Creating Accessible Course Materials

Accessibility is among the top key issues for 2018 in teaching and learning in higher education (Educause, 2018). It is important that course design and instructional materials are accessible by every student. Creating accessible course materials may take time. Fortunately, the systems we rely heavily on for teaching and learning have universal-design features built in. For instance, MS Word and PowerPoint have these tools:

  • Accessibility Checker – identifying potential issues and providing suggestions for fixing them
  • Alt Text – allowing the author to add Alternative Text for tables and visuals (images, shapes & videos)
  • Title and Heading Styles: allowing the author to ensure the screen reader will read the document content in a logical order

The National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE) site offers “cheatsheets” on working with common computer programs to create accessible content.  The Canvas LMS Doc Team has created a resource page, covering easy-to-follow design principles and tools for making documents and videos accessible. Faculty and staff are welcome to contact the Instructional Design & Technology office for train and assistance.

Treasure in the Stacks

While browsing in the history section recently, we found an interesting book about Poznań, Poland. A photograph of the Methodist church in Poznań is mounted on the inside fly-leaf, with a detailed inscription containing several signatures on the facing page:

The book was given to The Reverend Paul Neff Garber in 1961 when Garber served as the United Methodist Church’s Bishop in Europe.

The book, entitled simply Poznań, is part of the Paul Neff Garber Papers located in the Methodist History Collection of the library’s Special Collections. Check out the Methodist History Collection as well as other specialized and unique collections in the Flavia Reed Owen Special Collections and Archives.

Need Data? Try ICPSR Data Sets

Randolph-Macon College is one of over 750 members of the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, known as ICPSR.

The ICPSR houses the world’s largest online repository of data sets for social science researchers, with more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. Although predominantly social science-related data in areas such as education, aging, criminal justice, substance abuse, and terrorism, there are many data sets on a variety of topics related to the sciences, history, and other disciplines. These data sets are available for download and use by the entire R-MC community and are used with statistical software, such as SAS, SPSS, and Stata. Computer labs on campus already have SPSS installed.

Data sets range from studies such as Historical Transportation of Navigable Rivers, Canals, and Railroads in the United States to the National Surveys on Energy and the Environment, Fall 2008 and Fall 2015 to the American College Catalog Study Database, 1975-2011. In addition to locating data sets by broad topic, by title, or by keyword, you can also search by the variables in the studies as well as locate publications in which the data sets have been used.  Documentation for interpreting the data files as well as copies of surveys, questionnaires and other supporting materials are included.

To get started, Just click on the Log In/Create Account link at Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research from a campus computer and create an account.

Three on the Third (History)- February

Three on the Third is a monthly series in which we highlight three books new to the library collection.  Summaries of the books will be provided along with shelf location and a link to the item in the catalog.

Jane Crow
by Rosalind Rosenberg

Cover of the book Jane CrowThroughout her prodigious life, activist and lawyer Pauli Murray systematically fought against all arbitrary distinctions in society, channeling her outrage at the discrimination she faced to make America a more democratic country. In this definitive biography, Rosalind Rosenberg offers a poignant portrait of a figure who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women’s movements. Murray accomplished all this while struggling with issues of identity. She believed from childhood she was male and tried unsuccessfully to persuade doctors to give her testosterone. While she would today be identified as transgender, during her lifetime no social movement existed to support this identity. She ultimately used her private feelings of being “in-between” to publicly contend that identities are not fixed, an idea that has powered campaigns for equal rights in the United States for the past half-century.  Summary provided by publisher
E 185.97 .M95 R67 2017
Jane Crow – Catalog Link

 

My Lai
by Howard Jones
Cover of the book My Lai
In this raw, searing new narrative account, Howard Jones reopens the case of My Lai by examining individual accounts of both victims and soldiers through extensive archival and original research. Jones evokes the horror of the event itself, the attempt to suppress it, as well as the response to Calley’s sentence and the seemingly unanswerable question of whether he had merely been following orders. My Lai also surveys how news of the slaughter intensified opposition to the Vietnam War by undermining any pretense of American moral superiority. Compelling, comprehensive, and sobering, Howard Jones’ My Lai chronicles how the strategic failures and competing objectives of American leaders resulted in one of the most devastating tragedies of the Vietnam War.
DS 557.8 .M9 J77 2017
My Lai – Catalog Link

 

The Blood of Emmett Till
by Timothy B. Tyson
Cover of the book The Blood of Emmett TillPart detective story, part political history, Timothy Tyson’s The Blood of Emmett Till revises the history of the Till case, not only changing the specifics that we thought we knew, but showing how the murder ignited the modern civil rights movement. Tyson uses a wide range of new sources, including the only interview ever given by Carolyn Bryant; the transcript of the murder trial, missing since 1955 and only recovered in 2005; and a recent FBI report on the case.

HV 6465 .M7 T97 2017
The Blood of Emmett Till – Catalog Link

 

 

McGraw-Page Library Annual Report (2016-17)

The McGraw-Page Library uses its annual report to communicate with stakeholders about the previous year. It provides a window into how we spend our time and our resources, and should reflect our goals and priorities.

You can see the 2016-17 annual report online at http://pub.lucidpress.com/MPL2017/

Comments or questions? Contact me at NancyFalcianiWhite [at] rmc.edu.

Info-to-Go

 

The McGraw-Page Library hosted the first annual Info-to-Go session for faculty in December. It introduced new resources and services the Library developed and organized to facilitate teaching, learning and research. The slides in the file INFO to GO cover the resources and services.

Resources at Your Fingertips

Canvas Integration of Learning and Research Resources

The new “Library Resources” link in Canvas courses is specific to the subject. For instance, in HIST_100 course site, “Library Resources” points to resources for researching in the field of History. Within a Canvas site, the instructor and students can search databases, eBooks, catalog and Special Collections/Archives items … All at once!

Also integrated are textbook publishers’ online resources. When the link is activated by the instructor, students can access McGraw-Hill Connect and Cengage Mindlinks from within Canvas; the student’s grades from taking quizzes in the publisher’s site will be automatically “pushed” into the Canvas gradebook.

G-Suite
G-Suite is R-MC sponsored service you may use for saving and sharing instructional and professional materials. This Google cloud-based service, which includes most Google Apps except Gmail, offers the user unlimited storage space.  Tools such as Google Forms and YouTube are particularly useful. Google Forms allows one to easily create surveys and signup forms. YouTube generates closed-captioning for uploaded videos. Closed-captioning is important for instructional videos for ADA-compliance. To start using G-Suite, go to www.google.com, and use your R-MC email username and password to log in. Details of G-Suite is at the R-MC instranet (R-MC login required for access). Contact Lily Zhang for questions and assistance.

Yellow Jackets in the Stacks

Up-close image of a yellow jacket stickerA yellow jacket sticker on the spines of books in the library indicates that the work was written by a member of the Randolph-Macon College community. The McGraw-Page Library has nearly 1000 works written by current and former R-MC students, faculty, and staff. Books by Randolph-Macon College writers are found in the College Archives and the Juvenile and Popular Reading collections, as well as in the circulating collection on the second floor.

You may find these books in the catalog by searching for “Publications of alumni (Randolph-Macon College)” or “Publications of faculty and staff (Randolph-Macon College)” (you may need to login to view results).

Seek them out and you might be inspired to become a future “Yellow Jacket in the Stacks.” #RMClib

Yellow Jacket Stickers on books in the stacks.

From Special Collections and Archives: Before YouTube, There Were Magic Lanterns

Generations of Sunday school classes and churchgoers were educated by Magic Lantern slide shows. These shows, popular in the 19th century and into the mid 20th century, were replaced with newer technology such as slide projectors, film strips, powerpoint presentations and online videos. The two projectors shown here are part of the Methodist Collection housed in Special Collections and Archives. For more information on Magic Lanterns, see: http://library.sdsu.edu/pdf/scua/ML_Gazette/MLGvol27no04.pdf

image of Magic Lanterns sitting on a shelf
Magic Lantern

 

Three on the Third – January 2018 – Draft

I Was Told to Come Alone
by Souad Mekhennet
Cover of the book I Was Told to Come Alone.The journalist who broke the “Jihadi John” story draws on her personal experience to bridge the gap between the Muslim world and the West and explain the rise of Islamic radicalism. Souad Mekhennet has lived her entire life between worlds. The daughter of a Turkish mother and a Moroccan father, she was born and educated in Germany and has worked for several American newspapers. Since the 9/11 attacks she has reported stories among the most dangerous members of her religion. When she is told to come alone to an interview, she never knows what awaits at her destination. In this book, Mekhennet seeks to answer the question, “What is in the minds of these young jihadists, and how can we understand and defuse it?” She has unique and exclusive access into the world of jihad and sometimes her reporting has put her life in danger. We accompany her from Germany to the heart of the Muslim world — from the Middle East to North Africa, from Sunni Pakistan to Shia Iran, and the Turkish/ Syrian border region where ISIS is a daily presence. She then returns to Europe, first in London, where she uncovers the identity of the notorious ISIS executioner “Jihadi John,” and then in Paris and Brussels, where terror has come to the heart of Western civilization. Too often we find ourselves unable to see the human stories behind the headlines, and so Mekhennet — with a foot in many different camps — is the ideal guide to take us where no Western reporter can go.
HV 6433 .I722 I8562 2017
Catalog Link – I was told to come alone

 

Boys Among Men
by Jonathan Abrams
Cover of the book Boys Among Men.When Kevin Garnett shocked the world by announcing that he would not be attending college — as young basketball prodigies were expected to do — but instead enter the 1995 NBA draft directly from high school, he blazed a trail for a generation of teenage basketball players to head straight for the pros. That trend would continue until the NBA instituted an age limit in 2005, requiring all players to attend college or another developmental program for at least one year. Over that decade-plus period, the list of players who made that difficult leap includes some of the most celebrated players of the modern era — Garnett, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Tracy McGrady, and numerous other stars. It also includes notable “busts” who either physically or mentally proved unable to handle the transition. But for better or for worse, the face of the NBA was forever changed by the prep-to-pro generation.
POP GV 885.514 .A37 2016
Catalog Link – Boys Among Men

 

I Can’t Make This Up
by Kevin Hart
Cover of I Can't Make This Up.Actor and comedian Kevin Hart grew up in North Philadelphia. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys. In his literary debut, he takes the reader on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today. Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself. “Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”
POP PN 2287 .H26 A3 2017
Catalog Link – I Can’t Make This Up