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Updating a Living Textbook: a RefWorks Success Story

June 25, 2020

RefWorks: an Incredible Citation Tool

This past winter, the Library acquired a reference management software called RefWorks for college-wide use.  This incredible tool has many practical uses.  For students, it will store their articles and other resources, give them a Reference page and help with in-text citations.  For faculty, this can be a useful tool for sharing documents amongst group members with a lot of extra functionality.

How RefWorks Was Used in a Recent Partnership

The Library recently partnered with the School of Health Sciences and Community Services with regards to the Science of Early Child Development living textbook and modules.  These resources are used by students globally and contain an enormous number of references that were cited in APA 6th style.  With the release of the 7th edition APA this past October, these citations needed to be updated quickly.  All of the references from the living textbook and modules have now been entered into RefWorks and PDFs were uploaded to give one site storage in RefWorks.  In addition, the SECD team now have the capability to make revisions and to allow for swift updates should there ever be an APA 8th edition.

The Library Team “showed dedication and attention to detail and did an incredible amount of ‘heavy lifting’, saving us time and ensuring that we can move forward with APA 7th Edition changes.” – Jan Sanderson, Research Chair, School of Health Sciences and Community Services.

Do you have a research project that you are working on?  Need to share resources with colleagues?  Then RefWorks is the perfect tool for you.  Library staff can help you and your team get started.

More Information:

Questions? Connect with Us!

Ask Us button for Library chatWhile the Library’s physical doors are closed, we are able to serve you virtually through chat, email and virtual meetings.

To connect with us, simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button.

 

Written by Joan Boersma, Library Services

Open Educational Resources to support online teaching and Instruction

June 2, 2020

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 use image

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.

In partnership with Campus Manitoba and the Manitoba Flexible Learning HUB, a framework for the resource was developed.

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.

Open education benefits list

an illustrated version of OER benefits

JtneillOwn 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.

COVID-19 – Coping with Stress and Anxiety

March 18, 2020

Lean on us during this Time of Stress

Woman who appears to be stressed

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Library staff understand that we are in an extraordinary situation with the COVID-19 outbreak which is affecting everyone in the College community.  We are working remotely during our closure, to help students find and use online resources, and assisting instructional staff with resources and other Library supports.  Staff are available through Chat and Email during the following hours:

Mon-Thu 7:30am – 9:00pm
Fri 7:30am – 4:30pm
Sat 8:30am – 4:00pm

You may access our online books, videos, and journals 24/7 through OneSearch (RRC log in required).

For information about online services provided by Academic Success Centre, please visit ASC’s Online Academic Supports website. General news and updates about Library Services will be posted at library.rrc.ca.

College Supports to Ease Anxiety

We are all experiencing increased levels of stress, including learning how to work and learn remotely, care for children and elderly relatives, study in Canada while being far from home and family, and of course being concerned about our own health and welfare.

Healthy Minds Healthy College logoThere are ways to help reduce stress and combat isolation which you may find valuable, such as mindfulness and meditation strategies, fitness apps and virtual social gathering.  RRC’s Healthy Minds, Healthy College initiative provides some resources for maintaining physical and mental fitness during this time of social distancing.  

The College’s Counselling Services will have staff available through phone, email and WebEx to address your concerns.  Visit their page for more information at rrc.ca/counselling/.

Answers to many of your questions can be found on the College’s Coronavirus information page which is being updated continuously.

Reduce stress by Knowing the Facts and Keeping Informed 

Knowing the facts about COVID-19 helps reduce stress from rumors and false information.  Health Canada has up to date information to keep you informed.  Additionally, the World Health Organization has extensive information on the virus. Locally, check Manitoba Health for updates.

Looking for up to the minute information?  Reuters.com, Reuters Canada and the Associated Press are reliable news sources.

Managing Stress

The World Health Organization’s Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak provides strategies for maintaining mental and psychological well-being.

Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides tips to Manage Stress & Anxiety during this uncertain time.  

Lastly, the Canadian Mental Health Association is a reliable source of stress reduction information.  Check out their publication Coping with Stress which is free online and the Stress Index quiz.  The Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba offers Self Care strategies also.

 

Posted by Lynn Gibson, Library Services

Teaching with Tablets and What It Has to Do with Us

November 24, 2014

iPad, first generation

iPad, first generation. Creative Commons Photo License

While my memory is still fresh, I’d better write about the ALA TechSource workshop “Teaching with Tablets” that I recently attended to share what it was about with those interested in knowing. One thing I want to say beforehand is that it was an introductory workshop that was packed with information, and there is certainly a lot to explore to know this topic inside out.

It shouldn’t surprise you that mobile device ownership is on the rise and will continue to rise dramatically. Out of the 85 attendees (school, academic, public library personnel), 38 percent said some students/users and 58 percent said nearly all students/users in their institutions have mobile devices. Tablets are not just cool dazzling devices that you can conveniently hold in your hands for Internet browsing and reading. The gist of the whole mobile concept is that it presents a new means of interacting with information and knowledge enabling users to find, share and create information on the fly with the assistance of a rich and rapidly growing pool of apps.

Tablet use in the classroom completely changes the way instructors interact with students. Using either a cable connector or wireless adapter to connect with a projector, or tablet mirroring or using a mobile mouse app to pair up with a laptop to project a presentation, instructors are free to move around the classroom to see how students are doing while simultaneously interacting with the program or materials projected.  And they can even send out activities, polls, and quizzes to students, and invite them to participate in group learning activities.

You may say that teachers have been able to do this all along, but do you recall how difficult it was to simply share a URL so that everyone could visit and discuss the same website? Mobile apps such as Evernote and Poppet make creating and sharing snippets of information and video clips for brainstorming with a group quick and convenient.

Tablets fundamentally change the way students learn. We all know that reading a text is not the most effective way to learn. Tablets open the gateway to a multitude of multimedia content and interactive learning tools. For instance, Anatomy 4D allows health science students to explore the human body dynamically. There are information repository apps to facilitate note taking and knowledge visualization apps to generate easy to understand graphics. Furthermore, apps like Eponyms can translate medical terms for students reading a difficult article on PubMed.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of what tablets can do. As our options rapidly evolve I encourage you to look online for the best apps in education and try them out to see which ones serve your purpose, using your long time practiced information skills to evaluate them. Tablets may not become a reality in college classrooms tomorrow but certainly very soon, and you skate to where the puck is going, not to where it has been, right? With so much talk about College Wide Learning Outcomes, adapting to and innovating with tablets could very well be something we all need to dip our toe into.

The presenters of this workshop generously offered their slides online at: https://www.slideshare.net/secret/mxVNF27v3ObSQS.

They also published the following books: Rethinking reference and instruction with tablets (Miller, Meier, & Moorefield-Lang), Tablet Computers in the Academic Library, and Tablet Computers in School Libraries and Classrooms (same authors). Recommended further reading is on slides 68, 69. Knock yourself out!

Written by Can Li with the assistance of John Mark Allen, Red River College Library