Tag Archives | uses

Teaching Graduate Classes

reynolds_6240510587_29b5a8c594_zThe Commons is widely used as a LMS for graduate courses. Professors typically create a group (usually a private one) and invite their student to join the Commons (if not already a member), and then to join the class group. This can be done in a single step.

WordPress Sites

A WordPress site can be linked to the class group and be used to publish reflections, research, and findings. Private group sites can be used to publish syllabi, writing assignments, and course reflections. Public group blogs can be great to communicate outside the classroom, showcase research, and publish articles. Students can also create their own WordPress sites to work on projects, and posts from these sites can be syndicated onto the main group site by using a plugin.

Groups for Graduate Classes

Groups work great with classes, and professors typically take advantage of forums, announcements, files, docs, reply by email, email notifications, and privacy settings. Class members can work collaboratively on projects using Docs feature. If working in a sub-group, members can form smaller groups to facilitate private collaboration.

The Commons Wiki

The Commons Wiki can be used to develop class knowledge bases. Many wiki pages have been co-authored by class members. For an example, see the “Kitchen Sink/Kitchen Table Utilities” page. And of course these knowledge bases live on after the class is done.

 

 

Research

cerg3The Commons can be a place for research collaboration and reflection, and a repository for research findings, where researchers assess and publish findings, satisfy grant expectations, and keep the momentum going for further studies.

Groups provide great functionality for collaboration, and group Web sites provide ways to archive articles, and satisfy grant requirements, publish findings, aggregate resources, and posts assessments.

Examples include:

RD

  • CERG – Childrens Environments Research Group

 

 

 

 

Departments and Committees

5406340912_233e1d5663_zA growing number of departments and committees find the Commons a great platform to manage business, distribute files, discuss issues and plan initiatives. Group “built-in” tools include:

  • forums – where members can start new topics, or participate in discussion threads;
  • docs – where members can collaborate on a private wiki;
  • file uploads – where members can add to file repositories that everyone can access;
  • group announcements – where admins and moderators post timely announcements for the whole group to read

Groups may want to break down into smaller working groups, to interact, share resources, conduct administrative duties, and communicate with members in private. Everyone can be notified via email (depending on personal email notification settings), and the Commons provides a convenient “Reply by Email” functionality – you don’t need to log in to the Commons – you can reply from the comfort of your inbox.

Departments or committees may also want to link their group to a WordPress site and make it either public or private – this provides another way to handle various tasks, announce policies, and solicit opinions.

  • Campus “Commons” sites. An example of this is The Lehman Teaching & Learning Commons – “a space for Lehman’s faculty, staff, and graduate students to join in conversations and activities about their Lehman experience.”

lehman-commons

 

Initiatives

open accewss

The Commons is often used to promote cross-campus and campus-based initiatives. Examples include:

  • Open Access @ CUNYThis site was created by a team of CUNY library faculty interested in highlighting and advocating open access scholarship across the university. It holds resources, promotes discussion and events, and brings scholars together.
  • GCDHI – the Graduate Center’s Digital Humanities Initiative uses a group, a group blog, and the Commons Wiki.
  • Zines at Brooklyn College – a great site that provides information about Zines in general, and information about the college’s collections.
  • Carribbean Commons – a public blog that “…announces Caribbean Studies CFPs, events and publications of interest to those in the Northeast US. It also archives information from the CE Seminar….”
  • CUNY Hybrid Initiative The CUNY Hybrid Initiative is an open resource for professors new to online teaching and who are planning to create and teach hybrid courses, as well as experienced online professors wanting to refine their practice.
  • John Jay Online-Digital Teaching Seminar 2016-17 – This is a private group featuring a year-long series of seminar sessions to support online pedagogy at John Jay College. Note that only members can access this link.

There is no set formula, but many initiatives include a WordPress site (and its discussion capabilities), and/or a group (either private or public). Often a group Web site is attached to a group, and admins provide group members various editorial permissions. Here’s one example of an initiative that used a public website to attract attention within CUNY and beyond:

Jessie Daniels – Just Publics

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Any questions? Please email the Community team: support@cunycommons.zendesk.com .

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