University of Manitoba Libraries
All Staff Meeting - September 16, 2020


Learning & Instruction Support Team
Kyle Feenstra
Sarah Clark

Student Engagement
& Remote Learning Resources

  • How remote learning affects student engagement
  • How the Libraries are addressing student & faculty resource needs this semester
  • Open discussion

What we will talk about today...

Learning as a social experience.

  • Students construct knowledge and understanding from their social, cultural, historical context.
  • Experiences with environment and relationships are critical factors for learning & development. (Vygotsky)

Remote learning may alter or limit the relational and environmental experiences of students.

Self-Efficacy and Learning

Contributions to self-efficacy:

  • Prior success undertaking tasks in specific environments or contexts.
  • Observing behaviour/modelling from peers and instructors
  • Positive emotional states (i.e. low stress)
  • Verbal encouragement from trusted relations
    (Bandura - Social Cognitive Theory)

Self-efficacy for constructing new knowledge or successfully completing new tasks is more likely in an environment that provides effective modelling and emotional support from trusted peers, instructors, etc. 

Self-Efficacy Beliefs

The learner believes they have the ability to successfully accomplish a task or goal. 

Learning & Engagement

Student Perspectives...

  • Degree of choice / autonomy, participatory learning
  • Trust relationships with peers, instructors, staff
  • Supportive networks, communication, sense of belonging / community
  • Appropriate level of academic challenge (Bryson, 2014.)

Potential barriers to engagement...

  • Over emphasis on academic performance and employability as personal value,
  • Use of disciplinary power
    (i.e. assessment practices that punish, focus on student failures).
  • Estrangement from the learning environment. (in Bryson, 2014.)

Learning & Engagement

Barriers potentially exaggerated as a result of remote learning...

  • Unequal access, distribution and familiarity with communication technology
  • Technology failures disrupting learning & affecting student confidence
  • Differences in prior learning experiences
  • Home learning environment not conducive to learning
  • Limited access to supportive community, peers, instructors, student supports 
  • Lack of familiarity with post-secondary education environment & expectations
  • Instructor pedagogy (i.e. degree of participatory learning possible)
  • Additional stresses related to pandemic 

How Can the Libraries Support Learning & Engagement?

How do we become part of a student's supportive network?

  • Facilitate clear communication and trust relationships with students
  • Provide opportunities for participatory learning whenever possible.
  • Create learning environments & resources that students can easily navigate and develop a sense a familiarity with.
    • Physical spaces 
    • Online spaces - Ask Us, Primo, Subject Guides, Learn at the Libraries, etc. 
  • Reduce policies and practices that students perceive to be unnecessarily punitive.
    (Bryson, 2014.)

UM Student Resources

Fall 2020 Orientation

  • UM Commons
    • UM Essentials
    • Prep Week

Subject Librarian Support for University 1


  • Connected to ARTS 1110
    • Multiple sections; held each term
    • ~ 400 students (Fall)

​​Key Support Includes:

  • U1 Subject Guide
  • Direct contact for questions (email)

Academic Integrity Support

Cite Right Program

  • Librarian/student consult via Ask Us
  • Assignment specific (due date)
  • Topics typically involve searching/citing
  • Program led by Academic Learning Centre (writing tutors)

Post-Discipline Support Program

  • More formal process
  • Booked in advance (direct AI referral)
  • Report required from librarian
  • Topics/appointment time can vary greatly from one student to the next 

Discipline Authority

Academic Integrity Coordinator



Workshops Information

  • All Fall/Winter sessions will take place in GoToWebinar
  • Higher level audience (grad students, instructors, researchers)
  • Two series:
    • Researcher Workshops
    • GradSteps
  • Various topics/themes (library overview, searching, citing, publishing, working with data, etc...)
  • Registration required for all sessions
    • UML homepage > "Researcher..."


Sarah Clark
Learning & Instruction Support Librarian

Kyle Feenstra
Coordinator, Learning & Instruction Support

  • Do you feel students' questions have changed compared to previous years? If so, how?

  • Are there any creative responses to the challenges of online learning you have tried or heard about from students, faculty or colleagues?

  • Do you have any questions for us?   



  • Alt, D. (2015). Assessing the contribution of a constructivist learning environment to academic self-efficacy in higher education. Learning Environments Research, 18(1), 47–67.
  • Au, W. (2018). A Marxist education: Learning to change the world. Haymarket Books.

  • Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191–215.
  • Bryson, C. (2014). Understanding and developing student engagement. Routledge.
  • Harry. Daniels. (2001). Vygotsky and pedagogy. Routledge/Falmer.

  • Schunk, D. H. (1984). Self-Efficacy and Classroom Learning.

Engagement & Remote Learning

By Kyle Feenstra

Engagement & Remote Learning

UML All Staff Meeting September 16, 2020.

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