[C] Week 1 Discussion

Feel free to introduce yourself and let us know if you have any familiarity with OER or Open Pedagogy (it’s fine if you don’t!). 

Have you ever assigned your students to create an educational resource that could be used by other students, such as a handout, study guide, or even a page of a class website? Do you know of any colleagues who have tried this? Does it sound at all interesting to you?

Please post a response by Wednesday, 7/20.

In addition to your post, respond (briefly) to one other person’s post by Friday, 7/22

25 thoughts on “[C] Week 1 Discussion

  1. Mengia Tschalaer (She/her/hers)

    Hi everyone,

    My name is Mengia and I am a social and cultural anthropologist. I have been teaching at JJ in the Political Science and Anthropology Departments since 2013. I currently teach asynchronous online courses in the area of gender, race, sexuality, culture and intersectionality.

    I come to teaching these courses through my own research on Muslim women’s rights in India and queer Asylum in Germany. Over the last 4 years, I have been engaging in knowledge exchange on the protection needs of LGBTQI+ asylum claimants. In all my courses, my goal is for students to think about how the readings connect with the current socio-political situation in the US as well as their everyday life. By doing so, I encourage students to think about how categories such as culture, gender, sexuality, and race are not static and fixed entities but a construction that changes meaning within different socio-political contexts and that contributes to process of hierarchization.

    I do not have any experience with OER Pedagogies but I think that my social justice-driven syllabus would really benefit from such. In Fall ’22, I am appointed Andrew W. Mellon Transformative Learning in the Humanities Faculty Fellow and I would like to use the space and support of this OER seminar to design an assignment for this fellowship.

    I would like to create a podcast series that approaches the topic of “taboo” from different social, cultural, political, and legal perspective. The idea is to facilitate a student-led podcast production that will be accessible online and can be assigned as a class resource in future courses. A colleague of mine at the Anthropology department has produced a student-led podcast and it’s brilliant. See here: https://transform.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2022/05/31/fellows-project-remapping-knowledge/

    I am looking forward to learning with all of you.

    Reply
    1. María Elena Pizarro

      Hello Mengia,

      Congratulations on your fellow appointment!!
      Thank you so much for sharing the podcast. It provided a “brilliant” example of OER pedagogies, of which I really do not know anything about, so I already learned something about it. I listened to the first episode and was very impressed. I see your interest in using this technique for your own courses, which are so rich in perspectives and social justice issues.

      Best wishes,
      María Elena

      Reply
  2. Guido D. Giordano

    Hello to all, I hope you are well; happy to salute you. I am Guido D. Giordano. As some details about myself, I am an Argentinian-American; I identify myself as a male (he/him); I am a lawyer, a Specialist in Environmental Management and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice graduate. I teach at John Jay, currently at the undergraduate level, within the Sociology Department (SOC) and at the Environmental Justice Program (EJS). At the moment, all of my courses are online asynchronous.

    As per my OER experiences, one (01) of my courses is actually an OER course, and has been since it started. I have to acknowledge that I owe this heritage to the person that had designed this course (the first course that I took) before me. I had access to that syllabus and the OER concept was there. I googled it and briefly read about it, as I was designing the literature part of the course.

    My other courses do not follow an OER basis, as I use specific textbooks that I believe are very practical and enriching for Students. I have been considering making at least one (01) of my other courses also an OER course, given the advantages of this modality, mostly in terms of accessibility and shared knowledge. Using multiple resources may also give more edge in terms of diversity of views and opinions, although it may entail extra work on the Instructor’s side.

    In general terms, my criteria for selecting the material do depend on the situation, like my previous paragraphs demonstrate. I believe that the ideal path is to do a goal-oriented process, starting with the Learning Objectives and going “backwards” to meet the best suited material. With all, that is not always the case, depending on circumstances. But even when I have had material recommended, I have checked to see that the materials were clearly related with the course’s goals, general and specific.

    I hope these lines are somehow enriching for those on the other side. Feel free to comment. Best to all!

    Guido

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

      Hi Guido,

      I really liked your explanation of “going backwards” from the learning goal. I know that there are a few different pedagogies, each with different names that emphasize this and it would be interesting to see if anyone has had experience with any of them.

      I had found an article that described what it’s like to work backwards from student need learning goals to choosing educational materials, rather than working backwards from the professor’s particular interests. Unfortunately, it was one of the few articles I forgot to bookmark! But when I find it again I’ll send you the link.

      Reply
    2. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)

      How great that you had an OER model to work with. We were originally thinking about incorporating something about “backwards design” into the course, but simply don’t have enough time. In any case, it sounds like you’re already quite familiar with that approach.

      Reply
  3. Guido D. Giordano

    Hello Mengia! I hope you are well. It is always good to get to know a John Jay colleague, and your areas of expertise are certainly interesting, with clear points of contact with mine (which are, roughly speaking: crime, violence, sustainability, urban sociology, human rights and international law).

    Congratulations on the Fellowship! Your podcasts idea is very interesting. Learning has changed so much within the last decade, even lustrum! When I was a Students (not so long ago, seriously!) learning was heavily based on readings; now, we keep balancing our use of many different senses. I think this is great, and I am constantly adapting to it, trying to find new tools.

    Given your focus, fields of interests and ideas, I think that the whole OER approach will be greatly beneficial for you. But I say this knowing little about it, I am looking forward into knowing more about it! I hope this process is enriching for both of us. Stay well!

    Guido

    Reply
  4. Noriko Watanabe (she/her/hers)

    Hi everyone!

    My name is Noriko, and I have been teaching Japanese language courses for a few years as an adjunct at John Jay and Queens College. I am a broadly trained sociolinguist who has been teaching Japanese language, linguistics and culture for the last few decades in the US. I also taught English in Japanese universities while I was there recently. Since the field of education is having a significant shift in recent years, I definitely feel the need to re-examine my perspective on teaching. My expertise is language in general, but I feel I am not a specialist in foreign language teaching since my research focus is not on language learning nor pedagogy.

    At John Jay in Fall I am assigned to teach an introductory Japanese language skills course. The learning goals of language classes are practical and in a way open to the real world, but the nature of the discipline requires language classes to follow the national foreign language teaching standards and the need to coordinate across classes and levels makes teaching and learning somewhat inflexible. Because of this rigidity, I am interested in how I can give students more motivation, encouragement and sense of control over what they are learning. I am excited to learn new resources and an open approach to learning. I don’t know how yet (!), but I can hopefully apply my knowledge of OER to other content classes if I teach such courses in the future.

    Reply
    1. María Elena Pizarro

      Hello Noriko!
      Nice to meet you!

      As I read your comments, you got me thinking and felt the same regarding the need to re-examine how I have been teaching for the past decade. Education is changing, and agree that we all need to find ways to give students more encouragement and control over information that makes more sense to them and help in understanding their local and global contexts.

      Thank you, and best wishes,
      María Elena

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

      Hi Noriko,

      Nice to meet you on Wednesday. I can imagine it’s difficult to find open resources when you must also abide by a set of national standards. I know that OER commons has quite a few resources related to Japanese language, but I don’t know how useful they are.

      Here are the results from one search: https://www.oercommons.org/search?f.search=japanese+language

      And here is another set of search results. You have to scroll past the first two results to get to “first year Japanese”: https://www.oercommons.org/search?f.search=foreign+language&f.general_subject=arts-and-humanities&f.educational_use=curriculum-instruction&f.sublevel=community-college-lower-division&f.sublevel=college-upper-division&f.license_types=no-strings-attached&f.license_types=cc-by&f.license_types=public-domain

      Not sure if these are relevant but maybe they can provide some ideas!

      Reply
    3. Bruce Shenitz (he/him/his)

      Nice to meet you Noriko. Teaching beginning levels of foreign languages is very different than most other academic areas, I think, but when we have our individual zoom session, hopefully we can find ways to make this course useful for you.

      Reply
  5. María Elena Pizarro

    Greetings to all!

    I’m María Elena Pizarro, and teach in the Political Science department in the evening sessions.

    I do not have experience with OER or Open Pedagogy, and don’t believe I have had students create educational resources the way it is understood here, but if I may offer an example of a different way students have shared work assignments with the goal of demonstrating good practices in essay writing and critiquing course subjects and readings. One of the assignments in my international law course, is to write an essay critiquing international law in general, or selecting a specific issue, general principle, convention, custom, resolution, declaration or case within the international legal system. The idea is to develop analytical commentaries and interpretations useful to understanding, and evaluating international law, and demonstrating how it relates to events presently occurring in the world. In a sense, playing the role of legal scholars, adding to the field by clarifying, refining and interpreting international law as it applies to current problems and conflicts.

    Creating educational resources by students themselves is an interesting idea, and although I have not engaged in this practice, nor know anyone in my circle who uses this method, certainly merits consideration as a learning tool, and I can see the potential for students becoming excited and engaged in these types of assignments. I am very interested in learning to design and OER assignment for my Comparative Criminal Justice course in the fall, and look forward to the sessions on using the available platforms for open pedagogy.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  6. Diana Moore

    Hi!

    I’m Diana Moore and I’ve been an adjunct in the history department at John Jay since 2012. My research focuses on nineteenth century Europe and the intersections of women’s rights, nationalism, and religion. I teach a variety of world history surveys as well as a class on the history of sexuality and one on anti-Catholicism in the nineteenth century.

    I am not very familiar with OER or Open Pedagogy, but many of my classes do not use a textbook. Some of them use articles or book chapters that are available through the library website or that I’ve scanned onto Blackboard and others use primary sources available on the internet. Those are maybe OER?

    I also haven’t asked students to fully create an educational resource that could be used by other students, though I’ve done things that are somewhat close. A few years ago, I received training in ePortfolios and had students make their own. The pages were more for sharing with their peers and as like a showpiece rather than an instructional resource. I also found it hard to navigate back and forth between the ePortfolio website and Blackboard when it came to grading.

    I am interested in exploring new ways to use OER and Open Pedagogy, especially for my world history surveys, which I have traditionally taught using a textbook. I got rid of my textbook this last semester because I felt bad making students pay for it and I feel like they just did not learn as much. It could possibly be interesting to have students assigned to different weeks and have them make up a study guide/narrative that would somewhat replace the textbook. I’ve also heard of other historians having their students create or edit the Wikipedia pages of underrepresented figures, which would be cool. (Women, for instance, are highly underrepresented on Wikipedia https://www.asc.upenn.edu/news-events/news/bridging-wikipedias-gender-gap-one-article-time).

    I’m looking forward to working and learning with you all,

    Diana

    Reply
    1. Noriko Watanabe

      Hi Diana,
      I can certainly understand your thoughts about textbook cost and feeling that a certain textbook may not be or has ceased to be effective for the students. Although I use a textbook that is best on the market and relatively inexpensive with plenty of supplementary free online resources, there are always better online or print resources that students find more interesting and actually use because each individual connects with the materials differently. OER hopefully will encourage students with diverse ways of learning.

      Reply
  7. Diana Moore

    *This might end up being a repost. I posted earlier and I didn’t show up

    Hi!

    I’m Diana Moore and I’ve been an adjunct in the history department at John Jay since 2012. My research focuses on nineteenth century Europe and the intersections of women’s rights, nationalism, and religion. I teach a variety of world history surveys as well as a class on the history of sexuality and one on anti-Catholicism in the nineteenth century.

    I am not very familiar with OER or Open Pedagogy, but many of my classes do not use a textbook. Some of them use articles or book chapters that are available through the library website or that I’ve scanned onto Blackboard and others use primary sources available on the internet. Those are maybe OER?

    I also haven’t asked students to fully create an educational resource that could be used by other students, though I’ve done things that are somewhat close. A few years ago, I received training in ePortfolios and had students make their own. The pages were more for sharing with their peers and as like a showpiece rather than an instructional resource. I also found it hard to navigate back and forth between the ePortfolio website and Blackboard when it came to grading.

    I am interested in exploring new ways to use OER and Open Pedagogy, especially for my world history surveys, which I have traditionally taught using a textbook. I got rid of my textbook this last semester because I felt bad making students pay for it and I feel like they just did not learn as much. It could possibly be interesting to have students assigned to different weeks and have them make up a study guide/narrative that would somewhat replace the textbook. I’ve also heard of other historians having their students create or edit the Wikipedia pages of underrepresented figures, which would be cool. (Women, for instance, are highly underrepresented on Wikipedia https://www.asc.upenn.edu/news-events/news/bridging-wikipedias-gender-gap-one-article-time).

    I’m looking forward to working and learning with you all,

    Diana

    Reply
    1. Guido D. Giordano

      Hello Diana! The same is happening to me. I am actually now replying to your post but only as a mean to post my own thread, since my answer to Mengia stayed, but my own post did not. Below, my post (no need to reply, but anyone feel welcome to!).

      ———————-

      Hello to all, I hope you are well; happy to salute you. I am Guido D. Giordano. As some details about myself, I am an Argentinian-American; I identify myself as a male (he/him); I am a lawyer, a Specialist in Environmental Management and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice graduate. I teach at John Jay, currently at the undergraduate level, within the Sociology Department (SOC) and at the Environmental Justice Program (EJS). At the moment, all of my courses are online asynchronous.

      As per my OER experiences, one (01) of my courses is actually an OER course, and has been since it started. I have to acknowledge that I owe this heritage to the person that had designed this course (the first course that I took) before me. I had access to that syllabus and the OER concept was there. I googled it and briefly read about it, as I was designing the literature part of the course.

      My other courses do not follow an OER basis, as I use specific textbooks that I believe are very practical and enriching for Students. I have been considering making at least one (01) of my other courses also an OER course, given the advantages of this modality, mostly in terms of accessibility and shared knowledge. Using multiple resources may also give more edge in terms of diversity of views and opinions, although it may entail extra work on the Instructor’s side.

      In general terms, my criteria for selecting the material do depend on the situation, like my previous paragraphs demonstrate. I believe that the ideal path is to do a goal-oriented process, starting with the Learning Objectives and going “backwards” to meet the best suited material. With all, that is not always the case, depending on circumstances. But even when I have had material recommended, I have checked to see that the materials were clearly related with the course’s goals, general and specific.

      I hope these lines are somehow enriching for those on the other side. Feel free to comment. Best to all!

      Guido

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

      Hi Diana,

      We will look at someone who had their students edit a Wikipedia page for a LatinX American Studies class in week 3, I think.

      Also, I recall coming across an OER about the role of non-profit foundations during the Cold War. It is just a PDF with primary sources that students consider while completing a workshop. I think some instructions for the workshop are included, though not a ton of them. Here it is: https://www.oercommons.org/courseware/lesson/79821

      This is probably not that relevant to you, but at least its one more example of OER in history.

      Reply
      1. Diana Moore

        Thank you! That’s great to hear! I think I’m the only historian in the seminar, but it seems like there are a lot of history-related OER examples out there to help guide me.

        Reply
  8. María Elena Pizarro

    *This might also be a repost, as it did not show yesterday

    Greetings to all!

    I’m María Elena Pizarro, and teach in the Political Science department in the evening sessions.
    I do not have experience with OER or Open Pedagogy, and don’t believe I have had students create educational resources the way it is understood here, but if I may offer an example of a different way students have shared work assignments with the goal of demonstrating good practices in essay writing and critiquing course subjects and readings. One of the assignments in my international law course, is to write an essay critiquing international law in general, or selecting a specific issue, general principle, convention, custom, resolution, declaration or case within the international legal system. The idea is to develop analytical commentaries and interpretations useful to understanding, and evaluating international law, and demonstrating how it relates to events presently occurring in the world. In a sense, playing the role of legal scholars, adding to the field by clarifying, refining and interpreting international law as it applies to current problems and conflicts.
    Creating educational resources by students themselves is an interesting idea, and although I have not engaged in this practice, nor know anyone in my circle who uses this method, certainly merits consideration as a learning tool, and I can see the potential for students becoming excited and engaged in these types of assignments. I am very interested in learning to design and OER assignment for my Comparative Criminal Justice course in the fall, and look forward to the sessions on using the available platforms for open pedagogy.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Mengia Tschalaer (She/her/hers)

      Hi Maria,

      Lovely seeing you here.

      I really like your idea of a writing assignments that is eared toward critical examine global systems of law and putting students in the shoes of a legal scholar. To flip roles like that sounds really interesting and allows student for a platform to engage with the material from a position of authority. Great.

      My best,
      Mengia

      Reply
    2. Diana Moore

      Hi Maria!

      That sounds like a great assignment and a good use of OER, as far as I still understand the limitations of the assignment. As Mengia mentioned, it’s always good when we ask the students to apply their knowledge and use it in a position as experts. During our meeting on Wednesday, I also had some concerns about the quality of what students could add and if we would potentially just be like reinventing the wheel if we had the students summarize preexisting information. Asking them to find contemporary or more relevant examples for the preexisting legal theories/principles sounds really effective though and something that they would be adding to a productive scholarly discussion.

      Diana

      Reply
  9. Guido D. Giordano

    Hello to all, I hope you are well; happy to salute you. I am Guido D. Giordano. As some details about myself, I am an Argentinian-American; I identify myself as a male (he/him); I am a lawyer, a Specialist in Environmental Management and Master of Arts in Criminal Justice graduate. I teach at John Jay, currently at the undergraduate level, within the Sociology Department (SOC) and at the Environmental Justice Program (EJS). At the moment, all of my courses are online asynchronous.

    As per my OER experiences, one (01) of my courses is actually an OER course, and has been since it started. I have to acknowledge that I owe this heritage to the person that had designed this course (the first course that I took) before me. I had access to that syllabus and the OER concept was there. I googled it and briefly read about it, as I was designing the literature part of the course.

    My other courses do not follow an OER basis, as I use specific textbooks that I believe are very practical and enriching for Students. I have been considering making at least one (01) of my other courses also an OER course, given the advantages of this modality, mostly in terms of accessibility and shared knowledge. Using multiple resources may also give more edge in terms of diversity of views and opinions, although it may entail extra work on the Instructor’s side.

    In general terms, my criteria for selecting the material do depend on the situation, like my previous paragraphs demonstrate. I believe that the ideal path is to do a goal-oriented process, starting with the Learning Objectives and going “backwards” to meet the best suited material. With all, that is not always the case, depending on circumstances. But even when I have had material recommended, I have checked to see that the materials were clearly related with the course’s goals, general and specific.
    I hope these lines are somehow enriching for those on the other side. Feel free to comment. Best to all!

    Guido

    Reply
    1. Mengia Tschalaer (She/her/hers)

      Hi Guido,

      So nice meeting you here and on Zoom earlier. Thank you for the generous response to my post. I agree with you that it does help to define the learning objectives before choosing the pedagogy and materials.

      I would be vey curious to get to know more about your OER teaching experience and the course.

      Warmly,
      Mengia

      Reply

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