates:

About college students as adults, not children:

About finding awesome, more representative openly licensed images:

Who do you follow to learn more about open, accessible, expansive pedagogy?