[A] 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

18 thoughts on “[A] Week 1 Discussion:

  1. Nitza Milagros Escalera (her)

    Hello, my name is Nitza Milagros Escalera, Nitza for short. I teach as an adjunct in the Latin American and LatinX Studies Department. I have not heard of the concept Open Pedagogy so I look forward to learning more about this. I enjoy teaching and thoroughly enjoy what I learn from students every semester. One of the activities that I do schedule in all my classes is have students work in groups where they assume responsibility for teaching a class. They are provided the readings for their presentation and are required to develop a power-point presentation of the subject assigned and have between 20 to 30 minutes to discuss their topic. I’m looking forward to learning from the members of this session and maybe seeing people in person.

    Reply
  2. Michael W Yarbrough

    Hello, my name is Michael Yarbrough (he/him), and I’m an Associate Professor in the Law & Society (LWS) major, which is in an interdisciplinary program housed in the Political Science department. By training I am primarily a sociology/anthropology ethnographer.

    I have done a few projects where students created work that could be used by other students, most especially the COVID-19 at CUNY web archive that students in my spring 2020 LWS capstone course created to document their experiences living through the onset of the pandemic in NYC: https://johnjay.digication.com/covid19-at-cuny/home-1. I did not know that this was called OER at the time, but I guess that’s what it was!

    In this course I’m hoping to redesign the core assignments in my LWS 330: Law in Everyday Life course, which I taught for the first time in spring 2022 and will teach again this fall. The syllabus from the spring is located at bit.ly/lws330syllabus. It’s built around a series of portfolio worksheets that I want to redesign for other reasons, and I think perhaps an OER approach might work for one or more of those. I also set up an instagram account for that course as an extra-credit assignment: @lawineverylifejjay. I’m considering integrating that more into the main course somehow, which seems like it might also be an OER thing? Looking forward to learning more and meeting everyone.

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

      Using social media within a course is definitely an OER thing. I know that some faculty have raised the issue of student privacy in terms of students sharing their instagram handles on a class site. Do you think that might become an issue in your class?

      Reply
  3. Katalin Downing (She///Her)

    Hi, my name is Katalin Downing. I am an adjunct in the Department of Political Science, where I teach POL320 (International Human Rights) and POL322 (International Organizations). I do not yet have familiarity with OER/Open Pedagogy and am also looking forward to learning more about it.

    When feasible, I assign a briefing note (5 to 8 pages) instead of a final exam, which could theoretically be used as an educational resource. Part of the final exam grade is also a presentation of the subject to the class as well, which is always very informative. I’ve found that when students have ownership over a topic that interests them (within the parameters of the material), they engage with the work in a more profound way.

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

      Your idea of assigning a briefing note is a really interesting one that I don’t think anybody mentioned in the last seminar we did. It seems like a nice combination of a straightforward writing assignment that can nevertheless benefit future cohorts!

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      As is so often the case, you’re already practicing Open Pedagogy whether or not you call it that!

      Reply
    3. Andrew Hernandez (he/him/el)

      Hi Katalin,

      I think the idea of assigning a briefing note rather than a final exam is really important. Students are able to synthesize the material in their own words/in ways that makes sense to them, while also practicing the form in which the material is more likely to presented in more professional settings (as opposed to a test, for example). Very cool!

      -Andrew

      Reply
  4. Nitza Milagros Escalera

    Hello Kaitlin and Michael, I look forward to learning more about the activities you use in your courses. They sound learning activities that I could integrate into my courses. I teach LLS 325 (The Latinx Experience of the Criminal Justice System) and LLS 220 (Human Rights and Law in Latin America). See you on Zoom. Nitza

    Reply
  5. Andrew Hernandez (he/him/el)

    Hello, everyone! My name is Andrew Hernandez (he/him/él), and I teach in the Anthropology Department. I primarily teach ANT 101 (Introduction to Cultural Anthropology) and ANT 315 (Systems of Law, Justice and Injustice Across Cultures), though I have also taught a handful of other courses over the years. I am only vaguely familiar with OER/Open Pedagogy, so I am eager to learn more and apply it to (and freshen up) my courses.

    To me, I try to consider both my assignments and my readings concurrently. Especially for my 300- and 400-level classes (I will be focusing on ANT 315 here), I try to blend foundational disciplinary texts with those that will simultaneously push students to think critically about and question those foundations. This is important to me, particularly at the advanced level, as some of the students express interest in pursuing advanced degrees in anthropology/social sciences, so they should be able to speak to and beyond the discipline as they continue in higher education. At the same time, I also try to incorporate less theoretical pieces that demonstrate how students might better be able to apply foundational ideas in more professional, “real world” settings. To that end, I tend to have certain academic goals in mind before selecting a text, at which point I conduct my own research and seek out recommendations on appropriate texts. For accessibility reasons, I strive to ensure all texts are made available online and are not required for purchase.

    The readings, then, are immediately applicable to the course’s assignments. I have not had my students create educational resources that could be used by other students, though the idea is interesting and I would love to learn more! Rather, in my advanced classes, I tend to have students engage in semester-long individual research projects through which they can practice writing a proposal, annotated bibliography, outline and culminating essay. The assigned texts are intended to serve as a foundational/theoretical basis from which students can conduct and apply their own outside research.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      As you’ll see in the next session, there are already some OER texts for introductory courses sos working on your advanced classes could provide valuable resources for others in your field.

      Reply
  6. Michael Lynch Salazar

    Hello everyone, I’m Michael and I’m currently an adjunct lecturer of Economics teaching both an introductory course on capitalism and the Economics of Justice (covering the prison industrial complex, poverty, racism, etc).

    When I was teaching as a graduate student in Ohio, I would often assign my students to write out flash cards to quiz each other in their assigned groups throughout the semester. This seemed to work well, as they were all more prepared than I expected for quizzes and the final exam.

    Last semester at John Jay, I assigned my intro course students to select weekly economic-related articles to bring to class for debate and analysis. I was pleasantly surprised at the enthusiasm these students had for this assignment, after all, it was quite tedious to come to class every week with a PRINTED article (we’ve all had those students with “printer problems”) but many would come to class with more than one article for debate and analysis which ultimately prepared them for a writing assignment on two economic articles as a final project.

    At first I was nervous about having them select their articles for their peers, but as the semester went on, the articles they selected became more advanced as did their analysis. Overall, I plan on repeating this assignment again but helping to guide them a bit more during the first few weeks until they get the hang of it.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      In the resources section of the class site, there is a short blog post about students creating exam questions. This is not something I’ve heard a lot of professors doing and I’m glad to hear you’re already trying it.

      Reply
    2. Michael W Yarbrough

      I love the idea of students creating flash cards for each other, and of bringing articles to class. These both sound like excellent ways to make traditional teaching techniques more student-centered. Thanks for sharing them!

      Reply
  7. Chris Trogan

    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Chris Trogan and I teach in the Philosophy Department. While I am somewhat familiar with Open Pedagogy and use quite a few handouts, study guides, websites, and other materials in my courses, I am looking forward to learning how I can expand the use of OER. I teach Ethical Theory, Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective, Law and Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Introduction to Philosophy. I am particularly interested in how I can expand the use of Open Pedagogy in my Ethical Theory and Philosophy of Law in Global Perspective courses, since these are the most open-ended and flexible in terms of their curricula. I’m truly looking forward to this workshop and to learning from all of you!

    Chris

    Reply
  8. Michael Lynch Salazar (He/Him)

    Hello everyone,

    My name is Michael, I’m an adjunct lecturer of economics and I teach an intro to capitalism and Economics of Justice Course at John Jay College.

    The first time I ever assigned a project for my students to use to help themselves and their peers was back when I was a graduate student in Ohio and I used a flash card project throughout the semester to prepare the students for the final exam. The flash cards were made by the students over the course of the semester as the information we covered in lecturers accumulated. By the time the end of the semester rolled around, they were ready to make their own study guide which they brought to class for a final review. I found that the students who took these assignments seriously excelled on the final exam, but also during in-class discussions throughout the semester.

    Last semester, I assigned an article project in which each student had to bring an economics-related article to class for debate and discussion. I was pleasantly surprised that by the middle of the semester, the students stopped having “printer problems” and were bringing more than just one article to class since they were so enthusiastic about being able to choose their own articles! They ultimately used their analysis skills from this assignment to write a final essay comparing two conflicting economic news articles and overall they excelled in this area as well.

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

      These sound like two great applications of open pedagogy in your class, Michael. Your flashcard and article assignments definitely sound like open pedagogy. You might be interested in the article about “question banks” that I believe we’ll read for week two.

      Reply

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