Modern Humanities is a comprehensive open textbook that explores 20th century art in a historical and cultural context. It was developed for the HUM 1 Modern Humanities: Arts & Ideas course taught through Kingsborough Community College’s College Now program.
Through the exploration of modern literature, drama, art, film, poetry, and music, this course places developments in the Humanities into historical and philosophical contexts and illustrates the continuity of culture. This course introduces students to literature, philosophy, art, film, and music from the beginning of the 20th century to the present.
College Now is a program wherein New York City public high school students earn college credits (for free) in their high school courses, which are taught by instructors who work with a Kingsborough course coordinator. Not only do students get the chance to earn college credits, but they also get to experience taking a college-level course. Some public school students may not see themselves as future college students, but College Now is one way that they can build skills and confidence for pursuing higher education.
College Now is amazing, but faces several challenges other CUNY programs do not- the students do not have access to an LMS or Kingsborough’s online library resources, so an open textbook was a necessary step to enable this course to be successful. Course instructors desired a place to share all of the multi-media and assignments/resources that they have developed.
Thus CUNY’s instance of the open Manifold publishing platform (winner of the 2020 OE Award for Open Tool) was perfect for this need. The Modern Humanities text was remixed from numerous openly licensed other texts and augmented with embedded media and teaching resources, plus can make use of Manifold’s social annotation features.. It has been continually refined with feedback gathered from the instructors. Now, College Now instructors (and the world) have one place to look for readings and resources curated and developed by the development team).
The development process has been truly collaborative, mixing scholars from a variety of backgrounds: the full-time faculty coordinator (Paul Ricciardi), a part-time faculty member (Michelle Turnbull, the absolute driving force of this project), and College Now instructors who actually teach the classes in NYC public high schools (Matthew Forman, Monica Walker, Maria Rosario-Rodriguez, Andrew Wilder, Shannon McArdle, Donna Ryan, and Matthew Hoffman).
This project has been a massive inspiration to me. I have watched it develop over the last few years, where its collaborative team have worked to refine, improve, and build out resources for this project. It has become my go-to example in doing open education work on campusAward Nominator
I love that it uses Open Education to serve a need within College Now, since students don’t have access to other CUNY learning resources. A true testament to the benefits of Open and worthy of consideration for this award!Award Reviewer