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 education is a philosophy about the way people should produce, share, and build on knowledge. “Open educational resources (OERs) provide a model for convenient, cost-effective access [to resources] with no copyright barriers to worry about, expensive texts to purchase, or restrictions on adaptation, customization or re-use.”[i]
Open Education Week seeks to raise awareness and highlight open education efforts worldwide. OE Week provides practitioners, educators and students an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open educational practices and be inspired by the wonderful work being developed by the community around the world. [ii]
The 2020-2021 year presented unprecedented challenges in the world. One of these challenges met by educators was the sudden shift to online learning. Red River College kicked off discussion and supports for Faulty using OER (Open Educational Resources) in May 2020 spearheaded by the new Copyright officer in partnership with Campus MB. Over one hundred faculty and staff attended this session, and two additional sessions on OER were hosted during the 2020 year.
One simple adoption of an open textbook at RRC during the 2020-2021 year served 840 students, saving each student $159.95 in textbook costs for a total saving to students of $134,358. This the impact of just one title, over the years RRC has seen over 8 open textbook adoptions.
OER’s have also provided instructors at RRC with additional resources to work with and adapt in a time when access to physical resources has been limited. The Open Education philosophy proves to be a great asset in the push for online learning environments prompted by the pandemic, but OER’s themselves have been around since the early 2000’s.
If you would like to view our past 2020 OER session it was recorded and is available to be viewed at your convenience:
OER’s are resources published under an open license, such as Creative Commons, these resources can be freely adapted to help your students meet the learning outcomes for your course. At RRC our main focus in the 2020 year has been around the use of Open Textbooks but many different OER’s exist as vast as the types of educational content. If you feel like you missed the boat and are just hearing about OER, let me assure you that isn’t the case. The RRC library offers an OER Landing Page to start you out on your Open Education journey.
If you are already familiar with OER and would like to take this week to get up to speed conversations educators are having regarding Open Education during the pandemic Law Bytes has a prerecorded podcast discussing the significant new challenges for teachers and students in adapting course materials to the online learning environment. Be sure to check it out!
[i] Michael Geist, “David Porter on the Benefits of Open Educational Resources as Millions Shift to Online Learning,” Law Bytes Podcast, March 30, 2020, https://www.michaelgeist.ca/podcast/episode-45-david-porter-on-the-benefits-of-open-educational-resources-as-millions-of-canadians-shift-to-online-learning/.
[ii] Open Education Week. Open Education Global, n.d. https://www.openeducationweek.org/page/what-is-open-education-week.
Red River College takes the protection of Intellectual Property rights seriously. The College and its staff and students are expected to take reasonable steps to ensure that materials protected by copyright are used in accordance with the law by following our Fair Dealing Policy. Copyright is complicated but interacting with Copyright materials is often a daily part of our lives. At work, during our education and in our leisure time, we are often engaging with copyright materials. Fair Dealing is an important part of how we as educators and students ensure we are using Copyrighted content with respect to the rights of the individuals that create the content, and in in accordance with the law.
Could you imagine if there was no legal way to use Copyright material without permission from the owner of that content? How would this affect your work, education and hobbies?
Our ability to use Copyright content when we don’t secure permission is limited, Fair Dealing is a provision in the Copyright Act that permits use of a copyright-protected work without permission from the copyright owner or the payment of copyright royalties in limited circumstances. Fair dealing exists as a user right within the Copyright Act for the public good to foster education, creativity, and innovation.
The doctrine of Fair Dealing guides our use of Copyright material under the Copyright Act of Canada, but how do we use materials in accordance with Fair Dealing? Here at the RRC library we have some helpful tools to point you in the right direction. If you are trying to make a decision around using copyright material we have a Fair Dealing tool to support you. This tool will walk you through a series of questions around your use of copyright content to ensure your use is in line with our policy, and the tool will direct you to the Copyright Officer when you are in need of assistance.
Want information about how to use our Fair Dealing tool, and how you can use Copyright material under Fair Dealing?
Fair Dealing Week is a time to highlight and promote the opportunities presented by the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright act, celebrate successful stories, and explain this user right under the Copyright Act. How do students engage with, and rely on fair dealing? Check out this Fair Dealing Testimonial from Shifrah Gadamsetti Sociology Student and President of the Students’ Association Mount Royal University.
Educators also interact with copyright on a daily basis. “Fair dealing is critical for innovative teaching and learning on campuses across Canada. It helps our instructors bring dynamic and relevant content to their courses…” read more about how fair dealing impacts educators in the following testimonial from Leslie Reid Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning) and Teaching Professor, Faculty of Science University of Calgary.
RRC policy is available to guide our actions when using Copyright material, our Library Team and Copyright Officer are here to assist Instructors and Students in interpreting this policy. If you have questions about Copyright or Fair Dealing be sure to visit the Copyright Page on the RRC library site and reach out the Copyright Officer for assistance.
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.
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.
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.
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 Emailduring the following hours:
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.
There 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.
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.
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
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