[C] Assignment Week 3

Based on what you’ve written and considered over the last two weeks, create a rough draft assignment sheet. Format it in a way that makes sense for you. Below are some guidelines to help you with drafting. Due Friday, 8/5.

1) Include a brief description of the assignment 

  • What are students making?
  • Will they create/edit an entire resources in one semester, or just a part of a resource?
  • What subject-specific topic does the assignment address?
  • What makes this assignment “open” (describe how this assignment can be re-used, revised, remixed etc.)?

2) Include guidelines and learning goals

  • What content or features of the resource-to-be-made/edited are essential?
  • What parts of the assignment do you want students to prioritize?
  • What are your responsibilities in this assignment and what are the students’? 

3) Include some (tentative) dates for when major milestones of the project need to be completed

20 thoughts on “[C] Assignment Week 3

  1. Mengia Tschalaer (She/her/hers)

    Podcast Assignment for the Online Asynchronous Course ANT 210 Sex and Culture Course

    Exploring Taboos around Love, Sex, and Culture in the Context of Growing Political Authoritarianism

    This assignment is part of an exciting initiative at CUNY called “Transformative Learning in the Humanities (TLH).” TLH focuses on equitable, creative, student-centered teaching. As “Mellon TLH Student Scholar,” you have the wonderful opportunity to participate in a knowledge-production project called “Dismantling Taboos Around Love, Sex and Culture as an Act of Resistance”.

    The goal of this project is for Mellon TLH Student Scholars to experiment with creating a storyline for a podcast series that draws on creative writing and (auto)ethnographic methodologies and that includes the development of technical skills such as planning and recording an interview and collaborate with the sound editors for the editing process.

    For this assignment, the Mellon TLH Student Scholars will create a 25-minutes OER podcast that focuses on societal, political and/or legal taboos around love, sex and culture and sexuality and discusses the ways a dismantling of these could contribute to social justice advocacy. Using the ethnographic method of semi-structured interviews, you will co-create a podcast that allows some insight into the way personal perceptions around love, gender and sexuality and the taboos that exist in this context relate to larger geopolitical power dynamics. For instance, how can we grasp the lack of an open societal dialogue around sex and sexuality in a political context where sex ed is increasingly under attack? Why are same-sex intimacies often erased and considered a taboo in conservative political discourse? How does the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe vs. Wade potentially contribute to the silencing of sex in American discourse on culture and tradition? And how does such affect the lives of individuals? How can we resist authoritarian politics geared towards vilifying non-heteronormative ideas around sex and love? These and other questions can guide your own inquiry on the taboos that exist around sex and love in different socio-cultural and political settings.

    Learning Objectives:
    • Experiment with creating a storyline for a podcast series that draws on creative writing and autoethnographic accounts around taboos concerning personal/cultural/political understandings on love, sex and culture
    • Construct a narrative for a podcast that weaves together social/political/legal understandings on love, sex and culture and examines the taboos that might exists in this context
    • Interpret complex narratives around taboos on love, sex, and culture in terms of their relevance for our everyday lives and social justice initiatives
    • Demonstrate critical thinking skills about abstract ideas around taboos, love and sex and tie them back to colonial and imperialist thinking around gender, sexuality, and culture
    • Illustrate the ability to collaborate with other young scholars and faculty on the project for the successful realization of the podcast series
    • Actively contribute to the idea-generating process of the respective podcast episode
    • Produce a podcast that includes the development of technical skills such as planning and recording an interview and collaborate with the sound editors for the editing process
    • Develop public engagement skills for the promotion of the podcast

    Assignment Instructions:
    As a Mellon TLH Student Scholar, you will work with a production team, fellow Mellon TLH Student Scholars, and the instructor to create a podcast of 25 minutes over the course of 6 weeks.

    For the production of this podcast, you will:
    • use Anchor (https://anchor.fm), a free all-in-one and Spotify affiliated platform where you can record and store your podcasts for free. You can record directly into the Anchor app or record on your computer and upload via their website. Please sign in into the platform using the Username XY and Password XY
    • collaborate with a fellow Mellon THL Student Scholar to create a story line, design an interview schedule, identify interviewees, and record the podcast
    • meet with the instructor bi-weekly in October and November (online via zoom)
    • collaborate with the TLH production team to edit the podcast
    • meet with the other Mellon TLH Student Scholars in November to share the podcasts (online via zoom)

    Production Timeline:
    • Instructor recruit 2-3 Mellon TLH Student Scholars to produce the podcast (September 22, 2022)
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars send podcast idea to instructor (October 5, 2022)
    • Students meet with the instructor via zoom to discuss podcast idea (Week of October 5, 2022)
    • Students send a map of the story line and interview questions to instructor (October 19, 2022)
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars meet with instructor via zoom to discuss story line (incl. ideas for an intro), interview questions and identify 1-3 suitable interviewees (Week of October 19, 2022)
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars submit the recorded intro and interviews (October 26, 2022)
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars meet with the instructor via zoom to review the recorded intro and interviews (Week of October 26, 2022)
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars work with the TLH production team and the instructor to edit and finalize the episode (Weeks of October 31-November 14).
    • Mellon TLH Student Scholars meet with all Mellon TLH Student Scholars from cohort 5 to launch and celebrate the podcast series (Week of December 5)

    $100 per participating Mellon THL Student Scholar (max ??? scholars)

    OER Assignment:
    This podcast series-assignment is compliant with OER requirements in that it can be re-used, revised, and remixed. The podcast series can be shared and re-used in future courses across colleges and universities as it is downloadable for free via Spotify. In addition, the Anchor platform can host an unlimited number of podcasts. That way, scholars in future course can contribute to the series and continue the stimulating cross-disciplinary conversations and collaborative activism. Spotify allows everyone to use, edit and modify the content that is stored on their platform. In this sense, other users can download the podcast and revise and re-mix it to their liking.
    The licensing terms of the Anchor platform are as follows: “By submitting User Content, including any Provided Content (defined below), through the Services, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive license to use, edit, modify, create derivative works from (such as transcriptions of User Content), aggregate, reproduce, distribute, communicate to the public, make available, transmit, display, and perform, the User Content in connection with the operation of the Services, the promotion, advertising or marketing of the Services, and the operation of Spotify’s (and its successors’ and affiliates’) business. This license is worldwide, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) and transferable and granted for the maximum duration afforded under the underlying intellectual property rights. Where required by mandatory law, this license shall be terminated when you terminate your Account or we terminate your access to the Services.” (https://anchor.fm/tos)

    -> What about the Creative Common Licensing? I can’t find information on this on http://www.anchor.fm

    1. Maria Elena Pizarro

      Good afternoon Mengia!

      I was so impressed with the Podcast assignment. It seems to be the perfect venue to discuss the timely issues surrounding “taboos around Love, Sex, and Culture”. It is very clearly structured, and the questions are so meaningful. I have also learned about another platform – Anchor- so thank you for this!

      Thank you also for your advice to start with “perusal” on Blackboard, to annotate text and keeping it more manageable, at least in my initial attempts to begin using OER materials. This makes a lot of sense.
      It was so great to share time with you in this seminar, and read your posts. I wish you all the luck with the Mellon Fellowship course in the fall, and much success with the podcast project.

      Enjoy the rest of the summer!!

      With all good wishes,
      María Elena

    2. Noriko Watanabe (she/her/hers)

      Hi Mengia,
      This is a very well-thought-out assignment and the idea of creating a podcast series is brilliant. I like the fact that students’ creativity is highlighted in this learning process. I myself would like to learn to create some podcasts of interviews for another project, but sorting out licensing issues is what I should study further. I hope the podcasts will reach many listeners here at John Jay and beyond.

    3. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)

      This sounds like a fascinating project and one that is especially vital in the current political climate. I know we spoke a bit about the terms of the Spotify licensing. Am I correct in thinking that the TLH and/or Mellon folks are the ones that suggested (or required) that you use Spotify? Perhaps they can talk more about the licensing terms involved.

    4. Michael Schoch (he/him/his) Post author

      Hi Mengia,

      Wow, what a fully realized project! Two things that stuck out to me are how completely you’re combining some technical/hands-on modalities (like the software and services to podcast) with more abstract ones like drafting episode ideas and stories, and your timeline. This seems very doable and exciting! As Bruce mentioned, it will be interesting to learn from your experience how working with Spotify goes. If it goes well that’s definitely something we’ll want to mention in future seminars. Best of luck!

  2. Maria Elena Pizarro

    Good afternoon everyone!

    Thank you all to a nice group of colleagues to do a seminar with!

    I post week 3 assignment:

    Course: International Law and Justice

    1. Using an article similar to the one I found for week 2 assignment, I would like to assign students in the international law class to read, and do some research on the legal question -how the ICC’s jurisdiction applies to non-member states, and under what conditions?

    I would provide students, for instance, with a link to the article, and an instructions sheet.

    LawArXiv Papers | “The Legal Basis for the Exercise of Jurisdiction by the International Criminal Court and the Preparatory Work of the Rome Statute (I),” Journal of International Relations and Comparative Culture, Vol. 16, No. 2 (March 2018), pp. 67-74. (osf.io)

    (I’m using the link to this article on the ICC only to illustrate, as it seems this is not really an OER resource, and Bruce pointed out that even though it has a “no license” category, it has a copyright held by the author. Thank you, Bruce for this clarification. I need to do a more careful search and learn more about licensing. I did not find a similar short article to use for this assignment yet, but I will keep searching for an appropriate OER document if I use this type of an assignment for the class.)

    The assignment would be the written component of the course (instead of a research paper) and address the sections of the course on international law and its critics, and subjects of international law.
    I envisioned the assignment to be an open resource for students in the international law and justice classes, where future students add information and commentaries, as well as continue points of debate creating a detailed and comprehensive document on different aspects of the role and functions of the International Criminal Court.

    2. Instructions/Guidelines for the assignment:

    a. Students would be asked to read and reflect on the article, and then specifically research what is the jurisdiction of the ICC, and its limitations.

    b. Students would then choose a section of the initial article to comment, and add information/facts they have researched, and add questions of their own to the document for other classmates, (or future students), to consider.

    c. Students will also be asked to identify and add one other country not a member of the Rome Statute and indicate the reasons for not joining the court.

    The guidelines would direct students to specifically concentrate on core debates, or controversies surrounding the court’s jurisdiction to which they can add their own commentary/perspectives. They need first, to fully understand the functions and power of the court, which might entail highlighting key parts of the Rome Statute, before they can understand the legal debates regarding the court’s jurisdictional powers. Students can work on and submit a draft of their sections before posting or making available to the class as the final product. I am thinking, in the spirit of collaboration, the initial draft can also be submitted to another student for review/comments, and not necessarily to me. I am not entirely clear on this yet though, or how to structure the peer review for the class. In a semester time, it might not be feasible for students to review each other’s work, as some students might be lax in responding. It might just be easier for me to do the initial review of all assignments.

    3. The initial draft of the assignment could be submitted by mid-term (October), and the
    final submission by the end of the term (December).

    Thank you,
    María Elena

    1. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)

      Just a reminder that the student-created material in reaction to the article is a great example of OER and Open Pedagogy. So long as any quotes from the article are properly footnoted it shouldn’t be a problem that the jumping-off point was an article under traditional copyright.

      1. Maria Elena Pizarro

        Hello Bruce,

        Thank you so much, this is encouraging. I like this article because it deals precisely with a unit of the course, and it can be used carefully and properly cited.

        With gratitude for the seminar,
        María Elena

    2. Michael Schoch (he/him/his) Post author

      Hi Maria Elena,

      This sounds like a great project. I’m wondering if you would benefit from using collaborative annotation software like Hypothesis or a new one I just heard about, Perusal? I especially liked your idea that you might also have students peer review each other’s initial drafts as a way to make the project more student driven. Also I want to echo Bruce’s really good point that if the project is about students responding to a copyrighted work, their responses can still be OERs.

      1. Maria Elena Pizarro

        Hello Michael,

        Thank you so much for your comments, and the suggestion for using Hypothesis and Perusal. I am not familiar, and will keep them in mind in thinking about this OER assignment.
        It has been very interesting to learn about OER tools and practices. Thank yo for the great sessions!
        Best wishes,
        María Elena

  3. Guido D. Giordano

    1) Students would be working in a collaborative “Short guide to define and identify environmental crimes” for my Environmental Crime (EJS 240) class.

    I would provide a very simple template, composed of two titles saying the following: “An environmental crime is…”, and “An environmental crime is not…”. Each of these would be filled with 5-8 bullet points.

    The steps are as follows: 1) The template would be provided to the whole class. 2) The class would be divided in groups, ideally in groups of three (03); four (04) or five (05) Students. 3) Each group would build its own answer within the first three (03) modules of the course. 4) All final group products would be openly shared in a folder accessible to all the course. 5) During the following weeks, Group 02 will work changing and modifying Group’s 01 final product; Group 03 will modify Group’s 02 assignment; and so forth. 6) Finally, during the final stage of the course, all products would be discussed at large in the whole course, with the tentative goal of obtaining a Final Class Product.

    The assignment would cover an absolutely core topic of the course, which basically gives the name to it.

    The assignment would be open initially for the class. The idea would be to at least keep the Final Class Product open for future cohorts, to create a repository and ideally to fully open it to the public. Ours is a growing field… and all indicates that it will (sadly) continue to grow.

    The work could be done mostly through BlackBoard; although allowing Students to work outside of it may be considered.
    The main role of the Instructor would be to guide the work of Students, at maximum making suggestions in terms of contents, or of refining language. But since the assignment is pretty straightforward and the dynamic is very “brainstormy” at the beginning, the role of the Instructor would be very limited. The final stage may require a stronger intervention, but always keeping it within the guide/coordinator style.

    Learning Goals:
    A) Acquiring scientific knowledge regarding the phenomenon of environmental crime, its historical development and diverse disciplines that study the matter.
    B) Understanding the complexity of the concepts of “environment” and “crime”, and the diverse epistemological perspectives that approach them.
    C) Being able to understand and integrate diverse scientific, cultural, ideological and institutional points of view.
    These are at the very least those to be covered. They are general Learning Objectives from the course’s syllabus.

    3) The idea is that the Students: 1) Build this assignment within the first two (02) modules of the course. 2) Revise the other group’s assignment during the following three (03) modules of the course: 3) Build the Final Class Product during last four (04) modules of the course.

    1. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)


      It looks like you’re striking a good balance between providing guidance and overseeing student work with encouraging them to work independently–and rely on each other. I think it’s a great idea to pilot this on Blackboard–you can move to a more open platform if you decide to go that route.

    2. Michael Schoch (he/him/his) Post author

      Hi Guido,

      I really like the progression of this assignment–students move from bullet points related to a pair of simple “is or is not” statements, then begin to draft and revise. Another cool thing about this assignment is that in addition to helping students learn subject material, it also helps them develop could writing and thinking skills in the form of drafting, revising and cooperating. I think this is something I’d love to try a version of in my own class!

  4. Noriko Watanabe (she/her/hers)

    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for excellent discussions and interesting ideas. I enjoyed reading your posts and talking to you over Zoom. For my course, JPN101 Elementary Japanese I, students will produce reflections and study advice on developing individual strategies for Japanese literacy. I do not have the exact wording for the assignment text, but the following is my answer to Assignment 3.

    1) Description
    – In the first semester of Japanese, students are introduced to Japanese writing system which is new and very different from that of English. They need to memorize 46 hiragana syllabaries first, and read and write them as they progress their path to Japanese literacy. The assignment consists of entries at three key points in a semester, and asks students to report their reactions and reflections on learning the first layer of Japanese writing system, i.e., hiragana syllabaries.
    -Students will create the content on Google Doc throughout a semester in order to share their experiences, frustrations, and useful strategies and tips on memorizing the characters and reading Japanese text fluently.
    -This assignment allows students to openly share their struggles and useful learning strategies. Learning an entirely new writing system is challenging yet crucial, and students will benefit from other learners’ experiences and advice on how to develop their new literacy skills. What students generate can serve as a guide that shows paths toward Japanese literacy.

    2) Goals: The ultimate goal of the assignment is for students to master the fundamental hiragana syllabaries and to read and write Japanese using them. The assignment will assist students achieve the goals by encouraging them to develop strategies that are more finely tailored to each learner’s cognitive and psychological styles, and by forming a community that nurtures mutual support.

    Guidelines: Students will write their responses at three key points in the semester: initial stage, mid-term progress, and final reflections. The entries should highlight achievements and useful study methods for different types of learners, covering topic such as useful mnemonics, effective study routines, . The instructor will guide and encourage students to recognize various ways to learn and practice.

    3) Schedule: During the initial stage students are encouraged to write about their first impressions and their strategies for mastering the 46 syllabaries; (Due September 29) For the mid-term progress report students will review their progress and identify successful or unsuccessful strategies, while they deal with new materials on spelling rules and vertical writing, along with their struggles (October 31); at the end of the semester, they will offer advice for the next generation of beginners based on their semester-long experience of Japanese writing system (December 5).

    1. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)


      I think your students are fortunate to have an instructor who’s given so much thought (and empathy) to the issues around learning a new writing system! I imagine it might also be useful in later courses when introducing katakana and kanji!

    2. Michael Schoch (he/him/his) Post author

      Hi Noriko,

      This sounds like a useful yet still straightforward adaptation of the question bank idea. Instead of questions, students are making a bank of reflections and tips to help future cohorts. I appreciated your line: “Learning an entirely new writing system is challenging yet crucial, and students will benefit from other learners’ experiences and advice on how to develop their new literacy skills.” This assignment seems to do a great job of emphasizing to new students that their effort and work is in the service of learning important literacy skills that will help them in other disciplines and languages, even beyond their Japanese course.

  5. Diana Moore

    HIS 127: Anti-Catholicism in the 19th Century
    Fall 2022
    Reading Summaries

    Goal of Assignment: This assignment serves two purposes. First, students gain a more complete understanding of one of the weekly readings by creating a summary of the reading and restating its major arguments and evidence. Secondly, they help create a reference of all of the readings for the course that can be utilized by all students.

    Requirements: For Units #1, #2, and #3, you will need to select one of the weekly readings and contribute to a Blackboard Wiki page summarizing the reading and explaining its major arguments for your fellow students. To ensure that enough students write about each reading, you should join the group for the reading before contributing to the Wiki page. Each summary should include the following sections/information:
    • Basic bibliographic information (author, title, journal title, year of publication, etc.)
    • Overall argument of the reading
    • Description of the structure of the work. Authors generally divide their work up into sections (sometimes these are clearly labeled and other times not). The summary for the reading should provide an overview of these major sections and clarify what the author says in each of them. Think of this as a mini-summary for each section.
    • Relevant historical details and evidence
    • Properly cited direct quotations from the reading

    A Note on Group Work: This is a collaborative assignment. I expect students to work together to create a cohesive document that discusses the entire reading. Your grade will thus be based on a combination of your individual contribution and the overall product.

    Deadlines: In order for these summaries to be most useful, they should be completed prior to our class discussion on the reading. However, you can continue to make small edits on the page for a few days following the discussion.

    Grading: You can earn up to 10 points for each summary. I will grade you using the following rubric.
    [The assignment sheet I made up then has the full rubric, but I cannot get it to paste nicely here, so I’m just including the major categories.]

    Bibliographic Information (5%)
    Overall Argument (10%)
    Overview of Structure (25%)
    Relevant Details and Evidence (10%)
    Direct Quotations (10%)
    Individual Contribution (40%)

    1. Michael Schoch (he/him/his) Post author

      Nice to see how you’re thinking about this assignment Diana. I feel like in the previous summer session, we didn’t see too many folks use a shared bibliography for their assignment, but it seems ideal as a direct, useful way to begin generating information but keeping students active. Thanks for sharing your idea!


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