Recently in TeachingWithInfoLit Category

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 ( 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:

The project created three new online tools (

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.

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 (


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:

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 (

Assignment idea: Editor, Researcher, Copy Editor

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palin_speech.jpgAn interesting look at editing both for grammar and research--Palin's resignation speech--edited by Vanity Fair's editors. This would be an interesting model to have students use for "peer review"--I wonder if you could assign students to take on these different roles....editor, research and copy (and even use the different colors) and do multiple reviews...

Assignment idea: Rating the news

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I tripped across Health New Review: (published by Gary Schwitzer
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication, Health Journalism MA program).healthnews.jpg

I think the site itself is great but how about modifying this for a class project? Have students find materials on the class topic and then rate and evaluate what they find. I think the star rating system would help student begin to build a mental spectrum of quality as it helps them learn about a topic. You can also develop the "criteria" as a group at the beginning of the semester. You could require students to find a variety of sources individually or in small groups (e.g. newspaper, journal articles, magazines, blog posts, radio or new programs, etc.).

Interesting...very interesting...

new media literacies

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What skills do we need to teach students to be both consumers and producers? Seems like the perfect intersection of information literacy and writing:

  • judgement
  • appropriation
  • play to problem solve
  • transmedia navigation
  • collective intelligence
  • visualization
  • multitasking

Summer Reading anyone....

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by Anthony Trollope

by Lawrence Wright

by Zhao Ziyang

by Nicholas Carr

by William Faulkner

Fifty Books for Our Times | Newsweek Books |

A list like this may be a good way to get students to select a book for a book review/analysis assignment. It seems like a good mix of current and historical titles....