A reflection from Patricia Steiner, Ed. D., recipient of an Open and Affordable Educational Resource Grant. 


In November, 2016, I was asked to take on the redesign of this Masters level class.  I have been working on it for the past 4 months.  This is a class that provides students the opportunity to reflect on their own leadership style, their strengths and weaknesses and to explore challenges that have faced other leaders who have had varying degrees of success.  The objective of this class is an understanding self, awareness of self, and how we are perceived by others.

I started designing this class in December, 2016.   Through my discussions with my instructional designer Carol Damm, it became increasingly important to try and do without the costly books and case studies used in the course as it was previously designed.  Week after week, I added videos and other materials to make up for and replace the text book and the case studies.  I love the book for this class.   The thought of doing this class without the book was difficult for me to consider.  By the time I was offered the grant from the Open Source effort, I had gotten my issues down to a short list and I still had the book in the class. With the help of Jason Bernard, materials were located to make up for the few areas of concern that would have been lost without the book.

There are so many free resources available today that paying for comparable materials doesn’t seem warranted especially given the cost of tuition.  Any way we can save students money is important.   I’m glad I have taken the time to do this in my class.

It is interesting to note that sometimes an expert librarian/researcher can find materials that I wouldn’t otherwise locate.  I have often wished that I had an embedded librarian in every class that I teach.

The library is a critical resource.  This project was valuable.  I learned quite a bit about design and availability of free materials.  Two sessions of the class will pilot in May.  I am looking forward to experiencing this new classroom and the reactions of the students who attend.


May 10th, 2017

As the semester nears its end, it’s important to take a moment to reflect. We encourage you to look back on this academic year. What worked well in your classroom? How was your work-life balance? What do you wish you could change?

While summer is often a well-deserved time for rest, it’s also a time for planning. How will you improve your teaching next year? You may want to review our online library to read up on articles on a variety of pedagogical issues.  Do you think you can incorporate any of these suggestions into your classroom and research projects?

We’ll be reflecting on this year right along with you. We’re always open to suggestions, too. If you think there are resources we should provide you with or programs we can offer, please let us know by emailing ctl@brandeis.edu.

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).