How do we learn new techniques to enhance student writing? How do we incorporate open pedagogies, such as those of open online platforms, to support student learning?
In this play session, participants will engage in a brainstorming game to generate assignments that enhance writing practice and pedagogy alongside a variety of learning goals, while eliciting best practices for using open digital tools–that is, digital tools readily available to users regardless of platform or system.
At CUNY’s New York City College of Technology, we’ve embraced the OpenLab, an open digital platform for teaching, learning, and collaboration built by and for City Tech using open source software (BuddyPress/WordPress). The OpenLab, like other college’s online platforms, provides a space for everyone at the college–currently over 9500 students, faculty, and staff– but does so using social networking capabilities to tie together and surface the activities in courses, projects, clubs, and portfolios. The OpenLab itself is a laboratory for writing, a place where students experiment with the kind of writing they have done in analog classes alongside new opportunities for writing in situations they might never have written before, with a variety of purposes, formats, and audiences. This play session uses the element of hands-on experience to offer participants new opportunities to collaborate and create.
Many OpenLab members, new to teaching and learning in an open online environment, have benefited from this kind of collaboration, and have generated dynamic assignments and activities as a result. This play session will briefly showcase some of these compelling examples from OpenLab members to model the potential results of integrating open digital tools into courses, whether they be composition courses or those that incorporate writing in an across-the-curriculum or in-the-disciplines approach. Participants will then have a turn at playing the brainstorming game that will equip them with tools for thinking about open digital pedagogy in their own practices before sharing their resulting assignments or activities with the group and with a wider audience online.