Articles tagged with: OER

  • 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 libhelp@brocku.ca 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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  • Course Reserves and the Challenge of Commercial E-Textbooks

    Ever since we closed the doors to our physical space in March, Brock University Library has been working diligently to provide alternative access to our print and physical collections. The latest developments on this front have been the launch of our book pickup service and the HathiTrust emergency digital collection. As we get closer to September, we are turning our attention to course reserves. Normally, a significant portion of course reserves would be print copies of textbooks, but the realities of the pandemic mean that we cannot offer any physical print reserves. To support instructors and the students in their courses, we have been exploring digital alternatives for print copies of textbooks. 

    The E-Textbook Challenge 

    When it comes to providing digital access to textbooks, however, the Library is hindered by the textbook publishers. Simply put, most textbooks are not available to libraries in any format other than print.  Most of the major textbook publishers  Pearson, Cengage, Houghton, McGraw Hill, Oxford University Press Canada Textbooks, Elsevier Imprints, Thieme  simply do not sell e-textbooks to libraries. This means that for courses that have adopted textbooks from these publishers, students who do not purchase the textbook have no alternative access to the textbook contents. 

    How the Library is supporting Instructors 

    We work with instructors to explore and identify viable textbook alternatives, including: 

      • Posting individual book chapters or excerpts and scanned copies of the content, subject to copyright limitations. Copyright permission will be sought where feasible in cases where the excerpt falls outside of fair dealing guidelines. 
      • Linking to content from the library’s existing collection of electronic resources (e-books, journal articles, streaming media, and other digital materials) or acquiring new content whenever possible. 

    Efforts will be made to secure online materials that are free from digital rights management restrictions (DRM) in order to ensure unfettered student access. DRM includes limits on the number of users that can access a resource at any one time, as well as limits on copying, printing and downloading. 

    The easiest way to get started with your course reserves is to submit your reading list on the Library’s course reserves webpage. If you have questions about how the library can support your course, email the Reserves team at reserve@brocku.ca. To ensure we can meet demand, we encourage submission of your reading list before August 4th, 2020. 

    If, as you prepare for your courses, you have questions about the finer points of copyrightplease see our Copying for Teaching & Educational Purposes website for guidance and support.  

    With thanks to the University of Guelph for starting the conversation about the challenges of e-textbooks.

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