We can assist you with advanced searches in discipline specific and larger databases; developing search strategies; grey literature searches; and with knowledge synthesis projects (including systematic reviews in the Health Sciences).
We can help you navigate the steps between writing and having your work published by traditional and alternative publishers.
Research Data Management
Assistance with writing Data Management Plans (DMPs), data handling best practices, data description, storage, and preservation. Learn about what the Tri-Agency Research Data Management Policy applies to the research data you collect.
Support for understanding measurements of citation and bibliometrics.
A librarian can help you with the steps towards receiving Research Ethics Board (REB) approval – necessary when conducting research involving human subjects.
You can book a research consultation by filling out a Research Consultation Request Form. The form allows you to attach any protocols, initial searches, or documentation for the librarian to review beforehand to ensure a productive consultation.
Library and Academic Services is looking forward to supporting you in your research endeavours!
Written byChris Read, MLIS – Research Services Librarian
This particular test targeted instructors, and would evaluate our “Average Instructor User” persona.
Our Academic Support Coordinator, Melissa Coyle, asked for volunteers via Staff News. Not sure how much interest she would generate, she was pleasantly surprised to receive a number of volunteers, all Instructors and EAs, and from different programs and areas of the college. Choosing five candidates that represented an even cross-section of our college, Melissa went ahead and administered a test, one-on-one with each volunteer.
We would like to take a moment to thank the staff who volunteered to take our test. Without you, this entire process would not have been possible. Bravo!
Using a list of twenty-one tasks, consisting of scenarios and questions that could be discovered on the Library and Academic Services website, Melissa monitored the candidates progress in browsing the web pages, taking notes as to the success or failure of the candidate in resolving each task.
It is true that you do not know how easy or hard a designed task might be until you observe an average person attempt to complete it. Melissa did this through a WebEx session with each candidate. It is an ingenious way to conduct a usability test, and Melissa was able to adeptly conduct the testing, all the while taking note of the challenges met by the users.
In case you were not aware, the Library and Academic Services website is quite deep, and contains information on services offered by the Library, Academic Success Centre, and Assessment Services. Some of the tasks were easily resolved by the users, such as:
Where would you go to find the hours for NDC and EDC campus?
You are browsing the LAS website and want to ask a Library staff a question. How would you ask a question or request help?
You are an instructor who would like to schedule an in-class Academic Skills workshop for your students. Where would you go to request this workshop?
You have a student in your class who you would like to refer for tutoring. What instruction would you provide the student to request or connect with a tutor on their own?
You are looking for information about Copyright, where would you go to find this?
Other questions posed to be more difficult for the users, indicating adjustments may be necessary on the web site:
You are an instructor who has assigned a research paper to your students for a specific topic and would like to reserve a selection of books for your class at the Library – how would you do this?
You have a student who is unfamiliar with LEARN and struggling to access course materials, submit assignments, and participate in online discussions . You would like to connect them with a tutor for help – how would you do this?
You’d like to share some self-directed resources with your students with a focus on study skills. Where would you find these?
Clearly we have more work to do to improve the Library and Academic Services website. In fact, we recognize that a website must be continuously managed, meaning changes are always necessary, and future testing will always be a smart step.
In addition to areas of improvement, the testing has shown us that our process of user-centric design is working. For the most part, we discovered that our Instructor persona was able to use the website to complete the tasks built into the user-interface.
When we build a web site, we think we can do plenty by considering how users will interact with the site. However, until we have some real users try the site, and we watch how they do it, we cannot know the whole story.
So, take our advice. Arrange for a few users to test your web site!
Mark Nelson Library Systems Specialist Red River College Polytechnic
This week we are highlighting “The Teaching Professor” A weekly, online newsletter dedicated to helping college faculty improve students’ learning.
Library and Academic Services (LAS) offers many avenues of support to faculty at RRC Polytech. Among those is our subscription to The Teaching Professor; an online, weekly, newsletter aimed at those teaching in higher education.
The Teaching Professor has been lauded for its succinct articles that make the connection between theory and practice in the scholarship of teaching and learning. It covers a wide range of topics such as course development, student engagement, academic integrity, online and blended learning, and professional growth.
Here are some reasons to check it out
The Twenty Minute Mentor is a monthly feature of a 20-minute video program. Check in each month to see what the topic is!
For Those Who Teach is the long-running weekly column from Maryellen Weimer, the publication’s founding editor and its lead writer from 1987 to 2022.
The Library Team has taken the time to pull resources from “The Teaching Professor” in three potential areas of interest for faculty.
Please check them out and take time to get to know “The Teaching Professor”.
1. Preparing For Return to Class
At this time of year, everyone is looking forward to the slower pace of summer days! When the time comes for you to start preparing for your return to the classroom, The Teaching Professor can help with some icebreakers for the first week of classes and with setting the tone of your classroom:
Academic dishonesty in the 21st century is so different than the days of looking over a fellow student’s shoulder for the answer. The Teaching Professor has many articles addressing this, here are just a few:
For educators, lifelong learning is so important. Developing your skills and knowledge after your formal education ends keeps your teaching fresh, allows you to reflect on what you’re currently doing, and gives you new ideas to strengthen your classroom connections. Here are a few articles to get you started:
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.
Increase Adoption of OER and Electronic Resources: A Key Action for High-Quality Learning
As indicated as a key action of high-quality learning at Red Forum 2022, the Library Team is here to help support instructors in finding high-quality electronic educational resources. The pandemic has blurred the lines between” in-person” learning and “remote” digital classrooms. The RRC Polytech Library is here to support instructors in locating resources that can withstand the need to shift learning environments nimbly.
We invite instructors who may have struggled with format shifts using their current teaching materials, or those who are seeking alternatives to current textbooks, to consider the shift to Open Educational Resources (OER). These are educational materials such as textbooks, problem sets, slide decks, lesson plans, handouts, infographics, and other educational content that can be used for free and without permission.
Advantages of OER
OERs are published under an open license, such as Creative Commons. This allows several key advantages:
Instructors can switch the format of materials with ease and without concern for the violation of copyright, these resources can be printed or remain in digital versions for students.
Instructors can Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute the materials freely without violating copyright.
OER use allows for cost savings for students when suitable OER can be located to replace course materials students pay for out of pocket.
Learn more about OER as well as past faculty education sessions held over the past two years: visit the Faculty Support OER Page.
See the impact of our current OER use at RRC Polytech in this 2-minute video: OER Impact Video.
Find support at the RRC Polytech Library to get started with OER: contact the Copyright Officer.
Planning for Fall? It’s a Great Time to Incorporate Our Supports
Spring is often the time to update course content and plan for fall, and it’s also a great time to incorporate supports offered by Library and Academic Services. In this article, we highlight popular ways we can help you and your students succeed at RRC Polytech. For future reference, we encourage you to bookmark our Faculty Support page which contains links to the complete range of services and supports we offer.
The Academic Success Centre and Library offer online in-class workshops for student cohorts at the request of faculty. Our suite of workshops includes Academic Skills, Writing Skills, Technology Literacy Skills, Library Instruction, and Copyright.
To request an in-class workshop, please click the links below:
The Academic Success Centre and Library have developed a suite of Hybrid LEARNing Modules. The purpose of these modules is to offer learning strategies and resources that faculty can share with their students to further develop foundational skills for success in their studies. The modules feature self-directed tutorials in LEARN and facilitated live sessions via Webex (or MS Teams).
While the ASC is primarily a student service unit, our staff have found that partnerships with faculty are the best way to support students. Partnerships can take many forms, including customized and embedded academic supports in programs, in-class workshops, diagnostic assessments, and the sharing of our learning resources.
The primary purpose of the Library’s collections is to support learning, instruction and research at RRC Polytech. If you have suggestions for a new title or resource to add to our collection, you may fill out the Suggest a Purchase form. Our subject specialists are available to discuss subject area gaps in the collection as well as Open Educational Resources (OER) options with you.
The Library’s Guides are curated lists of resources on specialized topics. We can help you find which guides are most relevant for your students or work with you to develop a new Guide to meet your needs. The benefits of Guides are far-reaching for both students and instructors. Below are a few success stories resulting from instructors utilizing Guides.
Also, you may be looking for information, either for your own research needs, course development, or course readings. Library staff are skilled at locating and referencing information, and it would be a pleasure to assist with that. To connect with a Library staff member, visit us in person or through our Ask Us chat during regular Library hours.
Copyright plays an important role when instructors are building content and creating course materials. Our P7 Policy provides guidance around copying but there is also a suite of library-directed copyright services to support and assist faculty in navigating copyright.
The Library’s Copyright Officer supports faculty with the following services:
Check your copying decisions against our policy using our self-serve Fair Dealing Tool.
A picture may be worth a thousand words but is it worth a copyright infringement?
While in some cases it may be fair for Research, Education and/or Private Study to copy images, it is important to remember that most images are protected by copyright.
Students and Instructors often use images as part of creating course content and completing assignments, in doing so they have a responsibility to act under copyright policy at RRC Polytech. In this day and age people are willing to legally debate who owns a money selfie. Check out the video for more details on how a monkey sparked debate in the copyright world.
The Good: There is a lot of content online intended to be reused.
The Bad: There is a lot of content that isn’t intended to be reused and legally requires permission, and/or payment if you want to use it.
The Ugly: It can be hard to tell what you can and can’t use and when you are getting yourself into copyright trouble.
How do we navigate copyright as students and educators when using images for education?
How do we know if we can use an image?
Open Images are images that have an open license such as Creative Commons or that have fallen into the Public Domain that others can use in their creative works and/or in support of education.
When an image is created it is automatically protected by copyright, the creator of the image is automatically the copyright holder of that work. Unless the copyright is transferred under an employment agreement or the image rights are sold. This means that unless image creators or rights holders specifically indicate that individuals are able to use their content only the image creator or rights holder themselves has the exclusive rights to distribute, reproduce, create a derivative work (creating a ppt presentation or digitally editing the image), telecommunicate, or publish the image.
Why do we need to know about Copyright when using images?
The current way copyright works images, inclusive of images on the internet, and google images, is that images (or any copyright materials) “belong” to the individuals, organizations, and companies that create or own them. In most cases legally you need to ask permission when you use them, OR use them by the terms and conditions, or licenses that the creator, company, or organization has expressed for use for the image.
Creative commons licenses are one way creators can offset the automatic “all rights reserved.” approach of copyright and give you a clear indication of permissible ways you can use the work, and that is why we encourage the use of Creative Commons materials in education.
Want more information on how Creative Commons works? Check out this video and Copy responsibly.
The last couple of years has seen a transformation in education and teaching techniques. The transition to largely online learning saw many educators quickly having to relearn how to deliver and rewrite their course content to match. Not all course materials and delivery methods transitioned easily to an online delivery model, and everyone had to work double-time developing new content, and searching out alternative materials. Throughout, Open Education Resource’s (OER’s) made this job easier, and lot more affordable, both institutionally, and for students.
OER’s. Applaud them. They are the real MVP’s. Going out there every day, offering themselves up to be reviewed, taken apart, and reassembled – within the limits of what their creative commons licenses stipulate, of course – all to meet so many different needs and applications, and asking almost nothing in return… well, maybe attribution (see how to use OER’s correctly.)
If you have never used an OER (as unlikely as that seems) find out about them today. It’s Open Education Week and there are lots of great open-access online resources to learn about and adopt. A great place to start learning about OER’s is the RRC Polytech Libraries OER Guide
OER’s come in all shapes and sizes, for every education level, but it is important to know where to find ones that are open access, copyright free, and fit your curricular needs.
In recognition of Open Education week, here is a list of just some of the many great OER resources available online.
When using OER’s, it’s important to know how to identify licenses and credit appropriately, but don’t let that intimidate you. You can easily learn all about creative commons licenses and how to use OER’s correctly.
Still feeling lost on how to use something you found online? Did you know that Red River College Polytech Library and Academic Services has a Copyright Officer? Ebony Novakowski, is your copyright expert on using all forms of media on LEARN, in presentations, and more! You can find out even more on the Libraries copyright page.
Artemis Hedrich Reference Technician Library and Academic Services, Information & Program Delivery Red River College Polytechnic
We find and interact with materials online everyday and most of that online content we interact with is protected by Copyright. “So much of our normal everyday behavior puts us at risk of infringing copyright, especially since so much of our life is digital.”[i] “The copyright regime cannot be considered fit for the digital age when millions of citizens are in daily breach of copyright, simply for shifting a piece of music or video from one device to another. People are confused about what is allowed and what is not with the risk that the law falls into disrepute.”[ii]
February 21 – 25th marks Fair Dealing week a time to highlight user rights, and promote the opportunities presented by the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright act. During this week we aim to explain Fair Dealing and how it applies to our daily uses of copyright materials.
As part of Fair Dealing week the video guide to Fair Dealing posted above has been created. The the RRC Polytech Copyright officer. The video touches on the basics of exercising user rights in relation to Education, Private Study, and Research in the video.
How we engage with copyright materials matters. As students and educators are not only individuals who use content, but are also creators of content. Fair Dealing is the doctrine that balances the right of users and creators and allows the navigation of user and creator rights for innovation that benefits society at large.
The RRC Polytech Library is dedicated to helping students, faculty and staff, navigate our institutional copyright policy. We offer a Fair Dealing tool to help streamline policy navigation and help ensure copying is in accordance with our policy guidelines. If you need to make a copy check out this quiz based tool!
The library also hosts a suite of copyright support services to help inform staff and students toempower those within our college community to make copyright decisions that exercise their user rights and respect the rights of creators in accordance with our policy.
Library staff member, Rosemary Woodby, recently worked with three RRC Polytech Nursing instructors – Joanne Loughry, Krystal Boyce-Gaudreau, and Carla D. Andreamatteo – on the creation of specialized Library Guides for their courses. It was a rewarding experience for everyone, but most importantly, it made the learning materials required for these programs easier for their students to access.
Before diving into the benefits of Guides, are you familiar with what they are?
What are Library Guides?
Library Guides pull together and organize Library books, videos, and databases, along with a variety of online sources such as webpages, videos, and reports. Guides present all of this information in one place, where any student can access them. You can link to Guides in your LEARN site, and we can update content as needed.
“The guide has the potential to save the students valuable research time and cultivates a supportive and progressive learning opportunity… These essential research skills and increased exposure to credible resources will prepare our students to be practice ready when entering the workforce.”
— Joanne Loughry, Nursing instructor
At RRC Polytech, our mission is to help students succeed in their studies and move on to rewarding and successful careers. The greatest benefit of Library Guides is felt by the students, which is one of the main reasons our instructors request them. Feedback from Nursing instructors confirms this fact.
Krystal Boyce-Gaudreau describes her newly developed guide, Leadership, Management and Collaborative Practice, as a time-saving and learning opportunity for her students. Through the Guides, students are presented with a gateway to high-quality information categorized by topic, saving “students time searching through website and journal articles for relevant and appropriate resources.” Carla D Andreamatteo, who requested the Nutrition and Lifestyle Guide for her students, describes it as “a great one-stop location for students to access resources to assist with their learning in the course.”
Joanne Loughry requires her students to utilize several kinds of resources from varied sources. In her opinion, Library Guides help students learn to develop their research skills and gain exposure to navigating credible sources. In her words, “The guide has the potential to save the students valuable research time and cultivates a supportive and progressive learning opportunity… These essential research skills and increased exposure to credible resources will prepare our students to be practice-ready when entering the workforce.”
How does an instructor set up a Library Guide?
Guides are created by the Library staff member assigned to your program area, as listed in our Collection Development Contacts. You may send a request to your subject specialist directly, or send a general inquiry to the Library through our Contact Us page.
Follow Library and Academic Services on social media!
For everything from fun series to service and programming updates, follow us on social media. We’re active on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
Written by Linda Fox – Library Technician, Program Support and Promotion
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