In Common this Week: Teaching with help from fellow Commoners

Welcome back fellow Commoners,

It looks like we’re going to be continuing on the teaching theme again this week. Last installment I suggested a few interesting undergraduate and graduate courses sites out there on the Commons. This week I want to highlight some of the excellent resources fellow Commoners have created to help you create your own engaging course site. A core principal behind the Commons project is that the community shares its experiences. This culture of open knowledge distinguishes this little patch of the web and is worth celebrating.

Teach@CUNY Handbook – I’ve mentioned this publication when it was first debuted on the Commons last Spring. The slick formatting, useful table of contents, and the interactive annotations really make this guide stand out. This year, print versions of the handbook are available, but the digital version, housed on the Commons, is still the easiest to access. Distributed under a CC-BY 4.0 license, you can use, share, and even adapt the guide for your own uses provided you cite the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center which published it.

Reflections from Spring 2017 Faculty Commons Fellows Program – In the Spring of 2017, the Teaching and Learning Center at the Graduate Center sponsored a fellows program to develop resources for teachers using the Commons for their courses. Some of the results made their way into the Teach@CUNY handbook and other places, but some of the most compelling, qualitative results were compiled in this post part of the TLC’s “Visible Pedagogy” project.

Examples of Uncanny Accommodations – Dale Katherine Ireland is a doctoral candidate in the English program at the Graduate Center who specializes in Composition and Rhetoric and Disability Studies. In this thoughtful post Ireland confronts the problem of accessibility in digital course materials. While instructors often view digital materials as more accessible, Ireland points out that this results in little planning for students who make use of e-readers, for example. Ireland also suggests ways faculty can make their own accessibility practices evident to students, showing how they can make their own work accessible to facilitate group participation.

Creating an OER? How Should you License it? – We don’t often think of a course website as a resource because it doesn’t look like a textbook or an archive. If you’re a student, though, it certainly is and it can also be for the stray visitors who wander in. Some instructors invite this kind of interaction from outside communities. Either way, it’s important to think about what permissions you want to give others to use your material (including syllabus, worksheets, etc.). Open@CUNY is a site on the Commons that focuses on helping faculty and students make their projects open and shareable. This post is one of the most succinct explanations of all those Creative Commons licenses (like the one the Teach@CUNY handbook uses and even the default one that covers all content on the Commons). It’s a good place to to begin.

That’s all for this week.

Warmest regards,

Paul

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