News and Announcements | October 28, 2016

CUNY Academic Commons Faculty Fellowships – Spring 2017


The CUNY Academic Commons (CAC), in collaboration with the Graduate Center’s Teaching and Learning Center (TLC), requests applications for CUNY Academic Commons Faculty Fellowships for the Spring 2017 semester.

CAC Faculty Fellows will have the opportunity to teach a course using the CUNY Academic Commons during the Spring 2017 semester with dedicated technical and pedagogical support from the CAC and the TLC teams. TLC staff will be available to meet with Faculty Fellows to discuss site and assignment design, and to work through how to best harness the technical capabilities of the CUNY Academic Commons to meet specific teaching and learning goals. CAC community team members will meet with faculty fellows to introduce them to the features of the Commons, will maintain a support forum for the fellows group, and will be available for class visits to discuss the CAC with faculty and students.

CAC Faculty Fellows will receive a $1000 honorarium to support the development of and reflection upon their teaching on the Commons. Fellows will be asked to document their experience teaching on the Commons for the CAC team, and will also be asked to write up and publicly share reflections on their experiences. This reflection and feedback will in turn help the CAC team make the Commons a more functional and robust teaching space.

This pilot program is oriented towards full-time faculty who are interested in teaching their courses using WordPress, but who have not had the opportunity to do so. WordPress can facilitate a variety of writing and multi-modal composition assignments for multiple audiences, allowing faculty to harness the power of networks in and across their teaching, and to seamlessly integrates a variety of web applications into a space that supports student reflection. Model teaching sites on the CUNY Academic Commons include Jason Tougaw’s course “Inventing the Self,” Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis’s course “Great Digs,” Carrie Hintz’s course “Oversharing,” Matthew K. Gold’s course “Clouds,” and Steve Brier and Lisa Rhody’s “DHPraxis.” Applicants can also peruse open sites via Baruch College’s Blogs@Baruch platform and New York City College of Technology’s OpenLab.

Below are some of the key features of the CUNY Academic Commons that faculty have made use of in their courses. Applicants will not be expected to use all the tools listed below, only those that serve the purposes of their course:

  • WordPress: powers individual blogs with granular privacy controls
  • BuddyPress: facilitates groups with forums and reply-by-email, activity streams, announcements, community-editable documents, and file storage
  • SocialPaper: an online writing environment where authors can publicize their work for feedback from a select group of colleagues.
  • Additional Features:
    • email notification of new posts and activity
    • more than 300 plugins
    • more than 80 themes
    • custom shortlinks
Applicant Qualifications

Full-time faculty from all disciplines and those teaching across instructional modes (face-to-face, hybrid, and online) are eligible to apply for this fellowship. Priority will go to faculty from campuses that don’t already support WordPress-based teaching and learning platforms, and selections will be made based upon an applicants’ clarity in expressing what teaching on the Commons will allow them to do in their course. Fellows will be asked to consult with TLC and CAC teams in advance of the Spring 2017 semester.

Submitting a Proposal

Proposals for CAC Faculty Fellowships must include the following, submitted in a single PDF by email to by midnight on November 15, 2016. Please put “CAC Faculty Fellowship Application” in the subject line, and save your PDF as lastnamefirstnameCACFF.pdf.

The application should consist of:

1. Applicant Information

  • name
  • campus
  • department
  • email
  • mailing address
  • phone number

2. Course Information

  • proposed course with course number
  • expected number of students
  • major course requirements

3. Narrative
In up to 500 words, describe the course you imagine teaching on the CUNY Academic Commons, how your course would benefit from being part of the Commons and what you hope to get from teaching with the Commons, and your prior experience with educational technology.

4. CV
Please include an updated curriculum vitae with your application.

Criteria for Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated by a review committee according to the following criteria:

  • suitability of the proposed course for the Commons;
  • feasibility of the course plan;
  • demonstrated interest in and experience with educational technology;
  • demonstrated commitment to open teaching.

Questions about the fellowship or the application process should be directed to Luke Waltzer, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center and Director of Community Projects on the CUNY Academic Commons ( and Michael Branson Smith, Associate Professor of Communications Technology at York College and Director of Special Projects on the CUNY Academic Commons (

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