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Building a Course Site on the CUNY Academic Commons

Developed by Laurie Hurson This workshop will walk through the steps to building a WordPress site on the CUNY Academic Commons. Explanations and paired activities walk the user through the dashboard, how to create pages, posts, and menus, adding media, and customizing the site with header images, themes and plugins. Learning Goals Utilize the basic functions of the Dashboard Gain familiarity with the difference between pages and posts Strengthen ability to add content and media to a course site Introduction Many professors teach with a site on the CUNY Academic Commons, welcome to the club! We are happy you’re here. …

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Building a Course Group on the CUNY Academic Commons

Developed by Laurie Hurson This workshop walks participants through the steps for customizing their course Group on the CUNY Academic Commons. Explanations and activities walk the user through group areas and adding content. Learning Goals Familiarity and use of the group areas Ability to add content and media to a group library Introduction The CUNY Academic Commons provides several options for hosting courses. By now, you have probably created a Commons account, determined you would like to build a group, and used the Commons Creation Portal to create your group. If you haven’t done any of those things, go through …

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Getting Started on the CUNY Academic Commons

Developed by Laurie Hurson The CUNY Academic Commons, a WordPress teaching and learning platform based at the Graduate Center, is being used by faculty in a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses across CUNY. This workshop will go over the basics of teaching on the CUNY Commons, introduce several course models, and provide guidance for getting a course up and running. Learning Goals Understand the basics the CUNY Academic Commons Register as a Commons user Explore teaching models Begin developing course website and/or group Introduction Founded in 2009, the Commons was created to “support faculty initiatives and build community through …

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Introduction to Open Digital Pedagogy

Developed by Laurie Hurson What do we mean by “open” teaching? And how does “open” relate to “digital pedagogy”? This workshop will introduce the foundations of open digital pedagogy and provide examples from The CUNY Academic Commons, a WordPress teaching and learning platform used by faculty in a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses across CUNY. Learning Goals Explore the terms “open” and “digital” as they relate to teaching Understand the basic tenets of open digital pedagogy and “open” uses of digital tools Demonstrate familiarity with several models for teaching on the Commons Introduction Open digital pedagogy has been defined …

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Getting Started with OER

Developed by Laurie Hurson This workshop will provide an introduction to open digital pedagogy by focusing on a core tenet of open teaching: the use of open educational resources, or OER. New York State has invested significantly in the development and deployment of OER at CUNY and SUNY over the past three years, and there are active and engaged OER programs on each CUNY campus. These initiatives are even more important during the current public health crisis, when access to libraries is severely constrained and the resources to acquire textbooks are ever more scarce. All instructors should be aware of …

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Building Student Input in Your Syllabus

Developed by Talisa Feliciano As Bettina Love has noted, abolitionist teaching moves from, or with, critiques of injustice, towards liberation. This approach requires educators to put in “the work” of organizing around education in ways that center students, specifically from underrepresented backgrounds in newly created educational systems. bell hooks encourages the creation of an active relationship between educators and learners through the framework of an engaged pedagogy that is decolonial, collaborative, and anti-racist. This workshop will explore how we, as instructors, can facilitate learner input on syllabi as a fundamental tool in abolitionist and engaged pedagogy. This workshop will mix …

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A Critical Approach to non-F2F Language Teaching

Developed by Inés Vañó García Description Face-to-face language courses tend to use in-class time mostly for lecture and language practice. Such instructional modes are difficult when, as in our current public health crisis, teaching and learning must be done online. What are the specific challenges for teaching language courses at CUNY in an online format? To be fully effective, language instruction must take into account the social, cultural, and political contexts in which a language is produced. This pedagogical approach goes beyond the acquisition of the core linguistics skills (speaking, listening, reading, and writing) and the basic approaches that cover …

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Reframing the Final Paper: Alternative & Creative Assignments

Developed by Inés Vañó García Description Writing is a central aspect of academic life. As instructors, we regularly assign essays, compositions, proposals, annotated bibliographies, and final papers. There are, however, alternatives or accompaniments to these written assignments that may accomplish similar goals, or facilitate additional ones. Podcasts, zines, timelines, and other creative assignments allow students to produce artifacts with audiences beyond their instructor in mind, and to acquire knowledge, experience, and transferable skills that they can use throughout their lives and careers. These approaches also can invigorate the writing that students do in their courses and by allowing alternative paths …

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Cultivating Participation & Engagement

Developed by Inés Vañó García Description Students’ participation and engagement are key measures not only of motivation, but they also provide a way to formatively evaluate and summatively assess their learning. Facilitating participation and understanding engagement comes with some particular challenges in online/hybrid courses. This workshop will provide a space for participants to think through what participation can mean in an online/hybrid setting, and to discuss concrete strategies to keep students engaged and motivated through the semester. Participants will have the opportunity to develop and apply participation and assessment strategies to a range of sample assignment types. Learning Goals • …

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