How can we use the open digital platform?

How will you be able to use the Openlab, our open digital platform? How could students, other faculty, and administrators use it? Here are some examples from digital platforms in use at other colleges that use the same applications we have planned for the Openlab:

For courses

Modern American History, Fall 2010
http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/his1005fall2010/
This course site for Prof. Tom Harbison’s history course features course details and schedule, assignments, supports (e.g. lecture slides), and student blog postings. All students in this course are members of the blog.

Another possibility is to ask students to create their own blogs, and use RSS feeds to pull their posts into the main course site.

Alternate Worlds, Macaulay Honors College, Spring 2011
http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/alternateworlds/
This course site for Prof. Joe Ugoretz’s course has many of the same features as the history course above, but adds in private forums (students must be logged in to post/view) and some grading support behind the scenes.

For students

The Geography Club Blog, University of Mary Washington
http://geographyclub.umwblogs.org/

iMagazine, Baruch College’s student writing journal
http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/imagazine/

(Students will also use the Openlab to create Eportfolios.)

For faculty/staff/administrators

Teaching Blogs at Baruch College
http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/teachingblog/
A space for faculty across the college to talk about best practices for teaching in many disciplines.

Baruch College Alumni Magazine
http://blsciblogs.baruch.cuny.edu/bcam/
A great way to reach out to alumni.

CSI English
https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/college-of-staten-island-english-department/
Intra-departmental communication and file-sharing hub

CSI Campus-Wide Academic Outcomes Assessment Committee
https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/csiaoac/
College-wide committee work

For the Openlab Project

Help Group
https://commons.gc.cuny.edu/groups/wordpress-help/
peer-to-peer assistance

News Blog
https://news.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
Have the team use a blog to communicate about site news

Development Blog
https://dev.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
Have the development team use a blog to communicate about site features

Footenotes
https://bfoote.commons.gc.cuny.edu/2011/02/23/round-up-216-223/
Have the team write about activities on the site

Ground Control
https://groundcontrol.commons.gc.cuny.edu/
Open discussion of process of creating/using the site

Profile photo of Maura A. Smale

About Maura A. Smale

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian at City Tech (New York City College of Technology), CUNY.
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7 Responses to How can we use the open digital platform?

  1. Thanks for the link, Maura (and always happy to answer questions about the course–and definitely welcome comments from outside on the students’ reflections). It might be worth pointing out that Alternate Worlds is a fully online asynchronous course. There are no face-to-face meetings. To some extent, that alters what the site has to include!

  2. Please explain “the Openlab” and “For the Openlab Project.”

    Doesn’t each one of us create an individual blog that’s course specific? What do you envision is the synergy among each of these blogs that we want to generate? In the old days we used to talk about the cybernetic perspective of the system. However it’s phrased, I still want a hint about how this all works together. What is the lead time for completing the task? When do we transition from our own online course system into this Openlab?

    On another note: My far-sighted colleague Jonas Reitz created a post long ago and far away (scroll way down, ’cause I don’t know how to link it) that asked for a central dumping grounds for our digital needs for our courses. Let’s bump up his post and get our brains storming and the code writing that makes poetry. (Not my line: WordPress says that code is poetry.)

  3. Hi Charles, Openlab is the name we’ve decided on for our online digital platform. Absolutely, you are welcome to create a course-specific blog for each course. We plan to feature content from courses on the site’s homepage, much like the Academic Commons does, and welcome other ideas for encouraging connections.

    As for lead time, we’re now deep in the process of engaging developers to build the site from design specs that our design team is almost finished creating. We’re also working on hiring community facilitators to support everyone both in their work here on the Commons as well as moving over to the Openlab. We’re still negotiating deadlines, but will let everyone know firm dates as soon as we have them.

    I agree that Jonas’s post is deserves a good bump — here’s a link. Comments on this post are also a great way to discuss Openlab features. And of course please keep those questions coming!

  4. Maura, when I use WordPress.com and Dropbox.com to meet my course needs currently, I tell my students that there are apps for both of those sites, so they can more easily contribute when away from a computer. Will that be possible on the Openlab? I haven’t figured out how to use the Academic Commons easily from my Droid, so I’m wondering if that will be the new norm for me and my classes. Thanks for all of your work! –Jody

  5. That’s a really good question, Jody. I have the same experience with the Academic Commons on my iphone — there’s not a mobile version of the site so it just looks like the normal website in all it’s very-large-for-a-small-screen glory.

    This is definitely something we can explore for the Openlab. I know there are a number of WordPress mobile themes, but not sure if there’s anything similar for Buddypress (which runs the member profiles/groups). We’ll add this to the wishlist — thanks!

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