Did you know that October is also Dyslexia* Awareness Month? Did you know that 1 in 5 people have dyslexia? Do you know what dyslexia is?
Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects the ability to read, write, and comprehension skills. Dyslexia is something that affects more than just how your brain processes words and their sounds. It can affect many other areas of the brain such as phonemic awareness*, motor control, memory, spatial awareness*, and more. People with dyslexia cannot “try harder” to catch up with their peers. It’s a neurobiological disorder*, which means that when you compare the two brains of someone with dyslexia and without you will notice that their brains respond differently when learning new words, spelling, etc.
Dyslexia is something that is a lifelong struggle. Which, in turn, affects adult learners in a variety of ways. They might be hesitant to do assignments with heavy reading, could be stressed out about deadlines, or avoid places like the library altogether.
Library and Academic Services is ready to help all students and we can cater to the unique set of needs that someone with dyslexia may need such as:
A collection of audiobooks
Auto renewals for physical books
Videos with closed captioned options
eBooks with dyslexia friendly fonts
One on one reference support services
Dyslexia (duh·slek·see·uh): A brain-based learning disorder that affects the ability to read, write, and spell.
Phonemic (fuh·nee·muhk) Awareness: The ability to focus on and manipulate different sounds in spoken words.
Spatial (spay·shl) Awareness: Knowing where your body is in relation to objects or other people.
Neurobiological (nur·ow·bai·aa·law·jee·col) disorder: Disorders of the nervous system caused by genetic, metabolic, or other biological factors.
Written by Justine Hawley – Resource Management Technician
RRC Polytech staff and students can now enjoy hassle-free scheduling with the library’s new online equipment booking system. Find out everything you need to know about the new booking system so you can plan ahead, and be front of the line for fall bookings!
There are many equipment categories to browse and book online:
You can navigate to the equipment booking system from the library homepage, either by selecting Book Equipment from the icon bar on the homepage, or find it under browse and borrow from on the homepage top menu.
Where to pick up a booking?
The RRC Polytech Library has two locations, one at the Notre Dame Campus in CM18, and another at the Exchange District Campus in room P214. Our two libraries have different equipment collections, so make sure you select the location you’ll be picking up from, before browsing and setting up bookings.
Add upcoming bookings to your outlook calendar
When you create a booking, you will receive a “Your booking has been confirmed” email with an .ics calendar file. Open the attachment and add the booking to your calendar.
Keeping your research organized and writing your paper just got easier!
The Library is pleased to announce that IT Services will be pushing the RefWorks Citation Manager plug-in out to all RRC Polytech users.
Offered by the Library, RefWorks is a free, web-based reference management service that simplifies the process of research, collaboration, data organization, and writing by providing an easy-to-use tool. RefWorks lets you build a collection of customized references (and accompanying PDFs), share, annotate, comment, and import directly into your writing.
The RefWorks Citation Manager plug-in integrates your RefWorks account into Office 365, allowing you to insert in-text citations easily and automatically generate your reference lists as you write with a click of your mouse.
Visit the RefWorks guide for text-based and video tutorials on using RefWorks.
Watch the RefWorks training session on the various tools you can use when writing a research paper, including RefWorks Citation Managerfor Office 365, Write-N-Cite (older Word), ProQuest RefWorks for Google Docs, and Quick Cite.
Contact us, click Ask Us on our homepage, or visit one of our service desks for one-on-one assistance.
Earth Day is upon us again on Friday, April 22, 2022. We have on this day, since 1970, taken to raising awareness about climate change, its increasing effects on our planet caused by our growing carbon footprint, with the knowledge that the more we delay, the more urgent and palpable is the need to address the changing climate.
COVID-19 is also a new powerful, environmental phenomenon with a unique connection to climate change. Like the weather, it impacts and disrupts our daily lives, and for the past several years has been a dire presence in our relationships with each other, over the entire globe.
With these two circumstances affecting us, how will you acknowledge Earth Day this year? Will you actively participate in recognizing this important and very special day?
Sustainability at Red River College Polytechnic
At Red River College Polytechnic, the Sustainability Office works to promote a culture of sustainability among staff, students and faculty and reduce the College’s impact on the environment. This year the Office is hosting a Show us your Sustainability! Photo contest.
There are so many ways to support the environment. From Tuesday April 19 to Friday April 22, send Sustainability a photo of you doing something good for the earth, such as saving energy, reducing waste, or greening your commute and you’ll be entered to win a prize at the end of the week! Send your photos to Sustainability@RRC.CA. Follow Sustainability on Facebook (RRC Polytech – Sustainability) or @rrcgoesgreen on Instagram for more details.
Join a virtual presentation of RRC Polytech’s State of Sustainability on Friday April 22 at noon to hear about the sustainability highlights from the past year, the results of a recent survey, and how we at Red River College Polytechnic are measuring our sustainability performance.
RRC Polytech Library Services Resources
Libraries are a tremendous resource for ideas, information, and knowledge. The libraries at RRC Polytech can assist you on Earth Day in your response to these pressing environmental concerns. To learn more about why we celebrate Earth Day here are several sources you might consult in your pursuit of understanding of climate change:
Both for convenience and accessibility, as well as to save on paper, the Library has an extensive collection of eBooks about Climate change
Suggested Primer on Climate Change
“The Fragile Earth tells the story of climate change—its past, present, and future—taking readers from Greenland to the Great Plains, and into both laboratories and rain forests. It features some of the best writing on global warming from the last three decades, including Bill McKibben’s seminal essay “The End of Nature,” the first piece to popularize both the science and politics of climate change for a general audience, and the Pulitzer Prize–winning work of Elizabeth Kolbert, as well as Kathryn Schulz, Dexter Filkins, Jonathan Franzen, Ian Frazier, Eric Klinenberg, and others. The result, in its range, depth, and passion, promises to bring light, and sometimes heat, to the great emergency of our age.”*
For more links, more electronic & print book reading suggestions, more videos & related topics, check out our Environment Science guide on the Library Service’s website. And please contact us with your questions and suggestions and let us work with you to make every day an Earth Day.
In this wave of the COVID-19 pandemic you may find yourself with less time on campus and more time studying at home. The RRC Polytech Library is here to help. This post will cover some of our supports and some tips to keep you on track with your studies.
This Library is Open
The library is open at the Notre Dame Campus: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 AM – 3 PM
The Library is open at the Exchange District Campus: Tuesday and Thursday from 10 AM – 3 PM
Need something that is only available in print from our collection? We are happy to make a partial copy for you. You can request any print article from our collection or a chapter from a book through the Digitization service. Our library team will make you a copy.
Did you know that the library has streaming video services? Our collection is designed to serve our students. Explore our video databases as well as curated collections for special topic areas.
Adjusting your Study Habits
image source: pixabay
Studying is hard at the best of times. Just like your instructors, your routines may have to adjust during this wave of the pandemic. Here are some suggestions for how to swap your old habits for new ones
Campus Well-Being is now offering fitness and lifestyle consultations to staff and students.
Looking for some expert fitness advice? Not sure where to start on your journey to better overall health? Book a free, virtual session with one of our certified fitness professionals.
Your consultation will will take 30 to 40 minutes and can be done over the phone or via MS Teams. Your coach will ask you some questions about your current health, fitness, and lifestyle before collaborating with you on a plan to take concrete, actionable steps to better your health.
Your well being and mental health matter. January 29th is Bell “Let’s Talk”. The day focuses on destigmatizing, building awareness, acceptance, and action in mental health. Of course, events will look slightly different this year, but continuing conversations about our mental health is more important than ever. To engage with RRC events for Bell visit the Campus Well-Being website.
All of the staff at Library and Academic Services are happy to extend a warm welcome to everyone returning to campus. We’re looking forward to providing a safe study space and continuing to offer supports to students and staff, both in-person and online.
In-person service now available
Beginning on August 30, the Library at the Notre Dame Campus is re-opening for in-person service (note that our EDC location will remain closed at this time). While we look forward to seeing you, we encourage you to continue to take advantage of our online service desk, which is available during regular Library hours by clicking the Ask Us button at library.rrc.ca.
Services and spaces within the Library
The following spaces and services are currently available at the NDC Library:
Individual study spaces
Three computer stations
Limited physically-distanced group study space
Borrowing of Library materials
A welcoming and safe environment
What to expect when you arrive
For everyone’s safety, the Coronavirus guidelines prescribed by the College are in effect when using Library spaces and you will be required to sign in and out when using the space.
We have spread things out to accommodate physical distancing with signage placed throughout the Library to help you know which spaces are available to use. There are a variety of choices available, marked by signs that indicate “Individual Study Space” or “Group Study Space.” In addition, there are three computers available with a printer/photocopier nearby.
Virtual services from Academic Success Centre
The Academic Success Centre will continue to offer services virtually for the Fall Term. In-person individual supports will be available to students upon request. The ASC will work to accommodate these requests on an individual basis and if a tutor is available. To follow physical distancing required on-campus, group tutoring and workshops will remain online.
Our focus will continue to be led by student demand. We look forward to connecting with students this Fall term and invite you to visit the ASC website for updated information on our services.
As we enter a new academic year, we wish the College community of students and staff an insightful year of learning and discovery.
In the context of March 21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, and City of Winnipeg’s Anti-Racism Week from March 21-27, Academic Success Centre is proud to share that is finalizing the development of a new Anti-Racism Training for Students. Once finalized, this training will join our Diversity Training suite of workshops that already includes Intercultural Competence Training and Gender and Sexual Diversity Awareness Training. (More information about our Diversity Training is available here.)
When we think and talk about racism, most people reference examples of interactions between people. However, racism is also maintained by institutions and society through the implementation of policies, practices, and programs. This training is an introduction on how racism functions as an interconnected system. The training will go over historical instances of racism and it will also focus on current examples of racism.
It is our goal that the Anti-Racism Training will support our students and contribute to the College’s educational efforts in enhancing our knowledge and understanding about racism, acknowledging how racism has shaped our thinking and actions, and speaking out against racism and systemic barriers.
The Anti-Racism Training for Students includes key concepts and frameworks, as well as activities for reflection and discussion. The training also presents a curated suite of relevant videos to amplify the voices and lived experiences of racialized people and Indigenous people. At the end of each training module, students will receive a set of key strategies and resources to map out a personal Action Plan and foster an ongoing student learning and action experience.
After piloting this training in the Spring/Summer time, we expect to offer this training for students from the Fall academic term on. The training modules will be delivered as live workshops via Webex, and will also be recorded for later screening as needed. Workshops are facilitated by Academic Success Centre’s diversity facilitators, and faculty is encouraged to take advantage of this new resource to support their students and book workshops to be delivered during class time, as time allows.
As an additional resource, students and faculty can also access a new Anti-Racism Learning Toolkit developed together with Library staff. This guide is available here and features curated videos, readings and other resources from the College and the community at large.
For more information about the Anti-Racism Training for Students, please connect with Nora Sobel, Diversity Initiatives Coordinator (Academic Success Centre) at email@example.com.
Open Access (OA) week 2020 will be hosted internationally October 19 – 25. Open access is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research outputs are distributed online, free of cost or other access barriers. With open access strictly defined, barriers to copying or reuse are also reduced or removed by applying an open license for copyright. We see the principles of OA in Open Education. [i]
In the Spirit of OA week let’s ask ourselves some complicated questions:
Why should Open Access Matter to Educators?
Sun Yang associate professor of China University of Political Science and Law stated “It is naturally accepted that teachers should have the authority to determine the specific use of their course materials by third parties, including their students. Without their permission, no one should copy, distribute, delete or modify the copyrighted course content. In an offline environment, copyright is controlled through physical copies which are purchased. This becomes a challenge in online classrooms.”[ii]
While the original goal of the Open Educational Resource (OER) initiatives was to make higher education more accessible by reducing students costs through the use of openly licensed textbooks these resources now serve educators in the wake of a pandemic as valuable and adaptable tools for the online classroom. OER supports Open Access principles by freely allowing modifications, adaptations, and format transitions without the need to seek costly or time consuming copyright permissions for modification to fit online institutional environments, platforms and classrooms.
The restrictive licensing agreements and terms of copyright applied to many digital textbooks and supplementary materials from publishers make it difficult to adapt materials in new ways to engage students in online learning environments. Materials can further have restrictive licensing agreements that make it confusing to establish when the material can be used in conjunction with a Learning Management System (LMS/LEARN). OER’s have become powerful tools in aiding educators in the adaptability they need to function in continually changing teaching environments that can move from the classroom in person, to digital online learning with little notice and their access to the physical resources of their institutional libraries continues to be limited or completely cut off.
Why Should Open Access Matter to Students?
UNESCO stated that, “…as of 17 May 2020, almost 1.21 billion learners were affected (by the global pandemic), accounting for 69.3% of the world’s student population. The global education community continues to face the major challenge of providing interactive and motivating educational experience during school and university closure. In this special situation, Open Educational Resources (OER) have never been so urgently and broadly needed like today.”[iii]
OER’s can involve students directly in the adaption and building of the learning materials they engage with. They allow students to contribute to online education which can be built upon by others around the globe and allow classes and instructors to source global perspectives to incorporate into College programs. These skills as well as the experience of involvement in the creation of resources for teaching and instruction ensure the student experience is intellectually rigorous, experiential and robust. Student involvement in OER development and adaptation can upon graduation stand as a real world example of experience and skills gained by the student in their education. This can be helpful in providing prospective employers meaningful examples of not only the skills they have acquired but “what” they have accomplished during their studies, in contributing to educational resources that can be used by other educational institutions around the globe.
OER’s and Open Access resources also reduce the cost textbooks and supplementary materials to students as these resources are free and openly available alternatives to traditional textbooks and supplementary material.
What is the Role of Open Access in a post pandemic society?
UNESCO (2020) has recently launched a call stating that “the Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a paradigm shift on how learners of all ages, worldwide, can access learning. It is therefore more than ever essential that the global community comes together now to foster universal access to information and knowledge through OER.” [iv] Open Access to information is the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need. Open Access has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted. It has direct and widespread implications for academia, medicine, science, industry, and for society as a whole.
For more on the importance of OA check out this video from PHD Comics.
Following Red River College’s Flexible Online Delivery Model, the Academic Success Centre (ASC) and Library have developed a suite of Hybrid LEARNing Modules featuring self-directed tutorials in LEARN and facilitated live sessions via WebEx.
The modules focus on standalone topics that faculty can use to provide their students with foundational skills for success in their studies. Click on each module link for learning outcomes and content.
The modules feature 2-3 hour self-directed tutorials housed in LEARN that faculty can import into their own LEARN courses. The tutorials feature content from LinkedIn Learning, Learning Scientists study strategies, short pre-recorded MDR video lectures, and other resources, as well as learning activities.
Instructors can use the modules in a number of ways. They can use the complete module as an asynchronous independent learning activity, where students progress through all sections at their own pace, or select one or more sections, according to the needs of the students.
Alternatively, the instructor can choose to share the videos of each sub-module in a synchronous classroom setting and lead discussions about the topics introduced. Additionally, instructors can use section activities as assignments in order to assess students’ understanding of the content.
Synchronous Delivery: Facilitated Live Sessions
In addition, a 1-hour live sessiondelivered by Webex (or MS Teams) is available for each topic. The live sessions will be led by a member of the Academic Success Centre or Library and will complement the online tutorials. These sessions will be active learning experiences, with facilitated discussion and activities that can help them further understand the content from the self-directed tutorials.
The workshops include review of key concepts, discussion with guiding questions, sharing of additional resources, and application to a case study. The live sessions are recorded for later screening and recordings will be available online for a week after the date of the actual sessions.
With the COVID-19 pandemic driving college courses into online learning environments, open educational resources (OER) are essential tools for educators because they allow instructors to reuse, remix, revise, redistribute, retain, resources without expense, and without seeking copyright clearances for use, and adaptation of the material. Through collaboration with educators who contribute their subject matter expertise, Open Educational Resources provide a sustainable and customizable option for delivering online teaching methodology.
OER Development at RRC
You may have seen past information from Red River College on its work to drive OER development. The Teacher Education department at Red River College is in the midst of creating an Open Education Resource that will supplement Teacher Education courses and Faculty Development on post-secondary campus’ across Manitoba and Canada.
For more information on the project visit the OER Project page or view the following video:
How do I use Open Educational Resources?
Most OER resources are digital and can be embedded into the campus’s learning management systems (LEARN). Like using any teaching and instructional material the first step is finding Open Educational Resources that support your subject area. The Library can be a key ally in assisting you with sourcing OER content for your subject area and you can also explore resources on your own.
The library has an OER landing page to get your started finding OER’s to meet your instructional needs. Once you find a resource you would like to use you can download it, adapt it to your needs, and upload it in LEARN or you can link to a completed OER’s online.
How Open Educational Resources Support Students.
Use of OER’s helps to reduce the cost of educational resources for students. As textbook costs continue to rise OER’s can provide free or low cost alternatives to textbooks. The use, creation, and adaption of OERs in teaching and instruction can also provide enhanced opportunities for self-learning at home.
OER’s can act as engaging tools to develop digital literacy skills for: searching, reusing, recreating, disseminating, branding, and networking as you can involve students directly in the adaptation of the resource as part of their learning.
an illustrated version of OER benefits
Jtneill – Own work – Ways in which open education can facilitate flexible learning. CC BY-SA 3.0
OER’s supporting strategic goals on campus.
Use of OER’s can also tie your teaching into the strategic goals on campus. These resources can be Indigenized, to advance Indigenous achievement. Indigenization is a process of incorporating Indigenous perspectives, processes and knowledge systems. It must be noted that Indigenization does not mean replacing Western knowledge or changing it, rather the goal is to braid together Western and Indigenous knowledge so teachers and learners can appreciate both. OER’s can be freely adapted for valuable inclusion of Indigenous knowledge systems and perspectives. For more guidance on Indigenizing resources view this post from Campus MB which has some OER content to get you started. Further to the strategic goals OER’s can incorporate digital tools to help evaluate student success. They foster sustainable growth by encouraging digital learning materials, and curb the increasing cost of instructional materials. They can be used to cultivate strategic partnerships as you can invite alumni and industry partners to contribute to adapting OER’s. Get started investigating OER’s today with the RRC Library and Campus MB, and look for more OER sessions in Fall 2020.