Open Pedagogy Recap: OpenLab at the CUE/OER Showcase!

On Friday, October 30, the OpenLab team along with City Tech librarian Cailean Cooney hosted a digital workshop as part of the 2020 CUE Conference and CUNY OER Showcase.

This conference was originally planned for March 2020, but was rescheduled due to the pandemic. Because so much about our teaching and learning environment has changed since then, we adapted our February Open Pedagogy session to talk with folks about access and accessibility in our current circumstances.

Below are our discussion questions- talked through together via Google Docs instead of on chart paper!- and some highlights from participant comments.

1. What connotations do you have with the word “accommodation”?

people shouldn’t be “accommodated for,’ but instead design should consider the full range of human experience / abilities / dispositions”

“an accommodation is a place to stay…it’s a place at least comfortable, ideally welcoming and friendly, for all of us.”

Requires medical documentation, submission to disability office, approval and recommended “reasonable accommodation” for traditional learning styles”

Flexibility, willingness to make things easier and accessible.”

2. How do OERs help us address equity and access? What does the platform you use to share open course materials with students have to do with access? 

if students can’t get to materials from their available devices, this is a huge barrier to entry! mobile/tablet access is how many CUNY students (and honestly fac/staff) use the web!”

The platform is critical and should not be a secondary consideration. Using proprietary platforms to share open content is (IMO) problematic, and is a reason I’m happy that open solutions like openlab exist.”

Our LMS on campus simply can’t be used on a mobile phone even though the vast majority of my students are using mobile phones”

3. How does our current sociocultural situation affect how we think about access in higher education? What new questions or concerns have come up around using technology to facilitate access?

Access to … food, health care, child care, technology, space to work– it’s all part of the mix. We have to think of “access” in this much larger context.”

I’m thinking much more about how to take time into account in course design, course expectations for students, and for faculty. For instance, the time it will take to do required readings?”

I’ve most of all been thinking about how to make my sites accessible to those with poor internet access. Post-COVID, I realize that I need to redesign sites checking for bandwidth, loadability. I tested my sites with Google Page Speed, and although they seem fast on my internet, they clearly are not easily loadable.

I’ve been using more radical course policies than I have been brave enough to try in the past. I don’t want to go back, even after the pandemic. The current situation is just a more heightened/visible version of a situation that totally already existed.”

FLEXIBLE DUE DATES”

The technology needs to be taught, not just assume everyone knows how.”

4. What are some current strategies you have, or would like to try, to make course content accessible / useful / usable to all students, with shifting and complex needs?

Reflection-based grading: students respond to their own work from a reflective perspective, analyze what they struggled with and did great at, and assign themselves grades based on their work towards each project in the first-year writing/whatever course. (Read Jesse Stommel on ungrading!)”

Check-ins with students”

Lastly, some resources that might be useful in considering accessibility strategies:

May 8 Event: Disability Justice and COVID-19

Hi OpenLab pals! Sending all of you tenacity and compassion in these trying times.  

I’m sharing this upcoming event here on Open Pedagogy for a few reasons:  

This event is run by and features Black disability justice leaders, including Dorian Taylor, Elandria Williams, Lateef Mcleod, and Leroy Moore Jr., in a time when many disability organizations center white organizers over BIPOC activists. Listening to Black and brown disability activists is crucially important for us as members of the CUNY community, as COVID-19 is disproportionately harming Black and brown New Yorkers, many of whom also work and study at CUNY.  

The organizers of this digital event have also included ample details about accessibility, including information about interpretation services, breaks, and descriptive alt text for their chosen images. This level of detail is crucial when planning accessible events, and must be a central aspect of coordinating remote and online events!  

From the organizers:  

We’re hosting this webinar to offer the perspective of people grounded in #DisabilityJustice work as we all respond to COVID-19.  

ASL interpretation and live captions will be provided. We will also have breaks.  

Register at: https://bit.ly/djgrounding

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.

 

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

Teaching and Learning with New Majority Students: Lessons Learned from the CUNY Humanities Alliance

We’re excited to share with you The Futures Initiative’s final event of the semester:

The Futures Initiative is pleased to invite you to the final event in our Thursday Dialogues series this year:

Teaching and Learning with New Majority Students: Lessons Learned from the CUNY Humanities Alliance
Thursday, May 3 | 12:15 to 2:00 PM | The Graduate Center, Room C201
RSVP at bit.ly/TeachingCUNYHums

Join The Futures Initiative and the CUNY Humanities Alliance for a discussion about community college student-centered teaching and learning in the humanities and social sciences! In this roundtable discussion, Graduate Teaching Fellows will discuss their experiences and what they have learned through their participation in the program, which combines faculty mentorship, professional development workshops and resources with the opportunity to design and teach a course during three semesters at LaGuardia Community College, CUNY.

Our roundtable of speakers are all Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellows with the CUNY Humanities Alliance, and will include:

  • Kahdeidra Monét Martin (Urban Education)
  • Jenn Polish (English)
  • Micheal Angelo Rumore (English)
  • Jacob Sachs-Mishalanie (Music)
  • Inés Vañó García (Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages)
  • Alison Walls (Theatre)

The discussion will be moderated by Kitana Ananda, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow for the CUNY Humanities Alliance and the Futures Initiative.

The discussion will address questions such as:

  • What does it mean to teach the humanities at a community college? How do doctoral students translate their specialized research into their teaching of introductory and general education courses?
  • What kinds of connections have been forged between community college faculty, doctoral students, and undergraduates in the first two years of this program?
  • What are the lessons of this program so far for doctoral education and the future of the professoriate, at the Graduate Center and beyond?

Co-sponsored by the CUNY Humanities Alliance. A light lunch and refreshments will be provided.

About the program:
The CUNY Humanities Alliance is dedicated to training Ph.D. students in the most successful methods for teaching humanities courses in some of the country’s most diverse undergraduate classrooms, while creating new opportunities and pathways for the “new majority” of students in today’s community colleges. The program is a partnership between the Graduate Center and LaGuardia Community College, with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

If you have any questions about the event, contact Kitana Ananda at kananda@gc.cuny.edu.

Thank you, and we hope to see you on May 3rd!