We can help our students thrive in today’s overwhelmingly visual environment starting in the classroom, by equipping them with the tools they need to analyze and interpret the visual world around them. To enrich the context of your teaching and appeal to senses beyond the written word, try exploring the library’s ARTstor database. ARTstor is best known for its images of art works, but it also contains many other visual materials. Among its offerings, you will find documentary photographs, ethnographic images, and images of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts and early printed books.

For tips on searching within specific subject areas, check out ARTstor’s Subject Guides ARTstor also provides a number of Curriculum Guides, which offer suggested images to coordinate with specific course syllabi. Lisa Zeidenberg, Academic Outreach Librarian for Creative Arts, would be happy to help you with ARTstor and any other arts resource; e-mail her at lzeidenb@brandeis.edu or call (781) 736-4697.


Additional resources include:

Hattwig, D., Bussert, K., Medaille, A., & Burgess, J. (2013). Visual literacy standards in higher education: New opportunities for libraries and student learning. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 13(1), 61–89. http://doi.org/10.1353/pla.2013.0008

Little, D., & Felten, P. (2010). Seeing is believing: Visual teaching and learning. NEA Higher Education Advocate (Thriving in Academe), 28, 5-8. Retrieved from http://www.nea.org/home/38020.htm

Martinez, K. (2009). Image research and use in the humanities: An idiosyncratic bibliographic essay. Art Documentation: Journal of the Art Libraries Society of North America, 28(1), 9–15.http://doi.org/10.1086/adx.28.1.27949504

Picturing United States History ( American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning)

Schocker, J. B. (2014). A case for using images to teach women’s history. The History Teacher, 47(3), 421-450.


Archives & Special Collectioins

November 16th, 2016

Your one-stop shop for rare and unique materials

The Robert D. Farber University Archives & Special Collections department houses a variety of rare and unique materials that can be used as effective teaching tools in myriad classes.  From the humanities to the sciences, our materials can be used to help your students build transferable skills, develop good research and analysis practices, and use old knowledge to create new knowledge.

Our team of archivists has created guides to assist students, faculty, and general researchers in locating materials within our collections that might be of interest to their research.  The guides also provide detailed information about how to find and access our collections, how to cite primary sources, and provide links to digitized material (we have material in the Brandeis Institutional Repository, the Internet Archive, and the Perseus Digital Library, as well as online exhibits hosted on our own website).  Having digitized material available allows our materials to be used in any classroom anywhere in the world.  Here are links to our University Archives guide [http://guides.library.brandeis.edu/friendly.php?s=archives] and our Special Collections guide [http://guides.library.brandeis.edu/friendly.php?s=specialcollections].  We also have a subject-based guide [http://guides.library.brandeis.edu/c.php?g=301922&p=2014838] that simultaneously lists materials from University Archives and Special Collections to give users a broader sense of our holdings.

During FY2015-2016, Archives & Special Collections hosted more than 25 classes and events from a variety of different departments.  Classes can be developed for any subject based on the needs of the instructor and/or students, whether it be an introduction to working with primary sources or a friendly debate using architectural plans—and anything in between!

If you would like to plan a visit or class session, please get in touch with Maggie McNeely, University Archivist (mmcneely@brandeis.edu) or Anne Woodrum, Special Collections Librarian (woodrum@brandeis.edu).

Open Educational Resources

November 10th, 2016

Grants for Integration of Open Educational Resources and Affordable Course Materials

Each year the cost of higher education rises. Tuition and fees are commonly recognized as barriers to higher education, but the unexpected costs of reading and study materials are a burden for students as well. As a result, students resort to cost mitigating strategies that have a negative impact on their education. Students may avoid certain courses due to expensive required materials, purchase outdated texts, share texts with classmates, or turn to other strategies.

To address the high cost of these academic resources, faculty are invited to apply to newly available funding to support the incorporation of quality open and affordable course materials. Faculty interested in implementing a new curricular resource strategy may receive funds in amounts from $500-$1000.

These funds can support a variety of efforts towards the reduction of costly course materials, including:

  • The development of original teaching materials

  • The integration of publicly accessible articles or text

  • The incorporation of library materials available through subscriptions

To learn more about open educational resources and the funding opportunities, we invite you to attend one of the following upcoming information session.

During the session you will hear from the grant coordinators as well as Jane Morris, of Boston College, who will speak to BC’s existing funding program. Each session will include a discussion of the need for open educational resources and conclude with details for this interested in submitting a proposal for funding.

Please contact us with any questions.

Thank you,

Academic Technology, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Library and the Rabb School


November 8th, 2016

We hope you’ve found the Center for Teaching and Learning program offerings valuable, but we know some of you might be interested in joining conversations on teaching and learning beyond Brandeis. With this in mind, the links shared below might be helpful in finding conferences of interest.

Elon University has curated a valuable list of conferences that focus on teaching and learning pedagogy. You might be interested in sessions with more specific focuses, perhaps on Diversity and Inclusion.  There are also a number of conferences with emphasis on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, which can be explored here.

If you’re looking ahead in your calendar, you might be interested in

20th Annual Best Teachers International Institute to be held in the New York City area June 20-22, 2017.

We’re happy to discuss your participation in these conferences with you! Email the Center for Teaching and Learning at ctl@brandeis.edu.

Faculty Learning Communities

November 3rd, 2016

In the exploration of teaching and learning pedagogy, connecting with colleagues is incredibly valuable. These conversations can generate new ideas, develop solutions for shared trials, and foster relationships across disciplines. The CTL offers ongoing Faculty Learning Communities which are designed to do just that.

These groups meet regularly, sometimes with consistent members, other times with new faculty stopping by. Ultimately, these communities establish safe spaces for faculty to learn peer-to-peer, to discuss challenges, and discover new strategies to use in the classroom.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Center for Teaching and Learning will offer faculty learning communities for instructors of large classes, faculty new to teaching or new to Brandeis, faculty passionate about the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as for faculty involved with the instruction of foreign languages. These groups are led by Brandeis faculty.

You can learn more about the Faculty Learning Communities being offered, topics they address, and the faculty who lead these groups, by visiting the Center for Teaching and Learning website.


With access to a constantly expanding number of sources, students can easily become overwhelmed as they research for a paper, or may not even know where to start. Brandeis librarians can help by creating subject-specific and assignment-driven instructional materials, such as research guides, tutorials, and LATTE modules.

Librarians have created guides for different academic disciplines, specific courses, and for research topics. These guides include information about recommended resources and tips for effective research. Check out a few examples:

Librarians can also develop interactive tutorials which introduce search strategies along with specialized online databases and research tools. As an example, the library tutorial for UWS students covers:

  • how to find books, articles and other types of sources using Brandeis Library’s OneSearch
  • setting up an Interlibrary Loan account
  • ways to get help with research at Brandeis

These tutorials can also incorporate mini-quizzes which provide immediate feedback to the students.

LATTE presents another option for incorporating research-related instructional materials into a course. During the 2015-16 academic year, professor Colleen Hitchcock and Science librarian Melanie Radik developed an information literacy module module for an Ecology class and a Conservation Biology class:

A librarian would be happy to work with you on developing a LATTE module integrating library resources or research skills with your overall curriculum.

Please contact your library liaison if you are interested in a research guide, tutorial, or LATTE module for your students!