CBOX OpenLab at ACH2019

"Cross Pollination" Shibori image by Michelle Griffiths
Cross Pollination by Michelle Griffiths

This past October, The OpenLab at City Tech and Commons in a Box proudly announced the launch of Commons In A Box OpenLab, a partnership that adds a new option to what CBOX offers. OpenLab team members, as representatives of CBOX OpenLab, are part of a demo, “Fostering Open Scholarly Communities with Commons In A Box” at Association for Computers in the Humanities, ACH2019.

CBOX OpenLab Logo

CBOX OpenLab is a platform that brings together work that happens in different aspects of college life: coursework, portfolios, collaborative projects, initiatives, clubs, and administrative, committee, and pedagogical work. The platform’s more defined architecture–for example: courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios, but customizable to any taxonomy–structures college activities to make visible on its homepage, on member profiles, and through browsing, the robust work and life of the college community.

Bringing these different aspects of college life together on one platform benefits the work of the college community. The skills from using the platform for one aspect–coursework, for instance–become invaluable in  another, such as participating in a club. Rather than segmenting OERs or portfolios or isolating coursework from extracurriculars, each into  separate, closed, often proprietary platforms, these resources and activities comingle in one open digital space.

Students benefit from the experiential learning and real audience an open digital space makes possible. The flexibility of the platform also makes it easy to team teach, pair courses for learning communities, foster community across sections of a course, develop informal partnerships, etc.

Campus-wide efforts that foster scholarly communities can break down disciplinary and hierarchical silos, and extend their reach, visibility, and impact: see Undergraduate Research, the Office of the Provost, Roboquin, and here, Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab. OERs on the OpenLab are a great example of this: not only are they a robust resource and easily findable for both students and instructors, and for members and visitors alike, but OERs are also the subject of scholarly and pedagogical collaboration. On the OpenLab, there are resources for building and adopting OER materials, and OER fellows can communicate with each other as a cohort. Large-scale OERs can develop from activity across the site, such as L4, a crowdsourced library of activites and assignments; Science Fiction at City Tech, with its finding guides for the large science fiction archive; the robust Help documentation; and still in development, the OpenLab Guide to Open Learning, which will share knowledge and resources for members of CBOX OpenLab communities.

[some slides]

Open pedagogy in Biology and Political Science

Inspiring work in open pedagogy – both projects integrate general education competencies including information literacy.

Suzanne Wakim, Biology – Butte Community College

Butte Biology

Modern Biology 

Michael Elmore, Political Science – Tacoma Community College

http://www.openwa.org/stories/ 

View their presentations: Designing for Open Pedagogy and slides

OpenLab Tour 3.0

Since our previous OpenLab 1.0 and 2.0 tours, we accomplished some exciting milestones, including reaching 15,000 members in September 2015, and the release of a significant redesign in August 2015.  The new design made a few UX improvements, such as better readability and more consistent messaging across the site. It also featured our first mobile version of the site, which we’re very excited about, given the large number of mobile users at City Tech. We hope you enjoy our short tour below, and please feel free to add anything else you’d like to highlight in the comments!

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Homepage

The OpenLab homepage offers a dynamic look at the current activity on the site. The courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios that appear on the homepage are constantly refreshed, with the most recently active groups appearing at the top of the page.  We also have a section called “In the Spotlight,” where we can feature great work from around the OpenLab, and a slider where communicate with our community of over 15,000 members.  From the homepage visitors can browse our listings of courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios, as well as My OpenLab (for logged-in OpenLab users) and the Help section.

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People: Our Community

We have over 15,000 members, including over 14,000 students, over 600 faculty, and 100 staff, and are growing daily!  We’ve also added an alumni account option so City Tech graduates can continue to use the OpenLab as alumni.

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Courses: Extending the Classroom

Each semester we’ve seen more and more faculty from a diverse variety of departments using the OpenLab for their courses.  Courses on the OpenLab provide an open online extension of the classroom learning environment, offering a space to share and discuss each other’s work.  They can provide a forum for students and faculty to maintain ongoing conversations and collaborate outside of a set course time.  Since they can be open to others outside of the classroom, they have the potential to broaden the conversation and share the great work happening in City Tech courses with a wider audience.  Students have told us they enjoyed being able to follow along and learn from courses they weren’t taking.

A sculpture of a camera made out of food.
The Art of Food
(HMGT 1203, HMGT 1204, and ARTH 1100)

The Art of Food is a learning community between Professor Kylie Garcelon’s Culinary Arts I, Professor Joanne Jacus’s Baking & Pastry Arts I, and Professor Sandra Cheng’s History of Photography courses.  In their courses, students explore whether or not it’s possible to appreciate food as art and how food can be viewed in terms of aesthetic categories like beauty and taste.  The course site contains some great multimedia assignments, like photographing food texture, comparing amateur food photography on Instagram with art photos, and blogging about what rock stars eat backstage. You can also find photos of each week’s delicious creations in Baking & Pastry Arts I.

A bird's eye view of downtown Brooklyn.Learning Places (LIB/ARCH2205)

In this interdisciplinary course, taught by Professors Anne Leonard (Library) and Jason Montgomery (Architecture), students took advantage of City Tech’s downtown Brooklyn neighborhood for many of their assignments, including a number of site visits and reports on nearby Vinegar Hill and Farragut Houses.  Students also read about and discussed Wikipedia, in preparation for one of their final assignments in which they added an informative and well-researched article on Farragut Houses to Wikipedia.

Writing with New MediaA sign that states: You do not take a photograph. You make it. (ENG 2720)

In Professor Jill Belli’s Writing with New Media course students considered the ways in which writing practices have been affected by digital spaces.  The course site was very active, with some great discussion.  Students completed a number of multimedia assignments including Prezi presentations on different types of social media, and blog posts on internet memes, reflecting on a visit to the Museum of the Moving Image to see the exhibit “How Cats Took Over the Internet.”  They also had a visit from some of The Buzz bloggers, including a follow-up virtual discussion.  They clearly put a great deal of work into their final projects, which included a significant amount of research, new media composing experiments, in-class presentations, and reflections. Students also worked on their OpenLab ePortfolios, which they used to showcase their final projects.

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Projects: For Research and Service

Projects on the OpenLab can encompass anything including research projects, course projects, official City Tech committees, events, and everything in-between.  In browsing through the projects page on the OpenLab, it’s clear that they cover a diversity of purposes.

The L4 LivingLab Learning Library logo.Living Lab Learning Library (L4)

Created by L4 Coordinators, Professors Anna Matthews and Laura Westengard, L4 is a “resource exchange for innovative teaching practices,” and space for interaction among City Tech faculty and beyond. The site is a culminating resource for the Title V grant-funded initiative, “A Living Laboratory: Revitalizing General Education for a 21st-Century College of Technology,” and offers a wealth of different assignments and activities, searchable by Student Learning Outcome, discipline, or High Impact Educational Practice. Faculty can also contribute their own assignments or activities to the resource library.

Gothic NYC

This project was created by students in Prof. Laura Westengard’s course, ENG 3407: Gothic Literature and Visual Culture.  Students posted photographs, video, and wrote about numerous Gothic sites in New York City, analyzing them through the theories and concepts they learned in class.  For those interested in taking their own Gothic tour, the students created a Google Map that includes all the locations on the site.

Type font that states 'Words have lives.'Words Have Lives

Words Have Lives is a companion to the course Developmental Writing.  While the site focuses on specific material being covered in the class, it can nonetheless be helpful to any students who may have questions about the writing process.  The site offers many resources, from help with essay grammar, structure, and strategy, to specific student resources offered at City Tech, such as the Learning Center where students can go for help with their writing.  The site is also well-structured and designed, and makes great use of image and video.

The logo of The Buzz, our student blogging team.The Buzz

The Buzz is the blog for our excellent group of OpenLab student bloggers and photobloggers, who are writing on a wide variety of topics, including fashion, food, recipes, original artwork, and more. The site also includes two photobloggers who post their own photographs from around NYC and beyond. There are new posts nearly every day, as well as active comments.

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Clubs: Building Communities

The clubs section on the OpenLab includes both officially chartered student clubs, and also more informal groups using the OpenLab as a space to share information and interact around a common interest.

The logo for the Biomedical informatics club.Biomedical Informatics

This club, for students interested in the new Biomedical Informatics major at City Tech, has a great site featuring plenty of information on club and other local activities and events.  It also includes resources on jobs, internships, and the field of Biomedical Informatics in general.

 

 

The logo of the anime gaming club. Anime Gaming Underground

This club is “a social club where people who are interested in animation, Japanese anime, animation/anime card games (such as Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh), role playing games, and video/computer games can hang out and have fun.” While it isn’t an officially chartered student club, it nonetheless has many members. We love that they created a site for their group to coordinate meet-ups and events, and get to know other students with similar interests.

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Portfolios: Sharing our Work

A series of 4 images showing people assembling a wheel and ladder.Student Portfolio: Irene Iarochevitch (Entertainment Technology)

Irene’s Iarochevitch’s excellent portfolio is well-designed and structured, highlighting her work in a number of courses through video, photographs, and writing.  The portfolio focuses on her ambitious senior thesis project, or “culmination project,” for which she is building a laser harp, an electronic musical instrument.  Her portfolio was also discovered by another harp-maker, who left a comment with some suggestions for the harp. It’s always great to see these kinds of interactions on the OpenLab, where student work can indeed attract an audience that reaches beyond the classroom!

An image of Professor Raffi Khatchadourian.Faculty Portfolio: Raffi Khatchadourian (Computer Systems Technology (CST))

Professor Raffi Khatchadourian’s portfolio contains information on his own teaching and research, as well as resources for CST students at City Tech. His portfolio also has a blog with professional news as well as opportunities for students.

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Help

We have a redesigned help section that includes all the main steps involved in created an OpenLab account and profile, and setting up and participating in a course, project, club, or portfolio.   We continue to add to and improve the help section as we grow.

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This concludes our short tour of the OpenLab.  Since we have limited space, there are many great courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios we didn’t include here, but please add a comment with anything you’ve seen or created that you’d like to share.  Also feel free to check out our previous tours, OpenLab 1.0 and 2.0!

OpenLab Tour 2.0

We created our first OpenLab Tour post in 2012, and there have been so many great things happening since then that we thought it was time for an OpenLab Tour 2.0.  As before, please add anything else you’d like to highlight in the comments!

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Homepage

The OpenLab homepage offers a dynamic peek into all of the current activity on the site. The courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios that appear on the homepage are constantly refreshed, with the most recently active groups appearing at the top of the page.  We also have a section called “In the Spotlight,” where we can feature great work from around the OpenLab, and a slider where communicate with our community of members.  From the homepage you can access our listings of courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios, as well as My OpenLab (for logged-in OpenLab users) and the Help section.

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People: Our Community

We have over 9000 members, including over 8600 students, and are growing daily!  We’ve improved the search options on the People page, and you can now sort by school, department, and member type – student, faculty, or staff.

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Courses: Extending the Classroom

Each semester we’ve seen more and more faculty from a diverse variety of departments using the OpenLab for their courses.  Courses on the OpenLab provide an open online extension of the classroom-learning environment, offering a space to share and discuss each other’s work.  They can provide a forum for students and faculty to maintain ongoing conversations and collaborate outside of a set course time.  Since they can be open to others outside of the classroom, they have the potential to broaden the conversation and share the great work happening in City Tech courses with a wider audience.  Indeed, we’ve had students tell us they enjoyed being able to follow along and learn from courses they weren’t taking.

Jennifer Sears – Advanced Career Writing (English 3771)

In her Advanced Career Writing Course, Jennifer Sears had students create blogs on the OpenLab that they worked on during the entire semester through a series of scaffolded assignments, culminating in a well-developed final project. Students became adept at integrating media such as images and video in their posts, and writing different genres of posts.  They also interacted with the other blogs in the class, writing guest posts and commenting on one other’s posts.  They did excellent work and we featured a few of the blogs in our Spotlight section the OpenLab homepage, including Andie Lessa’s New York Type blog about typography in New York City, Ryan Melendez’s Phototype, blog about Graphic Design, and Josel De la Cruz’s Custom and Aesthetically Pleasing Carpentry blog about remodeling and carpentry.

Jonas Reitz – Proofs and Logic (Math 2070)

If you’ve been following along since the last tour, you may remember Jonas’s courses for their innovative assignments and great sense of community.  He keeps up the tradition in this course, and we particularly liked his MIU puzzle assignment. Part 1 of the assignment asks students to create a puzzle following a set of rules and post on the course site.  For extra credit students could solve a classmate’s puzzle and add the solution as a comment on their post.  Part 2 of the assignment asked students to either consider a conjecture about the puzzle and post a proof showing that it was true or false, or write about what they thought the proof might be and also reflect on their experience working on the assignment.  For extra credit they could comment on a classmate’s reflection.  This assignment does many great things, including encouraging interaction and community building, but one of our favorite things is that you see students reflecting on the process of seriously engaging with each others’ ideas.

Damon Baker – Ins and Outs of Physical Computing (Entertainment Technology 2180)

Damon Baker’s students completed impressive semester-long group projects in this course, and we enjoyed following along on the course site where they detailed their progress.  Reading through the posts on the course site, their engagement and enthusiasm is apparent, as is the sense of community and teamwork.  Students posted photos and detailed descriptions of their progress and challenges encountered along the way, and finally videos of the finished project, including the LED illuminated Raver’s Blazer, a functioning Submarine, and a creepy, interactive red-eyed Hell Bunny.

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Projects: For Research and Service

Projects on the OpenLab can encompass anything including research projects, course projects, official City Tech committees, events, and everything in-between.  In browsing through the projects page on the OpenLab, it’s clear that they cover a diversity of purposes.

The Guide

In its own words, The Guide “includes tips and advice about City Tech’s campus and the surrounding community, including the Brooklyn Waterfront.”  It was developed by students in a First Year Learning Community including three courses: Laura Westengard’s English 1101 course, and Karen Goodlad’s HGMT 1101 and John Akana’s HMGT 1102 (Hospitality Management) courses.  The site includes helpful advice on college skills, guides to buildings and student spaces within the City Tech campus, and reviews of local restaurants, businesses, Brooklyn Waterfront attractions, and tours of downtown Brooklyn.  The Guide is an Academic Service Learning Project aimed at an audience of new students, faculty, and staff, that came out of work developed by Laura Westengard during her time as a Living Laboratory Fellow.  The site was conceived of and designed by students, and all content is written by students.  The students also planned and held a release party to promote their hard work.

Hospitality Garden

The Hospitality Garden is an organic garden run by students and faculty in the Hospitality Management department, located on a rooftop at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  They grow flowers and delicious vegetables that we’ve even had the pleasure of sampling in City Tech’s Janet Lefler Dining Room.  The garden’s OpenLab site keeps the college community updated on what’s growing, as well as their calendar of events and activities.

Living Lab

This is the official site for the Title V grant-funded initiative, “A Living Laboratory: Revitalizing General Education for a 21st-Century College of Technology,” of which the OpenLab is a part.  The site includes information about the grant and fellows programs, and announces upcoming events and application deadlines.  It also showcases the excellent work Living Lab fellows have been doing in their classes.

Living Lab Fourth Year Fellows

Each year, the above-mentioned Living Laboratory grant chooses a cohort of fellows to participate in a General Education Seminar.  The Living Lab Fourth Year Fellows project is a collaborative space for Fourth Year Fellows.  They use the project profile to create, edit, and comment on collaborative documents and use the Fourth Year Fellows site to post information and announcements, discuss group activities, post and comment on course assignments, and maintain a working bibliography for the group.

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Clubs: Building Communities

The clubs section on the OpenLab includes both officially chartered student clubs, and also more informal groups using the OpenLab as a space to share information and interact around a common interest.

Printmaking Club

The Printmaking Club is new to both City Tech and the OpenLab.  The site is still under development, but it already includes interesting videos, a description and pictures of their Valentine’s Day card printing event, and more information to come on the history of printmaking, techniques for printmaking, and more.

City Tech Times

The City Tech Times is City Tech’s student-run newspaper.  They already had an externally-hosted WordPress site featuring the online version of the newspaper, which they were able to link their OpenLab club profile.  They use the club profile to post their office and contact information, and announce upcoming meetings and other events.

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Portfolios: Sharing our Work

Jan Michael Maluto – Student, Mechanical Engineering Technology

Jan Michael Maluto has done an excellent job with the layout and design of his ePortfolio.  It includes plenty of examples of his work, and makes effective use of images, video and links.

Faculty Portfolios: Jill Bouratoglou (Architectural Technology) and Masato Nakamura (Mechanical Engineering Technology)

These two portfolios take different approaches, and are both excellent examples of what faculty can do with their portfolio.  Both include examples from their teaching, research, and professional work.

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Help

We have a new and improved help section that includes all the main steps involved in created an OpenLab account and profile, and setting up and participating in a course, project, club, or portfolio.  Recently, we added Best Practices and FAQs.  We continue to add to and improve the help section as we grow.

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This concludes our short tour of the OpenLab.  Since we have limited space, there are many great courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios we didn’t include here, but please add a comment with anything you’ve seen or created that you’d like to share.  Thanks!

 

OpenLab Tour 1.0

As some of you may know, we presented at the CUNY IT Conference on Friday, November 30, 2012.  In the presentation we showcased a few examples of the excellent work City Tech students, faculty, and staff are doing on the OpenLab.  We thought we’d recap some of that here, taking you on a guided tour of the site, with stops at some of the examples from our presentation.  Please add anything else you think should be highlighted in the comments–we know there’s much more to showcase than what we’ve included here!

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Homepage

The OpenLab homepage offers a dynamic peek into all of the current activity on the site. The courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios that appear on the homepage are constantly refreshed, with the most recently active groups appearing at the top of the page.  We also have an “In the Spotlight” section where we can feature something great that we find on the OpenLab, and a slider where communicate with our community of users.  From here you can access our listings of courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios, as well as My OpenLab (for logged-in OpenLab users) and the Help section.

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People: Our Community

We have over 4400 members, including over 4000 students, and are growing daily!  On the People page,  you can search for a specific OpenLab member, browse or search though all OpenLab members, or sort by member type–student, faculty, or staff.

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Courses: Extending the Classroom

Courses on the OpenLab offer an open online extension of the classroom-learning environment, offering a space to share and discuss each other’s work.  They can provide a forum for students and faculty to maintain ongoing conversations and collaborate outside of a set course time.  Since they can be open to others outside of the classroom, they have the potential to broaden the conversation and share the great work happening in City Tech courses with a wider audience.

Lisa Brundage – English 2000 – Perspectives in Literature

Lisa Brundage’s Perspectives in Literature course site hosts her course syllabus, course assignments, a place for students to introduce themselves to their fellow classmates, a student-generated reading journal, and a set of interactive primary text readings.  The page that Lisa created for primary texts is layered with additional information, including alternative translations, videos about textual tone and language, photographs from the time period of the texts, and information about authors’ lives.  Lisa’s class carefully mixes the formal and informal aspects of classroom teaching into her OpenLab course site.  Students can find necessary course information here, but they can also contribute more informally to larger discussions about course texts, as well as engage with other students in the class, whether by reading others’ comments or commenting themselves.

Karen Goodlad – Hospitality Management 1101 – Perspectives in Hospitality Management

Karen Goodlad’s Perspectives in Hospitality Management course site is rich with student-generated visual and textual information.  Many of Karen’s course assignments ask students to go outside of the classroom and chronicle or create visual content modeled for the hospitality industry.  Two very exciting assignments here are the Concierge Marketing Assignment featured in the “Concierge Blog” section of this site, as well as the “Experiential Summary and Oral Presentation” assignment.  In the first assignment, students were asked to think of themselves as concierges from boutique hotels and to draft 1 1/2 to 2 minute promotional videos for tourists about the Brooklyn Waterfront.  In the second assignment, students were asked to provide something like the New York Times’ “36 Hours” tourist attractions’ segment aimed at tourists coming to New York City.  Both assignments feature student made video and photography projects and make extensive use of the open online platform provided by the OpenLab.

Jonas Reitz, Math 1575: Calculus II and Math 1275: College Algebra

Jonas Reitz creates very interesting and exciting courses using the OpenLab!  His courses provide continual inspiration for those looking to craft creative, engaging course assignments.  In Jonas’ Calculus II course, he makes effective use of the OpenLab’s facility for combining images and text by asking his students to capture a visual representation of infinity for a “conceptual catalogue” of infinity.  Students are asked to take a photograph of something in the world that represents the concept of infinity for them and then explain why they think that’s the case.  They are given the creative freedom to pick images that speak to them as well as fashion creative explanations of their own photographs.  The class collection is then put up on the OpenLab where Jonas and other students can comment.  Jonas often gives his students the option of receiving extra credit for thoughtful commenting on other students’ posts, and this seems to draw out in a low-stakes way, students who may be shy or less likely to comment in a classroom setting.  If you look through Jonas’ courses, you’ll notice an incredibly high volume of commenting by students—it looks like this approach is working!

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Projects: For Research and Service

Projects on the OpenLab can encompass anything including research projects, course projects, official City Tech committees, events, and everything in-between.  In browsing through the projects page on the OpenLab, it’s clear that they cover a diversity of purposes.

Living Lab Second Year Fellows

The Living Lab Second Year Fellows project is a collaborative space for Second Year Fellows participating in the General Education Seminar component of the Title V grant-funded initiative, “A Living Laboratory: Revitalizing General Education for a 21st-Century College of Technology.”  Here, Second Year Fellows use the project profile to create, edit, and comment on collaborative documents and use the Second Year Fellows site to post important information and announcements, post and comment on course assignments, and maintain a working bibliography for the group.

Undergraduate Research Committee

Several committees are using the OpenLab for collaboration and to share their work with the college community. The Undergraduate Research Committee, for example, has a robust site that explains their work, publicizes opportunities to get involved, and provides resources for students and faculty. They are also taking advantage of the OpenLab’s ability to support both private and public conversations: the site is public, but the project profile is private, allowing discussion, file sharing, and document editing to take place among committee members while maintaining a public presence on the OpenLab that all can see.

Literature Roundtable

Users are also turning to the OpenLab to share information about college-wide events. The Literature Roundtable, run by English professor Rebecca Devers, is a yearly roundtable discussion of a short story, play, or novel, this semester featuring Ron Wimberly’s graphic novel Prince of Cats.  The site Rebecca created for the roundtable features information about the event, resources related to the book, and suggestions for assignments faculty might use if they are teaching this novel in their courses.

The Open Road

This project actually wasn’t included in our presentation and we don’t want to be too self-promoting here, but Scott Henkle, one of our community facilitators, does such a great job writing weekly round-ups of OpenLab activity, and also includes plenty of helpful tips and tutorials.  It’s a great way to stay abreast of what’s happening in the OpenLab community, and find out about new tools, or old tools or tricks you never knew existed.

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Clubs: Building Communities

The clubs section on the OpenLab includes officially chartered student clubs, but clubs can also be created by more informal groups as a space to share information and interact around a common interest.

Peer-Led Team Learning

The PLTL club’s mission is “to promote and disseminate the Peer-Led Team Learning model by assisting students to succeed in their studies through peer-led workshops, informing faculty of the model, sharing success and opportunities for Peer Leaders, and creating a community of practice among peer leaders.” As Scott noted in his post on the OpenRoad featuring the group, their site does a great job identifying a need, responding to that need, and using the OpenLab to its fullest. While not fancy, the site is much more than just a display of written and visual information, and each of its pages is distinct and useful. It uses a number of tools (such Google forms), and thus offers a number of ways for users to engage with the site creators.  They’re in the process of creating a logo, so hopefully they’ll have an avatar up soon!

Gamma Epsilon Tau

Gamma Epsilon Tau is a national graphic arts honor society, and we’re excited to see them here on the OpenLab.  They have a great site, hosted outside of the OpenLab (which is, not surprising, very well-designed) and are taking advantage of our new feature allowing users to link an external site to an OpenLab course, project, club, or portfolio profile.

Chemistry club

The Chemistry club space on the OpenLab is open to all students and run by its faculty advisor, Diana Samaroo. The Chemistry club site provides a new space where students can post announcements about club talks, meetings, and internship possibilities.  We hope that the club continues to grow and help serve students potentially headed toward medical, dental, or pharmacy school, as well as chemistry-lovers throughout the City Tech community.

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Portfolios: Sharing our Work

Jes Bernhardt’s ePortfolio

Jes Bernhardt’s ePortfolio’s is creative, well-structured and designed, and features plenty of great work.  We love her metaphor of teeth as tiny buildings and mouths as tiny cities, and how she ties in the site’s header image and subtitle (building cities of teeth) to this idea.  Jes has created an excellent site to showcase her work that is at the same time professional, personal, and visually beautiful.  It also takes advantage of some of the OpenLab’s tools, like embedded video, images, the text widget, and links.

Muhammad Hasan Ali’s PoemFolio

This is not just a Portfolio but a PoemFolio!  Muhammad is a Mechanical Engineering Technology student  who also happens to be a poet.  While he is taking a Poetry course in the English department this semester, this portfolio was not created for his course.  We think it’s great that he took it upon himself to set up this excellent portfolio showcasing some of his poetry.  It also highlights one of the important aspects of the OpenLab community–that anyone, not just faculty can and should feel that this is their space where they are free to create, share, and collaborate.  Moreover, the OpenLab makes it easy for all users to create a portfolio or project, which we hope will facilitate more of this kind of sharing.

Jenna Spevack and Libby Clarke

Faculty and staff portfolios are new to the OpenLab this semester, and one of our other new features allows users to link an external site to any course, project, club, or portfolio on the OpenLab.  Advertising Design and Graphic Arts professors Jenna Spevack and Libby Clarke have done just that.  Jenna has linked her self-hosted teaching portfolio site, and Libby’s portfolio is attached to her personal website, which includes examples of and links to her work, student work, other projects, writing, and more.

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Help

We have a new and improved help section that includes all the main steps involved in created an OpenLab account and profile, and setting up and participating in a course, project, club, or portfolio.  And, we’ve added the ability to look for help topics using tags, so users can see all content grouped together with tags like Profile, Creating, Joining, etc. We have a lot of content already posted, but it’s still a work in progress and we continue to add to and update what’s there.

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This concludes our short tour of the OpenLab.  Since we have limited space (and this post is already quite long), there are many great courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios we didn’t include here, but please add a comment with anything you’ve seen or created that you’d like to share.  Thanks!