Summer Series 2023-Part 2

Rainbow Chalk” by Brian Yap via Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0

A 5-Part Self-Guided Series To Get Everyone Started on the OpenLab

Part 2 of 5: Explore the OpenLab and Learn How to Get OpenLab Help

Welcome back–we hope you had an easy time following along with Part 1 last week and now have your account set up, your avatar added, and your profile full of the pieces of information you want to share! Even if you’re not new to the OpenLab, getting your profile in order is useful–you can edit your profile and change your avatar easily.

This week, for Part 2 of the 5-part self-guided series, we explore to learn how others use the OpenLab to learn, teach, build community, and pursue other scholarly, pedagogical, and extra-curricular interests. We’ll also show how to get support for using the OpenLab.

  • Task 1: Browse through the OpenLab to learn more about what you can do and what working in the open means:
    • Check out In the Spotlight, our blog series that features a different exemplary site each week. Begin with the  Spotlight Archive. If you are a student, you may want to scroll through some student ePortfolios and clubs. If you are a faculty member, you may want to scroll through some spotlighted courses. If you are a staff member, you may want to look at some spotlighted projects.
    • Check out our in-house site Open Pedagogy on the OpenLab, a site for sharing and discussing resources about open digital pedagogy. This site will help you understand what we mean when we talk about learning/ teaching online and in the “open”–from more local topics like adding a final post to a site, to larger issues like the importance of accessibility in our digital spaces, to reminders for and some background info about coworking sessions.
    • Continue to explore the community using various search and filter options: You can search through people, courses, projects, clubs and portfolios using the menu at the top and the magnifying glass in the top-right. Also, you can also search courses, projects, clubs and portfolios –you’ll also find these links under the slider on the OpenLab home page, and in the bar that runs across the top of the OpenLab, and also in the OpenLab menu that you’ll find on the top left corner. From the search page, use the filters (top-right) to tailor your search. Here’s some help showing how you can use the filters, in this case to find a project.
  • Task 2: As you explore, you may find yourself inspired to start creating your course, project, club, or portfolio. To get help with these tasks and using the OpenLab you can:
    • Check out our extensive Help section – it has everything you need to get started joining and building sites on the OpenLab. Get help with everything from Creating a Course, inviting students, sharing materials, and using the WordPress block editor to create content on the OpenLab.
    • Throughout this summer, we have virtual office hours that we call open hours available by request: these  one-on-one consultations with a member of the OpenLab team are open for anyone to sign up for and participate in. You’re welcome to meet with us at any stage of your work, whether you are just starting to think through how you will set up your site or whether you’re at a more advanced stage. As we get closer to the start of the semester, we will share a schedule for open hours and sign-up instructions for open hours, co-working sessions, and workshops.
    • We are available to support you seven days a week via email at or via the Contact Us form on the Help page.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of 5, to learn more about creating a site on the OpenLab!

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