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Posted on: May 22, 2018
Summer Teaching & Learning Retreat
Western Libraries and the Learning Commons is now accepting applications for their summer teaching and learning retreat. This multi-day facilitated opportunity offers a mix of individual and collaborative work times in a beautiful natural setting, and includes all meals and lodging at the North Cascades Institute.
Sponsored by Western Libraries as part of their mission to foster collaborations that enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship, participants will discuss best practices and collaborate across disciplines through consultations, facilitated dialogue sessions, and peer response. The following two tracks are available for prospective participants:
- Backward by Design (BbD) track: This track provides new and returning faculty and instructional staff an opportunity to design or revise courses. Focused on applying the backward design framework, this track includes discussion of best practices for teaching and assessing writing and research.
- Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (SoTL) track: This track provides students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to advance individual and collective research projects, (especially those that include students as co-inquirers). The SoTL track includes facilitated dialogue sessions focused on teaching and learning issues, and best practices for applying the SoTL framework across disciplines.
For both tracks, time will be allotted for participants to work individually or collaboratively with others, and participants will be expected to share their progress -- course design (BbD) or research (SoTL) -- with the Western community.
The retreat is scheduled for September 4-6 and participants must agree to attend all three days. Space is limited and fill every year. To apply please complete the registration form by June 17, 2018.
Questions? Please contact Sarah McDaniel, Director of Teaching & Learning and the Learning Commons, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: Summer Teaching & Learning Retreat
Posted on: April 19, 2018
Updated Records Retention Schedules Now Available
University Archives and Records Management is pleased to announce that on April 4, the State Records Committee approved updates to the University’s records retention schedules.
You can find the updated versions of the University’s general records retention schedules on the University Archives and Records Management website:
For copies of unique, office-level retention schedules (or to determine if your office has a unique schedule), contact University Records Management (x6654) or email Rachel Thompson.
In addition, University Archives and Records Management is holding two trainings this month, in honor of April being Records and Information Management Month. For more information about the trainings, or to sign-up for them, you can visit the WWU Training Portal. The next training will be about Digital Records Management and will be held on April 24 at 10AM.
For more information about retention schedules or other services offered by University Archives and Records Management, please contact us at x6654 or email Rachel.Thompson@wwu.edu.
Read more: Records Retention Schedules Now Available
Posted on: April 18, 2018
Trial Access to Scopus Now Available
This spring, Western students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to participate in a quarter-long trial of the abstract and citation database, Scopus.
An alternative to Web of Science, Scopus (published by Elsevier) includes citation data for over 70 million journal articles, books, conference proceedings, and patents in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. It also provides a variety of journal and article metrics to help institutions and researchers track the impact of their—and others’—scholarly work. More in-depth information about Scopus can be found on the Scopus content page or in the content coverage guide. Recent comparisons of Scopus to Web of Science are available from Iowa State University and Boston College.
The Libraries is negotiating a contract with Elsevier to renew Western’s current journal package and is considering a university-wide Scopus subscription as one way to secure more favorable and sustainable licensing costs. Were the Libraries to proceed with a subscription to Scopus, the current subscription to Web of Science would be phased out at the end of 2020, resulting in a significant cost savings long term for the University.
In order to make the best decision for Western as a whole, the Libraries is calling for broad participation in—and feedback on—the Scopus trial. The trial will last for the duration of Spring Quarter, beginning on April 18 and ending on June 30. It can be accessed from both on- and off-campus, via the Libraries website, OneSearch, or directly. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate and provide feedback via survey form.
Elsevier is also providing Western with a trial of SciVal, a sophisticated tool for tracking an institution’s research performance. Western users are encouraged to explore the SciVal trial and provide feedback here. (NOTE: Users must create an account before using SciVal.)
Read more: University-Wide Resource Trial: Scopus
Posted on: April 3, 2018
Partnership Results in New Service for Students with Disabilities
Beginning spring 2018, Western Washington University students, staff, and faculty will have a new service available to them. SensusAccess is a conversion service that makes documents searchable and accessible for individuals who use text-to-speech technology. This service allows users to convert inaccessible documents, such as course readings or assignments, into accessible versions at any time. You can learn more about and begin using this service by going here: https://access.wwu.edu/sensus.
In order to access documents used in everyday life, such as syllabi or admissions paperwork, individuals with specific kinds of disabilities may need to employ text-to-speech technology to read the document. However, the document first needs to be formatted to ensure that the assistive technology can read and deliver a coherent report of its contents to the person with a disability.
Historically, all requests for document conversion for accessibility purposes had to go through Western’s disAbility Resources for Students. But now with SensusAccess, students, staff, and faculty can create accessible versions of their documents as needed. Typical conversion rates vary due to a variety of factors but the usual turnaround time is less than 24 hours -- and the service is free for Western users! SensusAccess is intended as a self-service solution and complements existing accessibility services at Western.
Everyone at Western is encouraged to use this service when creating or reformatting educational or informational documents. Here are a few examples of how SensusAccess can be used:
● Faculty and Instructors: When you assign course readings that are formatted as scanned articles or PDFs, you can create an accessible version using SensusAccess. You can also learn more about PDF accessibility principles here: https://wp.wwu.edu/webtech/accessible-pdf/ and available training here: https://access.wwu.edu/.
● Staff: When you create informational documents, or if you need to convert an existing document into an accessible version, you can e-mail the newly accessible document to the student or colleague upon the completed conversion.
● Students: If you ever need an accessible version of your course materials, you may use the SensusAccess service.
Prospective users should know that SensusAccess is perfect for documents under thirty pages or so. However, if there are print-impaired individuals who require the conversion of large texts into accessible versions, these individuals should contact the disAbility Resources for Students office for assistance and support [insert hyperlink: http://www.wwu.edu/drs/contact.shtml]
SensusAccess services at Western are made possible through an innovative partnership between Western Libraries, Web Communication Technologies (WebTech), and the disAbility Resources for Students office. SensusAccess is one example of several University-wide efforts dedicated to improving accessibility at Western in order to co-create an inclusive educational environment by providing a new tool to address a common problem. For more information, please see: Western Digital Accessibility.
Read more: New SensusAccess Service Now Available
Posted on: September 27, 2017
Graduate Students Utilize Archival & Primary Source Materials
A new cohort of Environmental Education graduate students visited Western’s campus earlier this month and spent time working with archival and primary source collections at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies (CPNWS), a unit of Western Libraries’ broader division of Heritage Resources. CPNWS staff pulled together a selection of materials representing various perspectives of place – including environmental, economic, recreational, and indigenous views – for students to explore and analyze.
In the Archives Building Research Room, students divided into groups and reviewed the maps, photographs, pamphlets, letters, and other materials, considering issues related to the construction of cultural and regional identity, the evolution of policy, perceptions of concepts such as “conservation” and “wilderness,” and the significance of place names in determining cultural values.
The class concluded with a discussion about how students and educators can use primary source materials to explore the relationship between how meaning is constructed, how cultural values are expressed, the impact this can have on policy and information creation, and how this in turn affects our own assumptions about both people and place.
If you would like to learn more about the materials in Heritage Resources and at the CPNWS, arrange a class visit, or find out about how Western Libraries can support your teaching and learning needs, please contact us at Library.Communications@wwu.edu.
Read more: Grad Students Visit CPNWS