West Region Learning Support Update — May 2021

Thursday, May 13, 2021

A Message from Jennifer Tomlinson, Interim Dean, Learning Support

Please enjoy the news and highlights from the West Campus Learning Support department.


Library Material Due Dates Extended

All library material due dates have been extended to Monday, August 16, 2021. Please wait until the library reopens to return borrowed materials and equipment. All fees and fines for library materials due during the closure will be waived. A notice will be emailed to anyone with materials checked out

New Library Catalog Coming This Summer

On Tuesday, July 13, 2021, the Florida statewide academic libraries’ online catalog and system software, including Valencia’s, will migrate to a new platform. The library catalog will have a new look and new features. In the coming months, we will showcase the new interface in more detail.

Update Your Library Links

As previously reported, we are also in the midst of upgrading the system that authenticates single sign-on (SSO) access to online library resources. We anticipate that links to library resources will need to be updated due to the library catalog migration scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2021, and the currently ongoing SSO migration. If you have links to library resources in Canvas or in other materials, librarians can assist you with updating them. Librarians will update library resource links in all LibGuides. Please reach out to a librarian with any questions related to library resource links.

Valencia Librarians to Present on Open Educational Resources Just-in-time Course

Congratulations to Librarians Devika Ramsingh and Emilie Buckley and to Emerging Technology Librarians Ciara Hensley and Adam Johnson, who presented their session titled “Truly Just-in-time: Encouraging Faculty Adoption of OER During COVID-19 with Professional Development” at the Florida Library Association’s (FLA) Annual Conference and at the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) Annual OER Summit this May.

Here’s a description of the presentation:

During the Summer of 2020, a team of librarians at Valencia College introduced a specialized just-in-time professional development course to encourage faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Designed to meet the surging demand for online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic in a community college environment, this course focused on introducing faculty to the concept of OER through a discussion of benefits, copyright and licensing requirements, and potential sources for adopting new instructional materials. To engage faculty and encourage greater participation in the learning process, the course required synchronous and asynchronous elements for completion. This presentation discusses developing the concept and structure for the course, the presenters’ collaboration with instructional designers, the process of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, and a brief analysis of results and discussion of future directions.


Learning Support Work Team Exploring New Online Tutoring Options

A work team has been commissioned by the Learning Council to explore options for when the Smarthinking contract expires on Saturday, July 31, 2021. Four vendors were invited to present in November 2019. The work team has picked up the threads of conversation with one of the previous front-runners. The team continues to diligently examine facets that would best fit the evolving needs of our students and learning support services. If a new vendor is selected, communication will be shared collegewide.

A friendly reminder that we will continue offering our Distance Tutoring service, facilitated by Valencia tutors who are eager to support our students. Don’t forget to direct students to this Distance Tutoring LibGuide to find support.

Smarthinking is our current online tutoring vendor that students can access outside of our distance tutoring hours. If there is a subject that distance tutoring does not offer, students can check and see if it is available in the Smarthinking platform. For more information, visit the Smartthining tab in the Distance Tutoring Libguide.

Study Spaces for Student Available This Summer

Learning support is excited to offer on-campus quiet study spaces for students to utilize during the summer semester on West, East, Osceola and Poinciana campuses.

On the West Campus, the designated room is The Communications Center (Building 5, Room 155). The space will be open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Students should make appointments to use the space. Walk-ins will be accepted if space is available, as students can book the space when they arrive. The room will be available for UCF West students, too.

Rooms will be configured to meet CDC guidelines for safety.

Students may schedule an appointment here. When registering, students may choose either a computer desk or table to bring their own device.

This short video tutorial shows the steps to register.

Scholarship Series Canceled

Please note that the Summer Scholarship Series, previously planned for four Thursdays beginning on May 20, 2021, has been postponed. More details will be shared when the event is rescheduled.


International Student Face-to-Face Course Successfully Concludes

Another successful course has concluded for our international students who had to take a face-to-face course this spring. This time Tom Welch, faculty, New Student Experience, taught the class and was successful in contextualizing his curriculum to support his international population. You can view photos of activities that took place in Tom’s class here.

Valencia’s New Student Experience Featured in Case Study

Infobase recently published a case study about the use of Ferguson’s Career Guidance database in SLS 1122: New Student Experience (NSE). Valencia’s use of this database ranks near the top in the entire country. It’s a fantastic example of the partnership between NSE faculty and librarians. To access the paper, click here.

Congrats to Our New Faculty Ombuds, Ann Heiny and Ramon Velez-Cruz

The Learning Support department is extremely proud that our new faculty ombuds both come from the division of learning support, and Ann Heiny, faculty, New Student Experience, is our very own West Campus faculty member.

Ramon Velez-Cruz, faculty, New Student Experience, also teaches NSE for the Osceola Campus. They will begin serving at the start of the fall 2021 term. Read more about their roles here.

Kudos to our NSE faculty!

Learning Support Leadership Team

  • Marg Lamb and Melissa Shank – administrative assistants
  • Ruth Smith– campus director, library
  • Michael Winters– interim manager, learning support services
  • Marsha Butler– faculty, New Student Experience and discipline coordinator

Downtown Campus Learning Support Partners

  • Mia Pierre-Wall– faculty, New Student Experience, and discipline coordinator
  • Angela Hall– librarian
  • Ning Christopher – manager, learning support services

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