Submitted by Chandler Christoffel on Sun, 09/20/2020

During the pandemic, faculty faced a variety of challenges in their pivot to online instruction and research. These case studies demonstrate how the UGA Libraries have helped faculty tackle these challenges. 

Challenge: Curate digital course readings that are accessible to non-majors.

Librarians Kelsey Forester and Terry Camp helped Assistant Professor Adam Greer (Department of Marine Sciences, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography) find digital material for a course on Eugene Odum’s role in Ecology. Greer wanted to ensure that this content would be available online and, in terms of content, accessible to non-science majors. Kelsey and Terry, who has curated a bibliography on Odum’s work with Skidaway, helped locate and evaluate expository and introductory material at UGA Libraries —articles, videos, and book chapters — that would be readable and relevant to Greer’s students.

Challenge: Provide asynchronous research instruction using a variety of media

Librarians Diana Hartle and Kelsey Forester worked closely with Ecology TA Dessa Dunn to rethink how students receive library instruction, a key component of the curriculum, during the pandemic. Diana and Kelsey created an interactive tutorial that allows students to learn database searching techniques at their own pace. In ELC, they hosted videos on different research topics, as well as a discussion thread for students to ask research questions.

Challenge: Support research needs of faculty at higher risk through ebook purchasing. 

Ordering books and other materials requested by faculty and students has always been a core function of the UGA Libraries, but the pandemic created a more urgent need for ebooks that can be accessed without coming in-person to the library building.  Now that the Libraries have reopened, most faculty can again choose among all the formats we offer, but those who continue to shelter at home due to higher risk factors are at a disadvantage. Librarian Nan McMurry has been working to acquire ebooks on a greater scale for faculty who cannot come to campus. This has the added benefit of building up our ebook holdings for all library users.

Challenge: Recreate an annual “Capstone Poster Session” remotely

Associate Professor Lynne Seymour and Professor Nicole Lazar (Statistics) asked Librarian Chandler Christoffel  for suggestions on how to recreate an annual poster session, showcasing graduating seniors’ STAT5020 capstone projects, in an online environment. Chandler, who has served as a client for the capstone course since 2015, worked with the course's instructional team to create a "virtual poster session" using the libraries website.  With the help of this site, students, faculty, and clients could browse the students’ poster and submit questions and comments.

Challenge: Navigate copyright guidelines in order to provide access to online course material in ELC

Librarians Mariann Samuel and Nan Mcmurry worked with Professor Gene Brewer (School of Public and International Affairs). Professor Brewer wanted his students to access reading material online for his fall courses. Mariann worked with him to determine fair use guidelines under copyright law for using online content in the course eLC. Additionally, Nan determined the availability of, and acquired books in, electronic formats for the course. The UGA Libraries can purchase access to e-books, when available, to facilitate access to reading material for courses.

Challenge: Provide instructors, including TAs, with news ways to engage students in a high flex scenario using Digital Humanities tools and methods.

In this moment of a monumental shift in pedagogy and academia as a whole, the Libraries are finding new kinds of research and new ways to engage students. The Digital Humanities team at UGA has developed a new section of the required GRSC 7770 for graduate instructors, “Experiential Pedagogy Training in the Digital Humanities.” In this seminar and apprenticeship, graduate students learn the role of TA at UGA, but also critically reflect on pedagogical approaches in the Digital Humanities and develop hands-on skills in leading focused DH projects in an undergraduate classroom. DH is a set of methods that allow for new, data-driven questions to be asked, while still relying on humanities disciplinary knowledge. Students in the course will have the opportunity to think of creative ways to implement these methods into their curriculum for undergraduates across disciplines.

For example lesson plans and ideas of how to incorporate DH into a course see the Pedagogical Anthology created by the participants of the Digital Humanities Team’s NEH funded Advanced Institute Topics in Digital Humanities.