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.

The course site 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.

With this in mind, we have arranged the site content in accordance with 4 large categories:

  • Discussions – Herein you can find all virtual class discussions organized by activity and topic. These are also arranged in chronological order (i.e. weekly crowdsources were covered in the first half the semester, then blogs began with residential segregation).
  • Urban Dictionary – On extra credit opportunity offered during the semester was for students to select up to three terms from the ‘key words’ list (generated by me, with invitation to contribute) and post a glossary entry for it. Urban Dictionary is a compilation of those terms and definitions.
  • Local Organization Library – A second extra credit option was to research a local non-profit or organization addressing one of the social justice issues we discuss in class, broadly conceived.
  • Course Archive – This is a repository that archives and makes public the form and format of the course when it was live.

I share this with good synergistic intent. Please don’t hesistate to reach out with suggestions, feedback, or ideas for collaboration!


Kristen Hackett


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