WAC Highlight: Professor Mary Sue Donsky

Course: LAW 2301 Estates, Trusts and Wills

Course Link: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/groups/estates-trusts-and-wills/

Assignment: Field-Based Collaborative Research Assignment

In this assignment, students visited an African burial ground at 290 Broadway.   They researched the distribution and ownership of property under the laws of early New York.  Students attended a lecture by a National Park Ranger and read the site brochure as well as two wills.

Assignment Link: https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/donskylaw2301/assignments/

What WAC principle(s) does this assignment exemplify?
This assignment puts into action writing to learn principles by requiring both an individual response to the site visit and readings in the form of a legal memo, as well as a group wiki post and oral presentation.  This assignment employs scaffolding as the individual response then allows for effective group collaboration.  The online writing also supports the oral presentation component, which may be seen as the high-stakes aspect of the assignment.

How might this type of assignment be used in other courses across the curriculum?

Other courses may similarly design a visit to a New York site and provide the opportunity for students to engage with primary research sources.  Further, a wiki post is an excellent format for students to present group writing in and provides the opportunity for students to comment online and to show their work outside of class.

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