Articles by author: Andrew Colgoni

  • Streamlining Access to Course Material

    Brock’s new Academic Plan is centered on five key priorities, including a teaching and learning environment that is “Accessible, Flexible, and Customizable” (Priority #2).  One of the actions nested under this priority is to “Streamline the processes by which students access learning materials and maximize the use of library resources for course support”. 

    We know from research that access to learning materials such as textbooks, readings, open educational resources, and other learning materials is a key factor in equity and academic outcomes.  Conversely barriers to course materials have a significant negative impact on student success.   

    We also know that instructors play a pivotal role in helping students access and use course readings.  On March 2nd, the Library, the Campus Store, and CPI hosted an event for faculty highlighting various options available to instructors to help facilitate access for students.  The goal was to promote resources and services available to faculty through the Brock Library, Campus Store, and CPI, and to kickstart a discussion about how to better streamline the course materials landscape at Brock. 

    Library support for Course Material 

    One of the ways that the library supports affordable and accessible course materials is through the Course Readings service. Instructors can share their course syllabus with the Library’s Course Readings team, who will then locate the material and load it into an online platform which connects directly to the course within Brightspace.

    We can add digital material from: the library collection, the web (including open educational resources), audio/visual sources, and materials we source from partner institutions. Additionally, we ensure the resources we put in the platform are accessible and copyright compliant.  

    While online/electronic material offer the greatest flexibility for students, we are also able to put print material (including instructor copies) on short term loan at the Ask Us desk in James A. Gibson Library. 

    The Library currently supports over 300 courses across the University. Learn more about the Library’s Course Readings service.

    If an instructor is considering moving away from the traditional textbook model and into adopting an open textbook or other open educational resources (OER), the library can help with that, too. Learn more about Library support for OER.

    Campus Store support for Course Material 

    Did you know any profits earned through the Campus Store are invested right back into faculties, programs, and courses at Brock?  

    The Campus Store’s Course Materials team actively connects with instructors to ensure course materials are available for students when courses start. The team is currently finalizing adoptions for the Spring/Summer and working hard for the Fall/Winter terms so students can start the semester with material in hand.  

    Through the My Course Materials platform, students receive a personalized shopping list of course materials available through the Campus Store for the courses they have registered in. Over 25,000 students viewed the Campus Store’s My Course Materials this past fall and winter terms – you’ll find a link to it in the Brightspace menu. 

    With course materials continually evolving and affordability at forefront, the Course Materials team is a knowledgeable resource for multi-format sourcing and price matching with leading competitors. 

    Missed the email from the Campus Store Materials Team? Please contact us at 

    What’s Next 

    The Library, Campus Store and CPI are committed to finding ways to streamline access to course materials and finding new ways to make course materials more affordable and accessible to all students.

    This past year, the Library and Campus Store have worked together on a pilot project to make printed course packs more affordable by leveraging library-acquired materials when possible, and we will continue to build on this collaboration. All three partners have been working to ensure access to all resources can happen through Brightspace.

    Future initiatives are likely to include making open educational resources easier to adopt for instructors and easier to use for students. We welcome your feedback, ideas, and suggestions on how we can make your experience and access to course materials even better.

    Categories: Main

  • The Library is here to support fall course planning

    Instructors, as you prepare for the Fall 2021 term, the Library is ready to work with you for whatever mode of teaching you are considering – on campus, online, blended or hybrid.

    Here’s some of the ways we can help.

    Course Reserves and Readings

    For maximum flexibility, we are encouraging all instructors to continue using digital/online course readings for the fall term. This way, your students will be able to access any course readings no matter where they are physically located, or how often they may be on campus.

    Several alternatives to print resources are available including the creation of course-specific online packs, leveraging articles, book chapter scans, and other digital material. The Reserves team is ready to work with you to develop these for your students.

    An instructor self-serve option is also available, providing flexibility to instructors who wish to do this work themselves. All self-submissions will get a final check for copyright compliance, and will then be active for students.

    With regard to e-textbooks, it is important to remember that most of the major publishers will not sell these to libraries. This limitation means that students who do not purchase the textbook have no alternative access to the textbook contents. You can read more about this limitation, and what non-print options are available. Liaison Librarians are also available to help you identify alternate resources.

    For those instructors teaching primarily on-campus, the library is considering models for safely offering print reserves in September. We are interested in hearing from instructors that anticipate needing printed course reserves, so we can understand the level of demand and specific needs. Please reach out to Andrew Colgoni, Associate University Librarian, Student Success to start that conversation.

    Open Educational Resources

    Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials (including textbooks, courses, learning objects, tests, media, etc.) that you may freely use and reuse, without charge. Brock University Library, with our partners in CPI, can support faculty and instructors interested in using, adapting, or creating OERs in their courses or programs. Support for OER use is part of our broader commitment to helping faculty make course materials more affordable for students, in conjunction with course reserves.

    If you’re considering incorporating an OER into your course, the Library and the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation are here to support you in finding the right resource for your course and how best to use it in your curriculum. Learn more about our OER Services.

    Teaching Support

    Our librarians are available to work with you on building research skills, information literacy, and related literacies into your course curriculum. Contact the liaison librarian for your program.

    You may also wish to include the library’s various online learning resources into Sakai or your syllabus. We have a comprehensive list of research guides for Brock’s programs, as well as tutorials, videos and guides for common research tasks, like searching Omni, the library’s academic search tool.

    Streaming Video and Film Digitization

    Instructors looking to include film or video in their curriculum are encouraged to search Omni, or look through our Streaming Video Resource guide, which includes all of our subscription platforms and a number of free resources. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, we can work with you on possible alternatives. Contact us directly at to learn more.

    Access to Collections

    The pandemic has highlighted how important access to electronic resources has been, and the library will continue to prioritize purchasing electronic resources where possible. The pandemic has also highlighted just how valued the print collection is. Through programs such as the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), we have been able to provide digitized access to about a third of our print collection while the physical library space is closed. Instructors should note that should we be able to open the library fully, including the floors housing our print collection, we would need to discontinue ETAS. We commit to continue working with our users and responding as best we can to facilitate access to print content.

    We plan on continuing Interlibrary Loan services, though it continues to be subject to availability and access at our partner libraries.

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    Categories: Main