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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Everyone who has written an academic paper knows that citing research is easier said than done. It’s a complicated process of not only finding all the required information but formatting it correctly.
Books, print periodicals, articles from databases, web resources, videos, photographs, you name it. All have their own citation requirements, and all are formatted slightly differently from one another. Thus, making citations all the harder to do.
So, I get it; it’s complicated, not intuitive, and seems to change every year-to-year; what if I could tell you that there’s an easier way?
Let me introduce you to RefWorks.
RefWorks is online software that simplifies the process of research, collaboration, data organization, and writing by providing an
easy-to-use tool for citations, bibliographies, and overall reference management.
Luckily for us, RefWorks is provided to students through the Red River College Library.
If you’re interested, the Red River College Library has created a RefWorks Guide that provides a step-by-step tutorial on how to set-up and use RefWorks. If at any point you have a question not answered on the guide, there are library staff ready to help either in person or online.
I, for one, am taking this opportunity to jump on this fantastic tool. If you’re one of the many who also find themselves struggling with citations, I hope you will as well!
We 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.
Are you looking for organizations and contacts for student work placements? Does your department or program engage in community outreach? Perhaps it’s time to reinvigorate your organizational and community networking and contact lists.
The Library is excited to highlight the new Associations Canada Onlinedatabase, which provides detailed profiles to over 20,000 Canadian and international organizations and associations, including nearly 1,000 from Manitoba. Each profile includes names, full addresses, complete contact information including website and social media addresses, budgets, sources of funding, and much more.
Other information found in the database:
Meetings, Conferences & Conventions When and where events are happening in your field.
Awards, Scholarships & Grants
Details on awards and grants offered by Canadian associations.
Registered Charitable Organizations
Lists of associations that are registered charities, searchable by subject.
Search through the database with a seemingly endless number of search fields and limiters (budget size, city, contact name, number of employees, membership fees, etc.), and find out firsthand just how useful the resource can be for your department. Find the database on the Library Homepage under Articles/Databases, or use this link.
Simply present a Red River College Identification card to borrow a portable charger.
Library Services now offers portable chargers for most mobile devices (micro-USB, lightning and USB-C). If you are a staff member or student at the College, simply present your ID card to borrow one for up to a day.
They are available at the Exchange District Campus Library Service Desk or at Notre Dame Campus Library, AV Services (down the hall toward the back of the Library).
Lynda.com is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. All students, faculty, and staff at Red River College now have access to Lynda.com, giving them unlimited access to 6,000+ videos and courses.
Lynda.com can complement your classroom learning via topics such as software, interpersonal skills, web development, business, communication, leadership, design, preparing for the workplace, and more.
The easiest way to access Lynda.com is through HUB. Go to hub.rrc.ca and click on Applications and then Lynda.com. If prompted, login with your Red River College email address and password and you’re ready to start!
On a Mobile Device
Lynda.com is available via an app that is distributed for Apple and Android devices. All you have to do is download the app. When asked to login, select “Organization,” and then provide the organization URL “rrc.ca.” When asked to login, use your Red River College email address and password.
RRC has published a few playlists to get you started. These expertly curated playlists are designed to help you move through your personal and professional learning paths:
For Students Includes a variety of Academic Development and Career Readiness
For Faculty Includes Teaching Resources, Educational Technology and Professional Development topics!
For Leaders Includes Values and Ethics, Vision-Setting, Applied Management, Coaching and related Leadership Competencies
For All Staff Includes Effective Communication Skills, Office 365 Essential Training, Understanding Self and Others, Career Development and more!
Would you like to be able to search for books, articles, videos and eBooks in one place? The Red River College Library now has OneSearch.
OneSearch is the name of the EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) which searches the print material and audio/visual resources owned by the Library. It also searches the thousands of EBSCOhost ebooks and journals to which the Library has access.
The benefit of OneSearch is finding everything, regardless of the format, which is relevant to your needs. Of course, should you want to search the resources individually, such as the Library catalogue for print books, or a subject specific database for articles, you can choose to do that.