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Updating a Living Textbook: a RefWorks Success Story

June 25, 2020

RefWorks: For anyone who needs to write and cite

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.

Learning from Home – One RRC Student’s Tips on How to Stay Focused

April 27, 2020

The past five weeks have been an absolute whirlwind with transitioning from the in-class learning environment to online. As a student, the sudden change meant having to figure out how to learn in a virtual environment, how to facilitate presentations through new tools, figure out a way to stay focused on school work, and manage the stress of a being a student during a global pandemic. It’s no easy feat adapting to this amount of change.

So, like any challenge, I think it’s important to celebrate the victories when they come. Here are some of the things that helped me stay focused during this trying time.

Create a Work Space

The first week that we started classes online, I felt displaced and couldn’t quite figure out a way to stay focused on my studies. I recognized that I was struggling to balance my study time with my home time and as a result, I felt quite restless. By the second week, I recognized that bringing my laptop with me as I moved around my home wasn’t working, so I decided to set up a work station. I cleared my computer desk of all things not school related and set up a second monitor to attach to my laptop, which created a dynamic work space with two screens.


“Setting up a work station created a dedicated space for me to focus on my work, and the result has made a drastic difference.”


Meagan's work station

Meagan’s work station

Setting up a work station created a dedicated space for me to focus on my work, and the result has made a drastic difference. When I am done my online classes for the day and I’m no longer working on homework, I can turn off my computer and step away from my work station. This gave me the balance I needed to separate my time spent on schoolwork and my downtime.

Build a Schedule

In the second week of online classes, I was fortunate enough to have my husband start working from home too. I decided that setting up a schedule was my next step in staying focused, and since I was waking up to his alarm anyways, I started mimicking his work schedule for my classwork. Luckily, his schedule fit perfectly with my class times and forced me to take proper lunch breaks. I have found that since working with a dedicated schedule, I can set clear goals for what I want to accomplish in my day, and I’m more productive because I set these parameters.


“…with a dedicated schedule, I can set clear goals for what I want to accomplish in my day, and I’m more productive because I set these parameters.”


Picture of a RRC student in classThese are only two small steps that made a significant impact on my learning from home. If you are looking for ways to keep focused while studying at home, check out the Working from Home – Students guide.

It’s also important to recognize that everyone learns differently, so if you want to share what has helped you study in the COVID-19 pandemic, we’d love to hear from you on Twitter or chat with a library staff member using our online service desk.


Online Service Desk Hours

While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:

  • Monday – Thursday  7:30am – 8:00pmAsk Us button for Library chat
  • Friday  7:30am – 4:30pm
  • Saturday  8:30am – 4:00pm

During this time, a staff member is available to chat or answer your email. Simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button or send an email to library@rrc.ca.

 

Written by: Meagan Acquisto, Library Information and Technology program

Adjusting Study Habits During COVID-19

April 7, 2020

The Challenges of Changing your Study Habits 

We all know that change can be difficult, especially during a time of so many unknowns. 

As Red River College shifts to an online course environment, that means we need to change our study habits and change the way we access resources. 

Helpful Tips

In response to the changes to Red River College’s learning environment, the Academic Success Centre and the Library have created an Adjusting Study Habits During COVID-19 document with tips to help students adapt the way they study.

The tips in the document include how to:

  • Stay OrganizedAvoid multitasking diagram: you'll remember less, you're more likely to make mistakes, assignments take longer
  • Avoid Multitasking
  • Make the Most of Video Lectures
  • Set a Schedule 
  • Develop New Strategies
  • Do Remote Team and Group Work
  • Stay Connected to Others

As we are all adjusting to an online course environment, our advice is to be patient and to take care of your wellbeing first, then try out the suggested tips.

We Are Here For You

While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday  7:30am – 8:00pm
Friday  7:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday  8:30am – 4:00pm

During this time, a staff member is available to chat or answer your email. Simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button or send an email to library@rrc.ca.

Related links >>

Working From Home Guide for RRC Students

April 6, 2020

The Challenges of Learning and Studying from Home

Many people find learning and studying from home a challenge, and this is magnified by the stresses associated with COVID-19. If you are not accustomed to learning and studying at home, you may be coping with some of the following difficulties:

  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Time management
  • Disruption of plans and goals (graduation, work placements, etc.)
  • Lack of structure
  • Fear and uncertainty
  • Technological problems
  • Distractions

A Timely Guide for StudentsPicture of a RRC student in class

In response to the stress placed upon RRC students at this time, the Library has developed the Working from Home – Students guide. This compilation features refreshing ideas, tips, resources, supports, services and links to help ease the stress of learning and studying from home. We also hope to save you time and energy by providing information you urgently need right now.

Online Service Desk Hours

While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday  7:30am – 8:00pm
Friday  7:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday  8:30am – 4:00pm

During this time, a staff member is available to chat or answer your email. Simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button or send an email to library@rrc.ca.

Academic Success Centre’s partnerships and services to support Red River College’s efforts towards Academic Continuity during COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Academic Success Centre (ASC) has joined the rest of the College community in its commitment to providing the same level of support through alternate delivery methods, in response to COVID-19.

Chani from ASC in the middle of a WebEx review workshop

WebEx review workshop with Chani Singh

With 12 weekly review sessions offered in courses such as Business Math (MATH-1051) and Managerial Accounting (ACCT-2005), our ASC Staff Tutor Chani Singh didn’t miss a beat. 

Chani launched his first Group Review Workshop for Math and Accounting students on March 17th – well before our students’ return. 

Adopting new technology and new tutoring methods overnight, Chani has engaged with up to 55 students synchronously in his WebEx content review workshops. 

In the meantime, our EAL team has been working closely with program partners to move all language and communication supports from in-person to online delivery. One success story from the first two weeks of this transition is our partnership with the International Business team.

Screenshot of online Diversity Training

Online Diversity Training in progress

Integrating new workshop and class delivery methods has been viewed as an exciting challenge, and EAL Tutor Rebecca Hiebert has delivered four synchronous workshops and several individualized support sessions to over 60 students in the International Business program.

Rebecca facilitated workshops on topics ranging from APA formatting, gender and sexual diversity awareness, constructive feedback, pronunciation practice, and how to maximize WebEx in order to work effectively with teams. 

The International Business faculty has been working closely with the EAL team through WebEx and email to discuss students’ support needs, stay up-to-date on course content and students’ challenges, observe and moderate in one another’s WebEx classes, and creatively collaborate on ways to support students through online delivery. 

Despite the many challenges we face due to COVID-19, we are proud to continue with our ongoing partnerships with RRC programs. As always, we remain committed to collaborate with faculty and staff to advance student support.

ASC has created a website devoted to keeping staff, faculty and students updated to our transition online. Please visit this site regularly, as our service availability is increasing daily: https://rrclibrary.libguides.com/ASC_Online_Academic_Supports

Working From Home Guide for RRC Faculty and Staff

March 30, 2020

The Challenges of Working from Home

Many people find working from home a challenge, and this is magnified by the stresses associated with COVID-19. If you are not accustomed to working at home, you may be coping with some of the following difficulties:

  • Time management
  • Digital miscommunication
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Burnout
  • Technological problems
  • Distractions
  • Lack of structure
  • Work-life imbalance
  • Fear and uncertainty
  • Disruption of plans and goals

A Timely Guide for RRC Faculty and Staff

Image of laptop on desk - working from home

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij from Pexels

In response to the stress placed upon RRC faculty and staff at this time, the Library has developed a Working from Home Guide. This compilation features refreshing ideas, tips, resources, supports, services and links to help ease the stress of working from home. We also hope to save you time and energy by providing information you urgently need right now.

Online Service Desk Hours

While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:

Monday – Thursday  7:30am – 8:00pm
Friday  7:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday  8:30am – 4:00pm

During this time, a staff member is available to chat or answer your email. Simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button or send an email to library@rrc.ca.

Related links >>


In these uncertain times when many of us are unexpectedly isolated in work and study, RRC Library wants you to know that we care and are still here to assist you.

 

RRC Library and ASC are Online and “Ready to Serve”

March 19, 2020

RRC Library Online

Online Service Desk Hours (Chat and Email)

While the Library’s physical doors are closed, the online service desk is still running and ready to serve you. Staff are online during the following hours:

  • Monday – Thursday  7:30am – 8:00pm
  • Friday  7:30am – 4:30pm
  • Saturday  8:30am – 4:00pm

During this time, a staff member is available to chat or answer your email. Simply visit library.rrc.ca and click on the Ask Us button or send an email to library@rrc.ca.

Contact a staff member directly

To reach a specific individual, please consult our Library Staff Directory (email only). All staff are monitoring email and most are available to meet through WebEx at their virtual office link and/or by appointment.

Examples of Services

Through online chat and email, we can assist you in…

  • Gathering together online course materials, whether from the Library collection or external sources such as websites and open source videos
  • Troubleshooting technical issues related to electronic resources and applications
  • Addressing copyright concerns related to transferring courses to an online environment
  • Locating sources for an assignment or other research
  • Obtaining electronic resources from other academic institutions using Inter Library Loan
  • Learning how to use online collections and databases
Check our COVID-19 FAQ page for more information about our services.

RRC Library Online Collections and Guides

Our extensive selection of e-books, e-journals and streaming videos are available 24/7. If you would like assistance finding materials or accessing these resources, our friendly online staff can assist you during our regular hours.

The Library guides include selections of electronic resources curated by our own information experts and are a great starting place for any subject. Please note that our physical collection is currently unavailable. To create a list of favourites for future reference, check out the Favourites section of our OneSearch guide.

NEW! Working from Home Guides

In response to the stress placed upon the Red River College community at this time, the Library has developed two Working From Home guides – one for FACULTY & STAFF and one for STUDENTS. Featuring a compilation of ideas, tips, resources, supports, services and links, these guides were designed to help ease the stress of working from home. We also hope to save you time and energy by providing information you urgently need right now.

Academic Success Centre Online

The Academic Success Centre (ASC) is developing online alternatives to providing students with academic support. Visit the Online Academic Supports section of ASC’s website for information. Check back daily for updated information.

Examples of supports that ASC is developing for online delivery are:

  • Weekly reviews
  • Help desks
  • Individual and group tutoring
  • EAL supports
  • Academic coaching
  • Study skills training
  • Diversity training

Additional Online Resources from ASC

  • Student Success Skills (strategies for reading, writing, time management, study skills, test taking)
  • Student Blog (strategies for anxiety, dealing with emotions, mindfulness)
  • STEM Centre (worksheets and videos for different courses and subjects)

In these uncertain times when many of us are unexpectedly isolated in work and study, RRC Library and ASC want you to know that we care and are still here to assist you.

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

RefWorks: For Anyone Who Needs to Write and Cite

February 19, 2020

RefWorks Could Be Your New Best Friend

RefWorks logoWe all know that writing a paper has its headaches, especially the task of tracking and citing sources. RefWorks, now offered by RRC Library, is a reference management service that streamlines the research and citation process for you. It will store your sources and generate authoritative citations and bibliographies in whatever format you need so you can focus writing your paper. RefWorks also coordinates with Word and Google Docs, allowing you to quickly insert and edit citations and add them to your bibliography as you go.

If you are in the process of conducting research, compiling sources and creating citations, RefWorks will be a lifesaver.

RefWorks: For anyone who needs to write and cite

 

LEARN MORE…

  • Visit the RefWorks guide for more information.
  • Attend the RefWorks Lunch and Learn session at NDC Library on Thursday, February 27, 12:15-12:45.
  • Contact us or visit one of our service desks for one-on-one assistance.