This Month on the OpenLab: August 2022 Release

On August 18 we released version 1.7.62 of the OpenLab. It was a very small release, since we’ve just updated all themes and plugins, as well as WordPress and BuddyPress, the software that powers the OpenLab. 

OpenLab Gradebook plugin: We fixed an issue causing the scrollbar to “jump” back to the beginning after scrolling to the right side of a gradebook to add grades.

Course, Project, Club, and Portfolio Profiles: We made a change to the ‘See More’ links under the Recent Comments section so that they now link directly to the comment on the site rather than the post. 

We have some exciting new features we’re planning to add during the Fall 2022 semester, so stay tuned here for more details in the coming months!

As always, please contact us with any questions.

End-of-summer support

Dino’s Wonder Wheel” by Eric via Flickr CC BY 2.0

This is not a welcome back post–there’s still a week until the semester begins on August 25th! This is instead a reminder of all the support the OpenLab Team offers students, faculty, and staff members for getting started, setting up your OpenLab site, and continuing your OpenLab work as you get ready for next week.

Summer 2022 Workshops

Join the OpenLab team for a workshop to learn–or learn more–about the OpenLab! These workshops are open to all students, faculty, and staff members.

Use the registration links below to sign up and get a Zoom link for each day’s workshops.

Friday, 8/19:

  • 12:30-1:00 Getting Started
  • 1:00-2:00: Working on the OpenLab
  • 2:30-3:30: Creating a Site on the OpenLab

Register for 8/19 workshops. Please indicate which workshops you plan to attend (you are welcome to attend all).

Tuesday, 8/23:

  • 12:30-1:00 Getting Started
  • 1:00-2:00: Working on the OpenLab
  • 2:30-3:30: Creating a Site on the OpenLab

Register for 8/23 workshops. Please indicate which workshops you plan to attend (you are welcome to attend all).

The OpenLab Team looks forward to supporting you and seeing your great work on the OpenLab. And stay tuned for the Fall 2022 Welcome!

Updated! Job Opportunity: Digital Pedagogy Fellow for City Tech’s OpenLab

Application deadline extended to Wednesday, June 22!

Bubblicious XIII” by Anthony Ross via Flickr CC0

The OpenLab is hiring! Please help us to spread the word. 

The OpenLab team seeks to add a Digital Pedagogy Fellow to our enthusiastic team.

City Tech’s OpenLab (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/) is an innovative, open digital platform for students, faculty, and staff at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/). Built using the open source blogging and social networking software WordPress and BuddyPress, the OpenLab supports teaching and learning, enables connection and collaboration, and strengthens the intellectual and social life of the college. The project is driven by a community and access-focused ethos, flexible infrastructure, and commitment to openness, and is proud to partner with many initiatives across campus (e.g., First Year Learning Communities, General Education, Open Education Resources) and across CUNY. Since its launch in Fall 2011, the OpenLab has helped to foster openness and experimentation, supporting a growing community, now 39,000+ members strong.

Fellows will join a creative, collaborative Community Team invested in fostering community through open pedagogy and open digital technologies. Team members gain experience in curriculum development, teaching, professional development, the implementation of a variety of digital tools, testing and functionality, and help-documentation creation. Fellows have used the experiences gained as Digital Pedagogy Fellows to successfully apply for full-time faculty and alt-ac positions.

Digital Pedagogy Fellow responsibilities include providing professional development, supporting the OpenLab community, and project development. Weekly responsibilities include OpenLab team meetings and email and open-hour support for faculty, staff, and student members with varied experience with technology. Fellows develop and lead workshops, seminars, and class visits, and create help documentation. They also teach OpenLab members about best practices for developing OpenLab content, how to incorporate technology in the classroom, and what it means to have an online presence. Fellows maintain an active presence on the platform, test new features and fixes, and provide feedback on OpenLab functionality. Fellows also have the opportunity to represent the OpenLab team in campus and external venues. 

Ideal candidates will possess the following qualifications:

  • familiarity with the OpenLab or other WordPress/BuddyPress installations (e.g., the BMCC OpenLab, CUNY Academic Commons, Macaulay ePortfolios, and Blogs@Baruch)
  • teaching experience, including expertise in digital pedagogy
  • experience with developing and leading workshops for a variety of users
  • strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • willingness to work collaboratively with a team
  • communications skills for responding to support requests with speed, empathy, and creativity
  • good understanding of socially networked online spaces and a variety of digital tools
  • knowledge of information architecture, usability, and the user experience
  • the ability to create visually attractive, informative, and well-written blog posts, help documentation, and screencasts
  • graduate degree or enrollment in a graduate program

Hours and Pay: This is a year-round position, 12-15 hours/week. The starting rate is 37.74/hour with annual increases.

Start Date: Fellows will begin the position with limited hours for training in August 2022, and shift to 12-15 hours/week for the start of the Fall 2022 semester. Currently work will be done remotely, with in-person responsibilities anticipated in the future to align with the needs of the college community.

Application: To apply, submit a cover letter, CV, and representative samples of your digital work to OpenLab Co-Directors Jonas Reitz (jreitz@citytech.cuny.edu) and Jody R. Rosen (jrrosen@citytech.cuny.edu). Please note any other employment within the CUNY system or for the Research Foundation of CUNY for August 2022 and the 2022-23 academic year. Applications should be submitted by Wednesday, June 22, 2022. Please reach out with questions to the email addresses above.

Job Opportunity: Digital Pedagogy Fellow for City Tech’s OpenLab

The OpenLab is hiring! Please help us to spread the word. 

The OpenLab team seeks to add a Digital Pedagogy Fellow to our enthusiastic team.

City Tech’s OpenLab (https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/) is an innovative, open digital platform for students, faculty, and staff at New York City College of Technology, CUNY (http://www.citytech.cuny.edu/). Built using the open source blogging and social networking software WordPress and BuddyPress, the OpenLab supports teaching and learning, enables connection and collaboration, and strengthens the intellectual and social life of the college. The project is driven by a community and access-focused ethos, flexible infrastructure, and commitment to openness, and is proud to partner with many initiatives across campus (e.g., First Year Learning Communities, General Education, Open Education Resources) and across CUNY. Since its launch in Fall 2011, the OpenLab has helped to foster openness and experimentation, supporting a growing community, now 39,000+ members strong.

Fellows will join a creative, collaborative Community Team invested in fostering community through open pedagogy and open digital technologies. Team members gain experience in curriculum development, teaching, professional development, the implementation of a variety of digital tools, testing and functionality, and help-documentation creation. Fellows have used the experiences gained as Digital Pedagogy Fellows to successfully apply for full-time faculty and alt-ac positions.

Digital Pedagogy Fellow responsibilities include providing professional development, supporting the OpenLab community, and project development. Weekly responsibilities include OpenLab team meetings and email and open-hour support for faculty, staff, and student members with varied experience with technology. Fellows develop and lead workshops, seminars, and class visits, and create help documentation. They also teach OpenLab members about best practices for developing OpenLab content, how to incorporate technology in the classroom, and what it means to have an online presence. Fellows maintain an active presence on the platform, test new features and fixes, and provide feedback on OpenLab functionality. Fellows also have the opportunity to represent the OpenLab team in campus and external venues. 

Ideal candidates will possess the following qualifications:

  • familiarity with the OpenLab or other WordPress/BuddyPress installations (e.g., the BMCC OpenLab, CUNY Academic Commons, Macaulay ePortfolios, and Blogs@Baruch)
  • teaching experience, including expertise in digital pedagogy
  • experience with developing and leading workshops for a variety of users
  • strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • willingness to work collaboratively with a team
  • communications skills for responding to support requests with speed, empathy, and creativity
  • good understanding of socially networked online spaces and a variety of digital tools
  • knowledge of information architecture, usability, and the user experience
  • the ability to create visually attractive, informative, and well-written blog posts, help documentation, and screencasts
  • graduate degree or enrollment in a graduate program

Hours and Pay: This is a year-round position, 12-15 hours/week. The starting rate is 37.74/hour with annual increases.

Start Date: Fellows will begin the position with limited hours for training in August 2022, and shift to 12-15 hours/week for the Fall 2022 semester. Currently work will be done remotely, with in-person responsibilities anticipated in the future to align with the needs of the college community.

Application: To apply, submit a cover letter, CV, and representative samples of your digital work to OpenLab Co-Directors Jonas Reitz (jreitz@citytech.cuny.edu) and Jody R. Rosen (jrrosen@citytech.cuny.edu). Please note any current and planned employment within the CUNY system or for the Research Foundation of CUNY for August 2022 and the 2022-23 academic year. Applications should be submitted by Wednesday, June 15, 2022.

This Month on the OpenLab: April 2022 Release

Cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

On April 19 we released version 1.7.61 of the OpenLab. It included one new and one retired plugin, a few minor plugin and theme updates, a small design update, and two bug fixes. 

Plugins

The Zephyr Project Manager plugin adds some project management capabilities to OpenLab sites, most notably the ability to create, assign, and manage tasks. 

We retired the Expire Sticky Posts plugin because it no longer works with the Block Editor and is not being maintained. It will continue to appear on sites where it is already activated, but won’t be available for activation on new sites.

Design Update

We updated the design of the “Visit Site” link for Courses, Projects, Clubs, and Portfolios to make it more visible. 

Previous Site link
New Site link

Bug Fixes

We fixed a bug in the OpenLab Gradebook plugin that was causing <br /> tags to appear in comments where line breaks were added.

We also fixed an issue with the cloning process where files uploaded via a form created with the Gravity Forms plugin were being cloned to new sites, but couldn’t be deleted because they weren’t uploaded to the Media Library. These types of files are now no longer cloned to new sites. 

As always, please contact us with any questions!

This Month on the OpenLab: March 2022 Release

On March 15 we released version 1.7.60 of the OpenLab. It included two new plugins, a few plugin and theme updates, and two bug fixes. 

Plugins

The new plugins are:

  • Taxonomy Dropdown Widget, which allows you to add a widget with a dropdown listing categories or tags on your site. It has a number of options for customization, so you can include or exclude certain categories or tags, and list them in different ways. 
  • List Category Posts, which allows you to easily add a list of posts within a particular category to a page or post on your site. 

We also re-enabled the PublishPress blocks and Highlight Text plugins, which were previously made unavailable for activation on new sites due to issues caused by a plugin conflict, which has been resolved.

Updates

In addition to some minor theme and plugin updates, there was a major update for the TablePress Responsive Tables plugin, which provides a few different layouts to make TablePress tables mobile friendly. The update fixed some issues with these displays. 

Bug Fixes

We fixed a bug causing links to be stripped out of the email notifications for site posts.

We also fixed a bug with the OpenLab Attributions plugin that caused the ‘Add Attribution’ window to increase in width when a long attribution statement was added.

As always, please contact us with any questions!

This Month on the OpenLab: February 2022 Release

Cat investigating a heart sculpture.

On February 15 we released version 1.7.59 of the OpenLab. It was a small release, which included some plugin and theme updates, and a bug fix. 

Updates

In addition to minor theme and plugin updates, there was an update for the Wonder Gallery plugin, which fixed an issue with adding videos via URL from platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. We also updated the Gutenberg (Block Editor) plugin to the latest version.

Bug Fix

We fixed an issue with the Yoast Duplicate Post plugin, which was causing the default user permissions settings to be deselected for new Course sites and cloned sites, meaning that admins had to activate these settings before being able to use the plugin. 

As always, please contact us with any questions!

This Month on the OpenLab: January 2022 Release

On January 26, 2022 we released version 1.7.57 of the OpenLab. It included updates to all existing themes and plugins, including BuddyPress and WordPress, the two primary plugins that power the OpenLab. 

New Features and Functionality

The latest version of WordPress includes a block-based editor for widgets. Because this is a significant change and we didn’t want to confuse people, we’ve enabled the Classic Widgets plugin on all sites, which keeps the familiar classic editor for widgets in place. If you’re interested in experimenting with block editing for widgets, let us know and we can disable the Classic Widgets plugin on your site.

We’ll be switching to the block-based editor for widgets in the Summer of 2022, with the option to enable the Classic Widgets plugin on a site-by-site basis.

Bug Fixes

Four bugs were fixed in this release:

  1. There was a block editor bug preventing text from being properly pasted into list blocks. This has been fixed with an update to the block editor.
  2. We fixed an issue with the Easy Table of Contents plugin causing the toggle for expanding or collapsing a table of contents on a page or post to be hidden, even if it was set to be shown.
  3. The ‘+’ icon shortcut in the toolbar at the top OpenLab sites allowing site users to create a new post without going to the dashboard was not working on mobile devices. This has been fixed.
  4. We fixed a conflict with the Hemingway theme and the Gravity Forms Quiz add-on that caused quiz questions to appear in white text so they weren’t visible.

As always, please contact us with any questions!

Winter 2022 Support Schedule

Hello, OpenLab Community!

We are happy to announce our Winter 2022 Support Schedule, for everyone working the winter session and/or preparing for Spring 2022. We offer two types of synchronous support: workshops and Open Hours.

Winter Workshops:

Click here to view the full schedule and register to receive the Zoom link.

Getting Started on the OpenLab (1/24, 1/27, 2/2)

Using the Course Template for Course Design (1/24, 1/27)

Using the Block Editor (2/2)

Winter Open Hours:

Click here for instructions on how to sign up for a one-on-one appointment with a Digital Pedagogy Fellow during our Open Hours.

Thursday, 1/13, 10:00am-12:00pm

Tuesday, 1/18, 2:00pm-4:00pm

Thursday, 1/27, 10:00am-12:00pm