Ready-made lists of library resources for your course

Are your students having trouble finding scholarly sources for their assignments?  Not sure where they can turn for help with their research questions?

The library has designed ready-made pages of discipline-specific resources – recommended books & e-books, journals, databases, and other print and online resources – to help your students get started with their research.  If you see missing or incorrect items in the list, liaison librarians can customize these pages for your classes by adding links to specific items within the library catalogue, or external websites.

Screenshot of Library Resources page for INF2012 (Instructor's view)Screenshot of Library Resources page for INF2012 (Instructor’s view)
(Click on image for enlarged view)

The ‘Instructor Links’ section, only visible to instructors, includes additional information pertaining to copyright issues, and course reserve requests.

Library resource pages also include contact information for booking in-person research consultations with a librarian and for chatting virtually via the ‘Ask a Librarian’ IM service.

How to access library resource pages

Does your course have a Portal site?  Students can access the library resources page in the course menu, by clicking on the “Library Resources” link on the left hand side of the page.

Library resources location within the Portal
Library Resources location within the Portal
(Click on image for enlarged view)

If your course doesn’t have a Portal site, or you would like to share a direct link to the Library Resources page with your students, you can do so by searching for your course code using our look-up tool.

For more details, please contact your liaison librarian.

by Partnering for Academic Success (PASS): librarian secondees with CTSI
Rita Vine, Head, Faculty and Student Engagement, U of T Libraries
Mindy Thuna, Science Liaison Librarian, UTM
Monique Flaccavento, Faculty Liaison Library in Education, OISE
Heather Buchansky, Student Engagement Librarian, U of T Libraries

Life @ U of T and CTSI

We are excited to welcome Lori, the newest member of the CTSI family. Lori will be contributing regular posts to the Life @ U of T blog. I will let Lori introduce herself – her first post went up on Thursday and her second post appeared today – but we wanted to add that we’re looking forward to reading her insights and observations of the University of Toronto. The Student Life blog is a great resource for getting to know U of T students and learning what concerns and what drives them. It’s also a great way to find out about events, projects, classes and free stuff around campus. I am perfectly happy to follow the lead of Student Life bloggers – it often ends with cupcakes or an interesting lecture at Hart House.

This is our second year with our Student Life blogger. Last year, we were fortunate to have Erin post about her interactions with faculty and experiences inside and outside of the classroom as she navigated her final year as an undergrad. All of her posts can be found on the Life @ U of T blog.

 

Podcasts for the Holiday (and any other) Season

As we enter the final stretch for 2012—making our way through exam time, getting ready for the holidays (convincing ourselves that we will have a relaxing time with friends and family but knowing that holidays are often busier and more stressful than we like to admit)—we are setting our minds to pleasant distractions. We have compiled a list of favourite and (almost) never fail podcasts to amuse, bemuse and inform during long holiday drives, while cooking (or cleaning) for festivities, or when taking some personal time at the gym. (I much prefer podcasts to music while working out. It’s a great opportunity to catch up and as they require added concentration it’s easier to tune out the world around me. The only drawback is that I occasionally laugh out loud, or burst into tears, while on the treadmill. Thank you, Ed Gavagan!)
(on twitter @TheMoth)

This American Life
The godfather of all podcasts. The Mount Everest of radio documentaries. Produced by NPR and led by host Ira Glass, the This American Life team, including David Rakoff, Jonathon Goldstein, Starlee Kine, David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, tells stories on a particular theme (usually in three parts) that examine the many facets of life, living, politics, culture, art and, well, just about everything under the sun. From the heart breaking to the hilarious, TAL presents stories that are unique and stirring. If you’re not already a fan of TAL, this is an opportunity to hear true stories about cloned pet white bulls, Jack Hitt’s building super who may or may not have been a hit man in South America and recovering from a break up by consulting Phil Collins. I fear that my description makes this podcast sound a bit flippant but the truth is that it is hard to capture and explain. It’s probably best to listen and make your own way through the episodes.
http://www.thisamericanlife.org/canada
(on twitter @ThisAmerLife

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My first graphic syllabus

Recently, I was introduced to the idea of a graphic syllabus. In her book The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course (available at the OISE library), Linda B. Nilson, suggests that instructors can convey the relationships between course concepts directly through the syllabus.

In the winter 2012 semester, I will be teaching a 4th year course called Integrative Design Project at the Institute of Communication, Culture and Information Technology at the Mississauga campus.  Incorporating a design element into a design course seems like something I should pursue.

The knowledge domains that constitute the integrative design project course for 2012: 1) design research, 2) user centered design, 3) eGovernment

These are the major knowledge domains that constitute the integrative design project course for 2012

To the left, I have posted my first attempt at graphically representing the knowledge domains that are covered in course readings and around which the assignments focus.  For example, the major group assignments will involve students researching and designing a prototype of a website or digital interface to enhance a government service or democratic society more broadly.  Their prototypes are expected to be user and citizen centric.

 

Curriculum guides for film – not just for K-12

Image of film audience

Image by Canadian Film Centre used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

This post addresses a question I have fielded as a TATP trainer who teaches a workshop on video in the classroom.

Partcipants sometimes ask, where can I find video curriculum guides to help me teach in my discipline? This question does not emerge out of thin air. It comes up because when I teach the workshop, I bring along a curriculum kit called Teaching the Levees.  Hurricane Katrina caused devastating damage to New Orleans.  The curriculum guide is intended to support discussion of the associated social and political issues that are raised in Spike Lee’s film When the Levees Broke. 

In my experience, TAs and instructors alike are very enthusiastic that other people prepare discussion questions that may be appropriate for their classroom!  It is often a novel concept that such resources are available.

A challenge for post-secondary educators, is that most curriculum guides for film seem to be directed towards the teachers of kindergarten to grade 12 students. In researching this blog post, Jenaya Webb, Public Services Librarian, OISE Library, indicated to me that they have a collection of curriculum guides to assist their student teachers on placements in the K-12 educational system.  Jenaya also helped me to compile a list of more widely available resources to the U of T community (see below).

In order to find curriculum kits or guides that may be useful in your post-secondary teaching, I recommend using the web as a starting point to find resources that you can adapt to make relevant for your course. Some options in alphabetical order include:


1) Amnesty International Film Curriculum Guides

As a human rights organization, Amnesty has a number of PDF downloadable curriculum guides for films that address issues such as war, race, and gender. I downloaded the curriculum guide for Born into Brothels, an academy award winning documentary, and found that some of the grade 9-12 level discussion questions could be easily adapted by linking to a university course level reading.

2) HotDocs:  Toronto’s own documentary festival has film resources in their HotDocs library for K-12 learning.  Here you may find materials that link to your courses.  In the words of the HotDocs team, “these docs will engage students with issues of our day; with vital ideas, critical questions and new perspectives outside the mainstream media and school textbook.”

3)  National Film Board (NFB) of Canada:
The NFB has a comprehensive section of their website devoted to educators. There is a section of the website where teachers can search for teaching guides on various topics. Additionally, I find the playlists for educators organized thematically (i.e. films about Science and Technology) to be a great resource.

I hope that you are able to find curriculum materials for films that are relevant for your classroom.  If you have experiences or tips you wish to share, please comment.

Visual Oompf!


Like it or lump it, PowerPoint is a necessary tool for most presenters. While the software boasts efficient, easy to create presentation capabilities, it also runs the risk of sending your audience into a bullet-point induced coma. To bridge the gap between the time-strapped presenter and the weary-eyed audience, I (full disclosure: an untrained, non- graphic designer) offer my own take on Presentation Zen – ideas I use to add oompf to PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Presentation, Slide Rocket, etc.

In this first post for “Visual Ooompf – Designing With a Non-Designer”, I offer three practical tips to successfully use pictures in presentations.

Not just pretty to look at, pictures are the ultimate “oompf adder” as they can also help your audience retain information. A well-chosen image is an opportunity to reinforce your point AND strengthen students’ brains’ synapses.     Continue reading

Coming Soon – Large Classroom Teaching

The Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation will soon launch an online module on Exploring Large Classroom Teaching. The University of Toronto’s faculty and graduate students have a fair bit of experience in this area (as you might imagine) and we have looked to them for insight and advice on this topic. We’ve divided this section into four areas (Planning, Strategies, Assessment and Technology) with videos, resources and tip sheets available.

We hope to launch in a few weeks. Please stay tuned!

Meet the New TATP Staff

The Teaching Assistants’ Training Program welcomes its 2011-12 staff.

 

 

 

 

The TATP is a peer-training—teaching assistants offering training to other teaching assistants—program that is housed in the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation.  For more than a decade, the TATP has helped train and offered workshops and consultations for graduate students and teaching assistants at the University of Toronto. The office started out quite small with only 3 staff members but has now grown to 14 (4 coordinators and 10 trainers, including one UTM and one at UTSC). If you are not already familiar with the work of the TATP, please visit their website for more information, including a list of this year’s staff. The TATP Certificate Programs, workshops, departmental training sessions, consultations and resources have made the TATP an indispensible service for UofT graduate students (and undergraduate students working as teaching assistants).

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