October 2009 Archives

One of the questions under debate is the size of the armies during the Battle of Agincourt during the Hundred Years War.

The article below describes briefly some of the methods they used to develop new theories about the size of these armies. It would be great if we could impress upon students how they historical records can be use and then re-born in a digital format--leading to new scholarship.

"Ms. Curry, the Southampton historian, said she was comfortable with something close to that lower figure, based on her reading of historical archives, including military pay records, muster rolls, ships' logs, published rosters of the wounded and dead, wartime tax levies and other surviving documents."

"And an extraordinary online database (http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/)listing around a quarter-million names of men who served in the Hundred Years' War, compiled by Ms. Curry and her collaborators at the universities in Southampton and Reading, shows that whatever the numbers, Henry's army really was a band of brothers: many of the soldiers were veterans who had served on multiple campaigns together."

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/world/europe/25agincourt.html

The project created three new online tools (http://www.icmacentre.ac.uk/soldier/database/):

1. Muster roll database
"The online muster roll database currently holds just under 90,000 service records. These are taken from muster rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453."


2. Protection database
The online protection and attorney database currently holds just under 20,000 records. These are taken from the treaty rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453.

3. Garrison database
The Garrison database is in draft form at present. This is in order to stress test the database, as it contains over 110,000 service records. The records are drawn from mainly French repositories and record service for the English crown, in the occupation of Normandy from 1415 - 1453.

Selecting a topic...
This used to be one of the steps in the research process that I would breeze over--mention that students should select a topic they are interested in and then go right into keywords and finding sources. A couple of weeks ago I co-lead a session on research and writing and I have now been rethinking this attitude.

I realize there are many challenges in picking a topic--especially for first year students or those new to a discipline:
--might not know enough background information
--might not know how to identify or narrow a topic by different facets of a topic
--don't want to spend time researching a dumb topic (but don't know it might be dumb until they do searching)
--don't know any good journals or authors on the topic
--topic selection is very personal and reflects on them (FY students often want to make "safe" choices) to the other students in the class

If I was asked to do a paper on an engineering topic or on greek history (two things I don't know much about) it would be very difficult. Certainly harder when you add in procrastination.

One idea is to create research communitites. Group students based on their initial topic or even assign broad topic areas (e.g. higher education, sports, history, local issues, gender issues, etc.). Ask this group to collaborate on their preliminary research--maybe create a group concept map [learn more] on the broad topic. Ask them to help narrow their topics and connect those in the concept map.

Later on this research community can share how they are doing research and where are they successful finding sources.

This ideas recreates the same research communities that most faculty and instructors are involved in. Your peers and other sholars form both a formal and informal community--we take this for granted.

Are you involved with a research community? What do you gain from it? How can you recreate such things in your class?

Right to Research cause growing--here--

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If you are interested in learning more about Open Access or working with your students on open access research or projects, please let me know (katep@umn.edu).


Washington DC - The student Right to Research Coalition, a group of
national, international, and local student associations that advocate
for governments, universities, and researchers to adopt Open Access
practices, has now grown to include some of the most prominent student
organizations from the United States and across the world. The recent
addition of 8 new organizations brings the number of students
represented by the coalition to over 5 million, demonstrating the
broad, passionate support Open Access enjoys from the student community.

Additions to the coalition since its launch this summer include: the
United States Student Association (USSA), the National Association of
Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS), the National Graduate Council
of the Canadian Federation of Students, the International Association
of Political Science Students, the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology Graduate Student Council, the University of Minnesota
Graduate and Professional Student Assembly
, the University of Nebraska
- Lincoln Graduate Student Association, and the Student Government
Association of St. Olaf College.

"Our core mission is to protect and enhance students' access to
education," said Angela Peoples, USSA's Legislative Director, noting
her organization's motivation for joining the coalition. "We believe
Open Access plays a crucial role in ensuring that all students have
access to the academic research on which their education depends."

Read more: http://www.righttoresearch.org/

An ecotone is a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities, and it's a concept that Ann Pendleton-Jullian (Director, Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University) uses to propose a new way to approach education in the 21st century


"The argument against the blending of teaching and research has revolved
around several key assumptions: that information delivered through teaching
unquestionably leads to the building of knowledge, and therefore authoritative
teaching is the most assured way to knowledge building; that the most efficient
way to build knowledge from information is through a disciplinary structure;
and finally, that building knowledge systematically is a necessary prerequisite
to any new thought on a subject, implying a strictly linear sequence from
teaching what is known to finding new things."

"I would like to suggest that the linear route is no longer effective in a time of
exponential increase in information. Today, massive amounts of information
can no longer be sorted into distinct disciplinary territories. Nor can they be
comprehensively learned or assimilated within the traditional educational
structure and time frame of degree-granting, even within one given field."

"A twentieth-century approach to education holds fast
to the notion of teaching as a systematic delivery of knowledge--knowledge
that is vetted and sanctioned and delivered in discipline-based packages from
expert teachers to students. It is education in which one learns about specific
stuff and how to do specific things. In contrast, twenty-first century learning environments are about learning that extends far beyond the classroom (it scales), which in turn promotes
elasticity and agency."


"This is a second paradigm shift in how we think about knowledge, action,
interaction, and agency. It is about learning to manage a complex network of
informational resources and skills so as to develop the capacity to assimilate
them, internalize them and then access them under a variety of situations--
changing, adapting and innovating in different situations and circumstances."

"Project-based environments like the design studio are an excellent example
of scaleable learning because in order to engage the problem, the students
must first decipher it and then determine what they will need to work through
the problem--what skills and information they will need to move forward,
including elements outside the specific domain where the work began. And
then they engage in work that, as it progresses, continually reforms the problem, its constraints, and information + skills needed. Information-rich courses can also operate in this entrepreneurial manner and there are many well proven examples,11 as well as more experimental ones still under development."

Celebrate Open Access Week

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October 19-23 is the first International Open Access Week.
Open Access is an idea, a movement, and an approach to distributing information and research. Open Access publications make their contents freely available online to all.

The University of Minnesota Libraries are marking Open Access Week with a public awareness campaign. Celebrate with us!


You will soon see orangey-yellow Open Access posters all over campus. They are aimed at students, researchers, creators, soon-to-be graduates, and everyone else, and are intended to get people thinking about how open access might affect them personally.
If you spot one of these posters out in the wild, let us know - or better yet, snap a quick picture! - we'll be collecting them to share with others celebrating Open Access Week around the world.


Visit the Open Access Week website
Watch Open Access 101 and "Voices of Open Access" videos; learn some myths about open access; read "Piled Higher and Deeper" comics, and more.



Getting ready for the National Day on Writing

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I will be co-presenting with Kurtis Scaletta on:

10 Tips to Become a Better Blogger (Sponsored by the Digital Media Center/University Libraries)
When? 12:00 to 12:30 p.m.
Where? 101 Walter Library (no pre-registration is necessary)

5 Tools to Write & Cite (Sponsored by the Digital Media Center/University Libraries)
When? 12:45 to 1:15 p.m.
Where? 101 Walter Library (no pre-registration is necessary)

Learn more about the National Day on Writing.

Upcoming Library Workshops

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Register at: http://www.lib.umn.edu/services/workshops/registration

RefWorks: Basics
Learn the basics of using RefWorks, the Web-based citation manager that is available to all U of M Faculty, students and staff. Adding references to RefWorks will be covered, as well as exporting them to Word, and selecting a style (MLA, APA, etc) for your bibliography. See http://www.lib.umn.edu/refworks/ for more details about RefWorks.
Mon, 10/19/2009 - 2:00pm - 3:15pm
Location: Magrath Library Instruction Room (Room 81)

Free Music, Images and More: An Introduction to Creative Commons
This workshop will give you an introduction to the copyright alternative, Creative Commons. During the time we will discuss the various licenses, how you can use Creative Commons materials and why you may want to license your own work! We will also look at come CC resources to locate and integrate CC media into your lectures, presentations, podcasts, and papers.
Tue, 10/20/2009 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Magrath Library Instruction Room (Room 81)

Grant Funding - Search Tools and Resources
Learn how to use IRIS, SPIN, and Community of Science and the Foundation Directory to search for grant opportunities. Setting up e-mail updates on specific subjects will also be covered, as well as how to find internal U of M funding sources. Resources for the course are listed on the Web site of the Office of the VP for Research, http://www.collaborate.umn.edu/explore/searching.html
Tue, 10/20/2009 - 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Location: 310 Walter Library

Formatting Your Dissertation or Thesis in *Word 2007*
Focus on your research instead of your formatting! In this workshop, you'll learn how to use Microsoft Word features effectively and efficiently. We'll cover inserting images and charts, getting your page numbers in the right place, generating tables of contents and figures; and more. Please note that this workshop covers the basic formatting you'll need to comply with Graduate School guidelines. Participants should have basic experience using MS Word. Note this version of the workshop specifically uses Office 2007; an instruction manual is available for Word 2003. We will be using a template and not be working with individual dissertations. Class materials can be found on the Moodle page, at: https://moodle.umn.edu/course/view.php?id=5102
Tue, 10/27/2009 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Magrath Library Instruction Room (Room 81)

Extreme Googling: Collaboration Tools
Google offers much more than a search engine. We will introduce to you free, online tools from Google to help you work collaboratively, stay current, get organized and be more productive in your personal and professional online lives. Tools covered will include: Google Docs, iGoogle, Google Notebook, Google Reader, Google Groups, Google Calendar, and Google Sites. Note: Searching Google will NOT be covered in this class. If you are interested in search tips, please attend Extreme Googling: Tips and Tricks for Expert Searching or Google IS a Research Tool.
Mon, 11/02/2009 - 2:00pm
Location: Magrath Library Instruction Room (Room 81)

Grant Funding for Graduate Students
Find out more about funding opportunities available to graduate students. Learn how to use IRIS, SPIN, and Community of Science and the Foundation Directory to search for grant opportunities. Setting up e-mail updates on specific subjects will also be covered, as well as how to find internal U of M funding sources. Resources for the course are listed on the Web site of the Office of the VP for Research, http://www.collaborate.umn.edu/explore/searching.html.
Wed, 11/04/2009 - 3:00pm - 4:15pm
Location: 310 Walter Library

Google for Researchers
With Google, you already search the web, share photos/movies/music, map directions and discover new things...but there are some tools you may have missed. This web search engine is on a mission to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible." So let's explore the new tools and technology that pair Google-efficient tools with library-quality results to weave together a rich information web that goes beyond just the World Wide Web. We'll look at tools such as, Google Docs, RSS Reader, Google Scholar, and iGoogle Research Gadgets that will help you access, evaluate, and share information in an easy collaborative environment.
Wed, 11/11/2009 - 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Location: 310 Walter Library

New Courselib Pages in Writing Studies

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We have been creating a number of new Courselib pages for Writing Studies courses. These pages are created in collaboration with instructors and librarians, like me. Generally an instructor will send me their ideas for a page and their syllabus. I will create a page based on the collections of the library. Then we make adjustments as needed.

The Courselib page can be a great starting point for students doing research--especially for interdisciplinary topics or assignments or if they are new to the resources of the library. courselib2.jpg

Take a look at the new offerings:
WRIT 1201: Writing Studio (Stansbury)
WRIT 1301: University Writing (Moses)
WRIT 1301: University Writing (Oleksiak)
WRIT 1301: University Writing (Pawlowski)
WRIT 1910W: Fashioning a World: Magazines in American Culture
WRIT 3381: Writing and Modern Cultural Movements

If you are interested in getting a Courselib page for your class, send me an email (katep@umn.edu).

Help your students research their way to an A!

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prc_graphic.jpgWe are pleased to announce the availability of the Peer Research Consultants. Please encourage your students to drop in for one-on-one help with their research. Students can get help narrowing a topic, finding articles and books, selecting academic sources, evaluating and more. The PRCs are familiar with the Unravel workshops and will help build on the skills learned in these sessions. The PRCs are focused on teaching students as they help them with their research questions.

For Fall 2009, during our pilot phase, we are concentrating on supporting First Year Writing (all of the PRCs have completed WRIT 1301 with a grade of B or higher), SEAM (Student Excellence in Academics and Multiculturalism) and as part of MCAE's Academic Resources.

Fall 2009 Walk-in Hours:
Monday: 10:30 to 1:30 (Walter Library-SMART Commons)

Tuesday: 1:30 to 4:30 (Wilson Library-SMART Commons)

Wednesday: 1:30 to 3:00 (Walter Library-SMART Commons)
1:30 to 2:30 (MCAE in Appleby Hall)

Thursday: 12:00 to 2:00 (MCAE in Appleby Hall)

Friday: 1:30 to 4:00 (Wilson Library-SMART Commons)
1:30 to 4:30 (Walter Library-SMART Commons)

Students can drop in during walk-in hours without an appointment. If students would like to make an appointment they can be arranged directly with our consultants. For more information and to meet our consultants go to the PRC website: http://www.lib.umn.edu/services/prc or blog: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ceslib/prc/.

If you are interested in print flyers, please let us know (grayjl@umn.edu or katep@umn.edu) and we will send enough for your class through campus mail. The PRCs are also available for short class visits (around 5 minutes) to promote their services--If you are interested, let us know (grayjl@umn.edu or katep@umn.edu) and we can schedule.

This program was developed in partnership with the University Libraries, MCAE: Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence and the SMART Learning Commons.

New books for Writing Studies

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Here is a selection of new books :

Title Writing in the sciences : exploring conventions of scientific discourse / Ann M. Penrose, Steven B. Katz.
Published New York : Longman, c2010.
Series Allyn and Bacon series in technical communication
Availability TC Walter Sci/Eng Library Books (Level F) T11 .P393 2010 Regular Loan

Title Generation 1.5 in college composition : teaching academic writing to U.S.-educated learners of ESL / edited by Mark Roberge, Meryl Siegal, and Linda Harklau.generation1.5.jpg
Published New York ; London : Routledge, 2009.
Availability TC Wilson Library PE1128.A2 G434 2009 Regular Loan

Title The idea of a writing laboratory / Neal Lerner.
Published Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, c2009.
Availability TC Wilson Library PE1404 .L47 2009 Regular Loan

Author Gurak, Laura J.
Title The technical communication handbook / Laura J. Gurak, Mary E. Hocks.technicalcommunication.jpg
Published New York : Pearson Longman, c2009.
Availability TC Walter Sci/Eng Library Books (Level F) T10.5 .G845 2009 Regular Loan

Title Teaching the new writing : technology, change, and assessment in the 21st-century classroom / Anne Herrington, Kevin Hodgson, Charles Moran, editors ; foreword by Elyse Eidman-Aadahl.
Published New York : Teachers College Press ; Berkeley, CA : National Writing Project, c2009.
Availability TC Wilson Library LB1576.7 .T45 2009 Regular Loan

Author Beer, David F.
Title A guide to writing as an engineer.
Published Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley, c2009.
Availability TC Walter Sci/Eng Library Books (Level F) T11 .B396 2009 Regular Loan

Title Instruction and assessment for struggling writers : evidence-based practices / edited by Gary A. Troia.instructionassessment.jpg
Published New York : Guilford Press, c2009.
Availability TC Wilson Library LB1576 .I654 2009 Regular Loan

Author Alred, Gerald J.
Title Handbook of technical writing.
Published New York : Bedford/St. Martin's, c2009.
Availability TC Walter Sci/Eng Library Reference (Rm 206) T11 .B78 2009 Non-Circulating

NOMMO African American Authors Series

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October 7, 2009 - December 5, 2009
Andersen Atrium Gallery
Elmer L. Andersen Library, 2nd & 3rd floors

Opening Reception
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
4:00-6:00 p.m.
120 Andersen Library
4:30 p.m. program featuring remarks by:

Nancy "Rusty" Barceló
Vice President & Vice Provost, Office for Equity & Diversity

Carolyn (Carrie) Schommer
Retired Dakota Instructor, Department of American Indian Studies

John S. Wright
Morse-Amoco Distinguished Teaching Professor, Departments of African American & African Studies and English

Learn more

plagiarism resources

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plagiarismtoday.jpgI need to look at these further but these seem like this could be an introduction for students about plagiarism:

Plagiarism Today: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/

Plagiarism Advice: http://www.plagiarismadvice.org/

more than google

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Information literacy more than just Googling

Sharon Weiner, the recently appointed W. Wayne Booker Endowed Chair in Information Literacy for Purdue Libraries, is the vice president of the National Forum on Information Literacy. Here, Weiner answers questions about her position and the importance of information literacy beyond the basic Google search....

Q: What can a reference librarian do that I can't do on Google?

A: They know about more sophisticated strategies to find information and more efficient ways to find information than Google and teach you. They can teach you to evaluate those sources you find on Google and get better, more accurate results.

What do you think?

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Let us know your thoughts on MNCAT our library catalog through our Survey:

Nobel Prize in Economics book

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Elinor Ostrom, winner of the Nobel Prize for economics co-edited a book called, Understanding knowledge as a commons : from theory to practice. This book contains a chapter written by our own Library Director, Wendy Pradt Lougee, "Scholarly Communication & Libraries Unbound: The Opportunity of the Commons."

Not surprisingly the book is checked out!

Here is a recording of a workshop with Dr. Scott Slattery, University Counseling and Consulting Services, Noro Andriamanalina, Ph.D., Director of Academic and Professional Development--The Graduate School and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs and myself. It was recorded a couple of weeks ago to an audience of 140 students.
Please let me know if you have questions.


View in a larger player:



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Every day, we are inundated with vast amounts of information. A 24-hour news cycle and thousands of global television and radio networks, coupled with an immense array of online resources, have challenged our long-held perceptions of information management. Rather than merely possessing data, we must also learn the skills necessary to acquire, collate, and evaluate information for any situation. This new type of literacy also requires competency with communication
technologies, including computers and mobile devices that can help in our day-to-day decisionmaking. National Information Literacy Awareness Month highlights the need for all Americans to be adept in the skills necessary to effectively navigate the Information Age.

Though we may know how to find the information we need, we must also know how to evaluate it. Over the past decade, we have seen a crisis of authenticity emerge. We now live in a world where anyone can publish an opinion or perspective, whether true or not, and have that opinion amplified within the information marketplace. At the same time, Americans have unprecedented access to the diverse and independent sources of information, as well as institutions such as libraries and universities, that can help separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.

Our Nation's educators and institutions of learning must be aware of -- and adjust to -- these new realities. In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.

This month, we dedicate ourselves to increasing information literacy awareness so that all citizens understand its vital importance. An informed and educated citizenry is essential to the functioning of our modern democratic society, and I encourage educational and community institutions across the country to help Americans find and evaluate the information they seek, in all its forms.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2009 as National Information Literacy Awareness Month. I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the important role information plays in our daily lives, and appreciate the need for a greater understanding of its impact.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of October, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

Living with too much information?

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We would all agree that we live in an Information Age. In fact it is a Too-Much Information Age. How are our skills for dealing with information going to need to change? And what skills do we need to be teaching students to deal with this?

Should we be teaching social media? Should we be teaching Twitter Literacies? Should we be teaching students to dip into the flow of information or how to be an information nomad?

Here are a couple things from Howard Rheingold who teaches Participatory Media/Collective Action at UC Berkeley's School of Information, Digital Journalism at Stanford University.

Social Media Classroom: http://socialmediaclassroom.com/

Here is a 40 minute presentation on teaching 21st century literacies. He talks about changes he made to his college courses.

Howard Rheingold's 21st century literacies:

* Attention- knowing how to focus and how to divide your attention without losing the ability to concentrate. It's more than multitasking; it's learning how to exercise attention.
* Participation- particularly the more constructive modes of participation that are useful to others
* Collaboration- being ready to organize together, and enable a collective response to emerge
* Critical consumption-aka "crap detection" the ability to spot bad info from good.
* Network awareness- the combination of reputation, social capital, "presentation of self" and other sensitivity to individual positioning within the network collective.

Literacies = skills + community

Now I just have to find some time to read more....