Urban Studies 101 Archive

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What is Urban Studies 101 Archive?

In Fall 2016, as an adjunct lecturer at Queens College CUNY I hosted a course website on Qwriting, the college’s WordPress installation. I had been experimenting with site-building and digital technology coordination in professional and organizational environments, and was planning to investigate its pedagogical potentialities that semester – so I went for it.

This is the end result of that effort.

The Transformation

During the semester, the site was the main course manager for the site. Thus, it contained all practical information regarding the course – that which is generally found on the syllabus, as well as announcements about adjustments and reminders. In addition, we had a course blog wherein we held virtual class discussions in relation to prompts generated by me, and blogs written by students. Students also had the opportunity to contribute to two class resources. First, an ‘urban dictionary’ comprised of key terms from course material. Second, a #insolidarity list, which is a list of non-profits and organizations whose efforts are directed as a social justice issue discussed in class (or part of that issue).

In reviewing the conversations and resources, it occurred to me that this information might be of interest to outside parties – what ever is the point of hosting one’s course on a public website otherwise – and could be arranged in a way that better shared and communicated this collective work.

The End Result

The information aggregated over the course of the semester fits succinctly into 3 broad categories:

DISCUSSION

Herein you can find all virtual class discussions organized by activity and topic. These are also arranged in chronological order.

URBAN DICTIONARY

This dictionary is a compilation of student-generated definitions for key terms related to urban development.

#insolidarity

This is a student-generated list of  non-profits and other organizations that are committed to addressing one or more urban justice issues.

Course Archive

In addition to organizing student-generated content, I also included a 'Course Archive'. This part of the archive is a repository that includes information about the course (including schedule of readings, assignment prompts and more). The intention is to be transparent about and make public the form and format of the course when it was live. This may provide more context for those perusing the site - in particular, fellow educators (interested in) experimenting with methods of open digital pedagogy.