In Fall 2013 I began collaborating with Professor Jody Rosen, English on our Learning Community, “Ways of Seeing: Adventures with Image & Text.”
This Learning Community for COMD students taking COMD1100 & ENG1101 includes field trips, hands-on projects, and cross-sensory experiences to help students discover and express their creative vision and supports their first year learning experience.
As our Learning Community has evolved we have explored cooperative (small-group) learning, alternative assessments using peer critiques through blogging and commenting on our shared OpenLab Course Site, low-stakes writing assignments, field trips, shared assignments, and critical thinking activities.
Our 2015 semester-long, cross-disciplinary student project “A Humument,” which was based on artist, Tom Phillips’s altered text, culminated in an exhibition at the Ursula C. Schwerin Library and also a student research poster at the City Tech Student Research Poster Presentation. Both were well received and gave first semester students the unique opportunity to showcase their creative writing and visual design to the college community.
In Fall 2016, I started a new Learning Community “PLAY With Your Problems” with Prof. Sarah Schmerler. This First Year Learning Community brings together Graphic Design Principles 1 and English Composition 1 to introduce Communication Design students to a creative process they can use in design, writing and life! We have already found exciting examples of overlap between the courses and our shared approaches to teaching.
My participation in learning communities has enabled me rethink my approach to teaching by exploring different pedagogical methods that cross traditional academic boundaries and bring vulnerable students together into a supportive, shared learning environment.