This week we’re spotlighting the recent issue of the Nucleus (Winter, 2017), our Faculty Commons Quarterly. This season’s issue features pieces from faculty about the creative ways they’ve used the OpenLab in the context of their courses and/or research. Specifically, faculty discuss engaging students through creative and interactive assignments that incorporate multiple forms of media and dialogue, how the open and archival aspects of the OpenLab enable past students to share tips and strategies with newer students despite never meeting in person, how course sites can act as nodes in larger networks of resources that may benefit students academically, professionally, or otherwise, how to carry out collaborative student-faculty research projects, and how other innovative learning resources such as OERs and WeBWorks enrich students learning AND can help keep educational costs down for students. We hope you enjoy!
A hearty thank you to the Faculty Commons for their enthusiasm and support with this issue and always.
This 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 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.
The OpenLab site for Professor Sandra Cheng’s Introduction to Film course is well-organized, informative, and visually appealing. It’s easy to find course information and student work, and she has included plenty of helpful and relevant resources, such as links to City Tech and NYC film-related resources and an RSS feed from the New York Times Movies section. Course activity has just begun with students introducing themselves, but they’ll be engaging with interesting topics throughout the semester, so be sure to keep checking back to see what they’re writing about!