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.

The OpenLab at the CUNY IT Conference 2015

We had a great time presenting at the CUNY IT Conference last week, where we showcased recent OpenLab community-building innovations, including L4: Living Lab Learning Library, a faculty-generated repository for General Education assignments; Open Educational Resources; The Buzz student blog for discussion and community building among students; and Patrick Corbett’s usability study that surveyed faculty engagement and recommended best practices. Presenters also discussed the OpenLab’s new mobile-friendly design and future initiatives, including cohort-based projects and collaborations across CUNY.

Thanks to everyone who came to our presentation, and to all our excellent presenters!  They were:

  • Jill Belli, Assistant Professor of English/OpenLab Co-Director
  • Cailean Cooney, Instructor, User Services Librarian
  • Patrick Corbett, Assistant Professor of English
  • Charlie Edwards, Living Lab Co-Director
  • Scott Henkle, Senior OpenLab Community Facilitator
  • Anna Matthews, Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene/L4 Director
  • Andrew McKinney, Senior OpenLab Community Facilitator
  • Jody R. Rosen, Assistant Professor of English/OpenLab Co-Director
  • Laura Westengard, Assistant Professor of English/L4 Director

The presentation slides can be viewed below or downloaded as a PDF.  And, please feel free to leave a comment with any questions or ideas!

Download (PDF, 3.5MB)