Textbooks cost how much?: textbook costs and the open education movement
Unlike primary and secondary schools, the cost of textbooks is nearly always absorbed by students in colleges and universities in the United States, who typically shoulder an average of $1,200 in textbook and supplies costs per year. An alternative to these costly books are open educational resources (OER), which include copyright free textbooks, materials published under Creative Commons licenses, and entire courses available freely online. In this workshop, the presenter will discuss the OER movement in the US, present findings on how these materials impact students, share strategies for searching for and using English OER texts, and will facilitate a discussion among teachers about the differences and similarities between the OER movement in the US and the national digitization projects in Norway.
The skeptical researcher: an introduction to teaching with critical information literacy
In this workshop, teachers will be introduced to strategies for teaching and incorporating elements of critical information literacy into research and writing assignments. Critical information literacy (CIR) is an approach to teaching research and information literacy that asks students to question the reason information was created and helps uncover some of the systems of oppression involved in media representations, scholarly communications, and traditional book publishing. In this approach, students ask why certain voices are privileged above others and how information influences bias, decision making, and published research. Teachers will leave the workshop with a working definition of CIR and several assignments that incorporate elements of CIR that can be implemented in classes across the disciplines.
Infographic Fantastic: teaching research and writing with infographics
Capitalize on the popularity of infographics! Infographics, or visual representations of research and statistics, are great tools for engaging students with research, critical thinking, writing, and communication while channeling their creative side. In this workshop, the presenter will showcase student-created infographics, outline several assignments to help students create their own research infographics, and introduce participants to free websites for creating infographics. Participants will walk away with sample assignments and practical tools for designing and assigning an infographics project to their students.
Community Colleges, international students, and the college ‘alternative’
Community colleges are one of the United States’ most valuable resources in higher education. Sitting between high school and four-year colleges, community colleges (two year colleges) service a diverse and rich student body made up of traditional-aged students, working adults, and even high schoolers. In this workshop, the presenter will discuss the role of community colleges and talk about why a community college might be the right path for an international student. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the landscape of higher education in the United States, a sense of what students can expect at community colleges, and ways to connect international students to local community colleges in the United States.
Research and write: strategies for helping students integrate outside sources into their writing
Students may be able to find outside sources for research essays such as newspaper articles and scholarly journal articles, but how can teachers help them examine and incorporate them into their writing? This workshop will present several strategies for helping students read, understand, and incorporate information from outside sources into their writing, with the goal of expanding students’ critical thinking and communications skills. The presenter will discuss how note-taking, annotation, and reading techniques can help students better interpret and understand complex texts. Participants will leave with assignment examples, strategies, and will hopefully share strategies with the presenter some Norwegian techniques that may differ from US pedagogies.