ECAS Spring Course Planning: Tips from the Library

Spring semester is right around the corner and the Library recommends these TIPS:One-pager for ECAS faculty


E-only reserves suggested  – allow extra time for finding e-materials and scanning print materials

Instructors can get assistance with course reserves, including integrating e-reserves into your Canvas course.  Contact reserves [at] emory [dot] edu with questions.

E-Books – search discoverE for full-text e-books and work with your subject librarians to locate, acquire, and access e-books for your course

The libraries continue to expand access to an ever-growing number of individual e-books
and e-book collections, most of which are discoverable through discoverE.  While we strive to purchase
multi-user e-book options for teaching and reserves, certain publisher restrictions may exist.
For more information on our key e-book collections and assistance in locating, accessing, and working
with e-books for your course, please carefully review our e-book guide. Contact your subject librarian
to determine if we can acquire an acceptable e-book version of your required and supplementary texts,
or if an existing text can meet class needs.

Textbooks – plan to offer free or affordable options, since availability, cost, and shipping pose challenges
for students; consider existing e-book content in discoverE for course texts

A good place to start is the Open Textbook Library, a collection of 790 OERs curated by the Open Education Network, based at the University of Minnesota. Another option is OpenStax at Rice University.  You can also find more information on free open educational resources (OER) on the Emory Scholarly Communication Office’s website on OER. If you have trouble finding OERs that will work for you, please contact your subject librarian.

Keep in mind that textbooks are difficult for libraries to acquire in digital forms. Rental options, through the Barnes and Noble Bookstore, may be the best option for some students to access textbooks. Also, remember that Wiley, Oxford, Springer, Cambridge, and Routledge all produce a variety of handbooks, companions, and surveys which can serve as course texts freely accessible to you and your students. Again, see our e-book guide for more details as to the availability of and access to these collections. Consider OER options (see above) as well.

Streaming video – check discoverE for current licensed streaming content, review our major streaming providers, and order new streaming films 4-6 weeks in advance (for licenses)

Acquiring streaming video can take significantly more time than purchasing a DVD, so please inquire as early as possible to determine if the Libraries can provide streaming access. You may want to also consider if film clips are a potential option in lieu of providing streaming access to an entire film. Keep in mind that some distributors do not have institutional streaming access options and may only provide individual rental streaming options. Note that Kanopy and Swank provide the quickest turnaround.


Student researchget ideas and design class assignments for remote learning

When you are developing your research assignments and activities, remember to keep in mind not just your course structure, but also your students’ circumstances and access to research materials. Considering different scenarios and situations in advance can help you select materials and develop assignments that ensure all of your students can achieve your course objectives, whether they are residing in an Emory dorm or spending their semester overseas.

Visit CFDE’s Online Teaching website for a wide range of content on designing and developing an online course, including crafting assignments and selecting course materials. The Flexible Teaching Toolkit and other resources include content from CFDE, the Emory Libraries, Academic Technology Services, and Emory College.

Subject librarians – offer research and teaching support and can be invited to your Canvas course(s), using the Librarian Role

Additionally, see the Emory Libraries guide on Flexible Teaching, where you can find suggestions for research assignments and information on how to get support from the library for your class. Remember, subject librarians are always happy to meet with you to discuss options for course materials and assignments!

Library Instruction – librarians can create an online course research guide or teach a research instruction session for your students


Plan ahead – contact the library early

Questions? – our subject librarians are happy to assist you

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