[Athen] Alt media course packet tip

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Wed Dec 9 10:32:23 PST 2020

If you have students in the liberal arts who get course packets which contain photocopies or scans of pages from multiple textbooks and anthologies, it can be a pain to scan them. Contrast on every page will be different; many will be poor camera phone pictures and some will be copies of copies of copies and will barely OCR.

But I've found one secret I employ regularly.

I go through the table of contents and note all the essays, stories, articles and other stuff in the course packet.

Then I do a full-text search on bookshare for the article, for example "Amy Tan, Mother Tongue" or "Malcom Douglas, Learning To Read".

I usually find an anthology with the selection. If the copies of these textbook pages include footers or headers that give a clue about what textbook they were lifted from, I also search for its name.

If all else fails, I ask the instructor for a bibliography - where did all the material in their course packet come from - and then I search bookshare for that or use other sources, like the ATN to grab the actual book.

I also regularly ask our history, English and similar departments if they use course packets to include a bibliography so the original sources can be located.

This has become especially valuable now that I'm sheltering in place and cannot accept hardcopy from students nor send it back to them.


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