CUNY Academic Commons

The CUNY Academic Commons

The CUNY Academic Commons is an open-source, collaboratively developed platform WordPress/BuddyPress platform that is free to use for anyone (faculty, staff, students) with a email address.

CUNY Academic Commons Mission Statement: The Academic Commons of The City University of New York is designed to support faculty initiatives and build community through the use(s) of technology in teaching and learning. The free exchange of knowledge among colleagues across the university is central to better educating the student body and expanding professional development opportunities for faculty research and teaching. Creating networks and support systems that are enabled by easy access to quality digital resources will nurture faculty development through sharing replicable materials and best practices. The Academic Commons is expected to grow in a flexible manner, taking into account the changing dynamics of political, social, cultural, and technological environments affecting the university. This evolving community will help prepare The City University of New York for the current and future educational challenges it faces.

PRO/S: Wordpress-based, user-friendly, supports open pedagogy, an opportunity to have a discussion with students about publicness on the web.

CON/S: For teaching: cannot grade on The Commons (there is no grade function)

Use cases

The Commons can be used by anyone at CUNY to create a 'group' or a 'site' to communicate, collaborate, and network with others at CUNY. Commons uses of the Commons include

  • Bring together colleagues with similar research projects or interests
  • Showcasing your department, program, or academic service unit
  • Teaching a course
  • Creating and academic portfolio or professional website

Groups and Sites on the Commons

There are two types of spaces for collaboration on the Commons: Groups and Sites. You can also combine and use the functionalities of both space by creating a hybrid "Group Site".

Program Home Pages on the Commons

Open courses taught on the Commons

The following courses are examples of public facing courses taught on the Commons. To view other courses taught on the Commons visit the Courses Tab on the Commons homepage.

Technologies of Reading

  • Discussion through blogs and commenting
  • Multimodal composition
  • Digital projects with open tools

Music Since 1945

  • Linked to readings and course content
  • Private listening assignments, public ‘collaborative’ blog
  • Event attendance as experiential learning

Petrarch's Poetry in Motion

  • Public site for open course materials
  • Private forum posts for class discussion
  • Dynamic and multimedia-rich text on Manifold for reading and engaging with course content

How to use it


Replacement for

  • Blackboard
  • Moodle
  • Canva



External links