Tips on Readings and Resources for Remote Teaching and Learning
Course readings and other curated digital learning resources play an especially important role in remote teaching. In this type of course offering, you and your students may undertake your course-related activities at range of times, and in a range of locations. As such, the sharing and coverage of core themes and concepts that might typically take place in a conventional, on-campus lecture shifts to a range of text based materials and audio/visual content.
To whatever extent possible, readings and resources for remotely offered courses should be:
Available in a digital format (i.e. able to be accessed/acquired online in a timely manner, with no need to wait for physical purchase or delivery)
Affordable (i.e. presenting as few barriers as possible to students with financial constraints)
Accessible (i.e. searchable and readable by a variety of devices, rather than scanned images of paper-based documents)
Here are some tips on where and how to locate affordable, accessible, digital readings and resources:
Consider linking students to digital materials available through Trent’s library collections (e.g. online journal articles, Trent licensed media, etc.)
These materials ensure affordability for students as they are accessible to all members of the Trent community. The library's new Omni system can be very helpful for providing links to documents: Omni Guide - Permalinks. Also, you can send the library a list of readings or a syllabus, and they will provide you with reliable links for off-campus access to these readings and/or indicate any potential issues that might arise from using them. Support requests related to reading lists and syllabi can be sent to email@example.com. In addition to these services, the library can ensure that copyright compliance is met, if you are posting PDF documents in your course.
Consider Using Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources. (UNESCO, 2019).
OER benefit students greatly due to the removal of cost barriers and ease of access. For faculty, OER offer ease of distribution as well as the opportunity to modify or add content to a resource based on your context and preferences.
There are a number of large global online repositories of OER. The following two websites help you to search and pull aggregated results from many of these repositories:
Oasis (Openly Available Sources Integrated Search)
George Mason Metafinder (performs simultaneous search across 21 different sources of educational materials)
Also, within Canada, there are at least two sizeable collections of openly licensed textbooks and digital resources:
Consider linking to short articles, blogs, proceedings, and other publicly available web resources published by individuals or organizations related to your field or discipline
With publicly available resources such as these, you do not require permission to place a link in your course that guides students out to the home site of the original author/creator/organization. Be sure that these types of resources are fully available to the public (i.e. do not require a login, password, or account set-up of any type)
Consider (if necessary) electronic/digital texts offered through educational publishers
Note that not all students can afford to purchase these types of resources, and, with the suspension of campus activities, will have limited options for sharing or accessing previously owned copies. Also note that Trent has recently developed some relevant guidelines on assessment of students through digital homework and testing platforms associated with these types of publications.