Connections: Examples

Here are brief descriptions of some of the innovative ways that faculty are using Web 2.0 tools to connect their students:

Composition students in two classes learn to construct paragraphs by reading and critiquing each others’ writing on their (private) Facebook group page.
To learn how to construct a paragraph, students in two different composition classes provide feedback for each other using Facebook. The professors decide it’s valuable, as students put more effort in to the work knowing it will be critiqued by their peers. The two professors see the opportunity for developing students’ critical reading and critiquing skills in future connective activities.(Spring 2013)

Basic Math Students and ESOL students collaborate to (1) explain and understand math problem solving and (2) critique and revise writing  on their shared wiki.
Math students develop instructions using language to explain how to solve a math problem they have been given in numerical form. ESOL students from the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) test the descriptions by trying to solve the problem; they also proofread and edit the math students’ text.(Spring 2013)

Business Students from two different classes collaborate to create a mobile app, using ePortfolio to provide each other with feedback.
Students in two business classes develop content for a mobile app examining the life of Robert Moses and his lasting effect on NYC. They provide feedback on each others’work through ePortfolio. (Spring 2013)

Students in two sections of Urban Black Psychology produce and post short videos on YouTube, then critique other students and observe/synthesize/analyze.
To learn about and document stereotypes and values related to urban Black communities, and the nature of identity, each student produces a video examining his/her own neighborhood. Students view all the videos and comment on each others’ videos, observing similarities and differences among the communities and analyzing them. (Spring 2013)

Using Blogger and Google Docs, Academic ESL 097 and Honors Intro to Language students share writing and feedback to: 

Enhance their understanding of the rhetorical moves in narrative writing (ESL students); analyze data and bring to life theories of second language acquisition  (Linguistics students); make vertical connections as academic mentors/mentees. (Spring 2013)

ENG 102 students are invited to enter a Shakespeare class’s Ning’s platform to observe and evaluate how upper level literature students respond to the Sonnets. 
After class discussion in which they evaluate the responses, the ENG 102 students reflect on the process on their class’s group Facebook page with an eye toward how they will revise their own writing assignment on the same Sonnet. 

A business professor creates a Facebook page for his students, which soon expands beyond the current section to include graduates and prospective students.
Originally intended for students in his current classes to use the page as a way to share questions and ideas, related to the professor's business courses. When his former students, many of whom are now working in the field. started to join the site it became a vital resource-sharing and informal networking community. There are currently 546 members.

To foster and enhance peer-learning, students from Academic Reading Strategies (CSZ 099) and Essentials of Reading II (CSE 099) use Google Docs and Blogger to collaborate on a research project.  
Since students from both classes were preparing to retake the ACT reading exam, their respective instructors asked students to collaborative create a blog post, "Guide to the ACT Types of Questions." The goal of this project was to help developmental readers gain a better understanding of a high-stakes test in a low-stakes environment, and to create together, a resource from which other students will be able to benefit. (Spring 2013)

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