In the Spotlight: COMD 2313 — Illustration 1

front page of Illustration 1 courseThis 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: 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: ECON2505 – Environmental Economics

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For ECON2505 – Environmental Economics, Profs. Diana Mincyte and Sean MacDonald have built a course site featuring reading assignments, exam materials, PowerPoint presentations, and extra credit options. You can see here, for example, their detailed instructions for a research project that their students will do. Students in the class also write weekly posts in response to their readings. And they’ll be able to use the site to post their final presentations and review each other’s work. See the site here for more!

In the Spotlight: HMGT4997 – Wine of the New World

In Profs. Karen Goodlad and Robert Dagorn’s course, students are learning about the art and science of wine making, blending, and tasting.  They have recently made two visits to Red Hook Winery, where they were able to take part in the wine-making process and create their own blends to pair with a particular meal.  You can view photos and read their reflections on this visit and the excellent hands-on experience they gained.  If you’re lucky enough to visit the Janet Lefler Dining Room at the right time, you’ll be able to taste their blends!

In the Spotlight: ENG 2720: Writing with New Media

Students in Prof. Jill Belli’s Writing with New Media course are considering the ways in which writing practices have been affected by digital spaces.  The course site is very active, with lots of great discussion.  Students have been posting and commenting on Prezi presentations they created about different types of social media.  Coming up next, they’ll be posting internet memes, and reflecting on a recent visit to the Museum of the Moving Image to see the exhibit “How Cats Took Over the Internet.”  They also recently had a visit from some of The Buzz bloggers, including a great follow-up virtual discussionCheck out their work!

In the Spotlight: Exploring Quantitative Reasoning

Created by Quantitative Reasoning Fellow, Yoonhee Kang, as a part of the Math Department’s Quantitative Reasoning (QR) program, this site features many great resources on QR and offers a space where those interested in QR can share and discuss ideas.  The site is well-designed, and contains information on QR, workshops for students, posts on QR in everyday life and various professions, and videos about QR.  Take a look!

In the Spotlight: ENG 2420: Science Fiction

Prof. Jill Belli’s Science Fiction course site has a lot happening, and is well-structured so it’s easy to explore and access specific information and resources.  The site is very active, with frequent student posts and interaction in the comments sections.  There are also some great discussions generated in the Class Discussion Posts, where conversation is extended beyond class time.  You can tell from reading through any of these comment threads that students are very engaged with the material they’re studying, as well as their classmates’ ideas.  Each week the class votes on which student post they think should be featured on the site, and the winner is chosen as the People’s Choice Post of the week. We also love that the course avatar (pictured above) was created by a student in the class, Andrew Dutt.

In the Spotlight: Culinary Improvisation

Students in Prof. Claire Stewart’s Culinary Improvisation course are reflecting on their cooking techniques and the foods they use for weekly improvisational challenges in the kitchen.  We were impressed with the detailed descriptions of their process, accompanied by photographs they took themselves.  By reading through their posts and comments they’ve made on each other’s work, you get a sense of the community they’re building in the class.  Take a look at what they’re up to, but with a warning that it might make you hungry!

In the Spotlight: Health Psychology

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Prof. Amanda Almond’s course site is very active and full of interesting assignments and class discussions. Recently, students watched and commented on a video embedded on the course site.  We also like how students engaged with the course policies page by either proposing an addition or elaborating on one of the policies listed.  Take a look!

In the Spotlight: The Buzz

The Buzz is the blog for our excellent group of student bloggers, who are writing on a wide variety of topics, from fashion to food, and more.  This semester the group also includes a few photobloggers who will be posting and writing about their photographs.  There are already three new posts this week, as well as an active comments section.  Check it out, and leave a comment!