In the Spotlight: ENG1121-D433 – English Composition 2

This week we’re spotlighting Professor Iddings’ English Composition 2 course (ENG 1121-D433). After a quick tour around Professor Iddings’ course site, it is easy to see how this site functions as an important hub for her students and aims to support them in being successful in the course. With this in mind there are a number of features I’d like to highlight:

At 15 points of their overall grade, Blogging is an important component of this english course. For Professor Iddings, blogging is a part of the larger motto of the class: “Writing—and writing frequently, with intention, and with significant feedback—is a great way to improve your understanding of the texts we will read.” With this in mind, Professor Iddings gives extensive details on how to approach the assignment including the requirements and deadlines, notes on how to post and what should be included, and a grading rubric. In addition, she gives an overview of what blogging is and how its style and etiquette compare and contrast with other forms of class writing. This last component seems particularly important given the likelihood that many students haven’t had the opportunity to blog before.

A second feature I’d like to highlight is her main menu item entitled ‘Classwork’. As her page description states, “This is where all kind of handouts, slide shows, and student-generated work will land.” While the page contains only slide shows at the moment, I think it’s worthwhile to note the facility of having a place where any loose-leaf handouts can be stored digitally. Undoubtedly, there will be a student or two (or 10!) who will lose track of handouts that will prove useful to them throughout the course. By uploading them here, Professor Iddings never has to worry about students in her losing access to these documents.

The last feature I will highlight here – though there are many more and I encourage you to check out the site! – is the “Helpful Links” section and RSS Feed for the NYTimes which she has in her widget area (the menu on the right side of the course site). While each of these offers different content – the first providing students with easy access to educational resources around City Tech and beyond, and the second linking to the latest articles from the Times – both work to connect the student’s classroom experience to the outside world. This is an important capability of the OpenLab platform that we encourage instructors to take advantage of!

In the Spotlight: HGMT 4989 – Culinary Tourism


This week we’re shining the spotlight on Professor Krondl’s Culinary Tourism course (HGMT 4989). This course facilitates students exploration of the concept of culinary tourism, and highlights its impact on the tourism industry. The first thing you notice about this course site is that it is easily navigable. In the top menu, students and site visitors can quickly find information on assignments and field trips, as well as download a copy of the syllabus. Organization is essential during the first few weeks of class, particularly because it sets up student’s expectations of the class and helps them prepare for successful completion of the course.

 

From the course site, it becomes quickly obvious that Professor Krondl’s course is organized around a series of experiential assignments that get students out exploring the city around them. These assignments are organized around four field trips that take students to different locations across the boroughs of Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. These trips are accompanied by brief prompts that ask students to examine the culinary tourism of a particular neighborhood in relation to its historical and contemporary contexts. In the context of these assignments, the course site primarily serves as a place for sharing analytic reflections of their experiences with the class and beyond.

This is a great example of how to use your course site to support your assignments while not limiting them. Here at OpenLab, the objective is not necessarily about what you can do with the technology we’re offering, but how can this technology support you in your pedagogical goals.

For more information and/or to meet with us one on one, attend a workshop or come visit us during an office hour! We also have two upcoming Open Pedagogy events – we hope to see you there!

Image Souce: Marco Derkson

In the Spotlight: COMD 2313 — Illustration 1

screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-8-46-05-pmThis week we’re highlighting Professor Sara Woolley Gómez’s course, COMD 2313: Illustration 1. Similar to other course sites, Professor Woolley Gómez has basic course information on it (syllabus and course policies). However, based on the other features on her course site, Woolley Gómez seems more inclined to use the site as a place for introducing additional features of the course and sharing student work. “Sketchbook” is such a feature that falls at the intersection of these two ambitions. Sketchbook is a place where students can upload photo essays documenting their process of creation with a particular assignment, activity or concept. In some cases these are supplemented with text-based descriptions that provide further insight into the process. In this way, Sketchbook is a good example of a digital assignment that structures space for meta-cognitive learning practices and growth. Moreover, these are shared publicly with the class and beyond, creating a space for students to think critically about public presentation and audience, and to engage peers in a discussion about learning practices and process. In addition, Woolley Gómez populates student assignment submissions under corresponding labels, creating an opportunity for students to review or engage with other student’s assignments. Lastly, there is a more general discussion page for sharing articles, illustrations and other art that may be of interest to peers. Visit Professor Sara Woolley Gómez’s course page for more!

In the Spotlight: ENG2003 – Intro to Literature: Poetry

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Prof. Cecily Iddings’ course ENG2003 – Intro to Literature: Poetry offers a great example of OpenLab use to encourage student writing and feedback. Students blog on assigned topics like close reading or language, sound, and form in poetry. They are also required to comment on each other’s posts, creating an ongoing discussion about course readings that extends from classroom to site. Especially exciting too is the course Glossary that students continually upgrade with definitions, examples of word use in poems, and their own analysis of the word in context. Be sure to check out the course site for new ideas to generate student engagement online!

In the Spotlight: PSY3405 – Health Psychology

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The course site for Prof. Amanda Almond’s interdisciplinary PSY3405 – Health Psychology offers students both course documents and extensive multimedia resources to think about race and health. In addition to the course syllabus, requirements, and grading procedures, Prof. Almond provides her students with a course outline detailing weekly lectures, assignments, readings, film viewings, quizzes, and deadlines. On the home page, she rightly tells students that this course outline will be their best friend. Assignments for the course are also nicely organized under one easy-to-find drop-down menu. For added benefit, Prof. Almond has linked to further resources for the students’ reference. These include the New York Times’ Patient Voices feature and particularly important case studies of psychology experiments, which students can comment on for extra credit. If you’re wondering how to use an OpenLab site to equip students with tools for success in your course, Prof. Almond’s site offers a great example to guide you.

In the Spotlight: HMGT1102 – Intro to Hospitality Management

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In Prof. Michael Krondl’s section of HMGT 1102 – Introduction to Hospitality Management, students can easily find the course syllabus, assignments, and readings. But most exciting about the site is the space it offers for students to blog about their visits to Smorgasburg and the Chelsea Market, complete with descriptions of the venues and mouth-watering photographs of the food. As a final project, teams of students will further use the OpenLab site to complete a concept of a New York City food truck, including a menu, standardized recipes, and spec sheets for the central ingredient of each menu item. Check out this site for a great example of student reflection, photography, and teamwork on the OpenLab — but not if you’re already hungry.

In the Spotlight: MAT2540 – Discrete Structures and Algorithms II

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STEM faculty, have you ever felt unsure about how to use the OpenLab for your coursework? If so, check out Prof. Kate Poirier’s course site for MAT2540 – Discrete Structures and Algorithms II. With a highly functional site design, Prof. Poirier’s course information is arranged by Course Policies (including grading guidelines), Calendar, Homework, Quizzes, Discussion, and Links offering further resources. All information is clear and accessible. An especially exciting innovation is the test review that Prof. Poirier has students do. Here each student explains how they solved one particular problem on a recent test, thereby exposing their peers to their thought-processes and creating room for suggestions and discussion. Be sure to check out the site if you would like to see a useful example of Math coursework happening on the OpenLab!

In the Spotlight: ARCH 1130 – Building Technology I

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In ARCH 1130 – Building Technology I, Prof. Jason Montgomery teaches a wide breadth of design topics: from building assemblage to documentation. To do so, his students move from architectural theory to drawing practice to case studies, all in one semester. Prof. Montgomery manages to cover this much ground with the help of his OpenLab site. Students can find all the materials they need for each section of the course: from text books to drafting triangles, lecture notes to sketchbook images. Prof. Montgomery also uses his site to make sure that students have all the resources that they need for success in his course. He includes instructions for creating an ePortfolio, as well as reading strategies and learning rubrics. Check out the site to see all this, plus beautiful samples of his students’ work.

In the Spotlight: ENG1710 – Introduction to Language and Technology

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In Prof. Lestón’s English class, Introduction to Language and Technology, students not only write responses to course reading, but also develop revision plans and second drafts of their writing on the course site. All this work — including Prof. Lestón’s feedback to each student — is available for the class to see, so that students benefit from observing their peers’ drafting process as well as their own. What’s more, Prof. Lestón has included the project that students in his Fall 2015 course undertook, thereby drawing a link from one semester to the next. And as an added perk, the “Culture Jams” section of the site keeps a “storehouse of viral images” related to the themes of the course, which both he and his students can populate as they come across them throughout the semester. Check out the site to see for yourself!

In the Spotlight: ARTH1108 – Art of Asia

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Curious to see how other faculty are organizing their course sites? Check out Prof. Ikuyo Nakagawa’s ARTH 1108 – Art of Asia. The course site is cleanly laid out, with menus that make it especially easy for students to find the syllabus, schedule of classes, assignments, and quizzes & exams. Prof. Nakagawa will be adding information about museum visits and extra credit throughout the semester. The site structure is functional, intuitive, and clear. Check it out to see a great example!