Skip to main content

Faculty Guide to Library Instruction : Online Instruction/Summer Offerings

This guide will introduce you to options available to incorporate information literacy instruction into your courses.

Faculty Feedback

"Higher paper grades for students who successfully completed Library Assignment with tutorial." - April 10, 2014

"The ability to search for and identify proper primary and secondary sources was key to my students' completion of course assignments as well as their understanding of how historians analyze and utilize sources in research." - December 30, 2013

Student Feedback

"The interactive games and activities we did online really helped me to better configure and specify my online searches!" - December 6, 2015

"For my Edu 595 Educational Research class, we learned how to use the NU library page. I also learned how to get better research papers. My undergraduate class never did that. I also love that I can write questions to the myNU page and get an e-mail right back. Best library experience." - December 3, 2015

"I took the tutorials online as I am in an online writing class. I learned more about the individual databases and found out how they work and how they can help me narrow my searches so that I find credible and relevant sources for whatever I am working on." - November 10, 2014

Online Offerings

Online Library Support

Goal: Provide library presence in courses using Canvas in order to expand reference to where the students already are. This program demonstrates how, through a partnership approach with faculty, comprehensive library instruction can be provided for online students in a meaningful and integrated way.

Typically, the Library provides remote access to many services such as research databases, email assistance, chat, FAQs, interlibrary loan, and online tutorials through its website. Tutorials come closest to replacing traditional course-based library instruction, but without the human element. Offering students an array of library services not directly related to their classes, however, doesn’t make for meaningful and integrated library instruction.

Niagara University Librarians prefer to connect with professors—prior to the beginning of a course as well as during a course—regarding their students’ research needs and then customize library instruction accordingly through various formats. Level of involvement in course is to be decided amongst professor and library liaison. Note that the following options build on one another. For example, you can’t offer Tier 2 without Tier 1.

Options offered to faculty are described below:

Tier 1: Creating a Library Presence

A Library tab is available on the course menu. This link will connect students to useful library resources and general information. 

Tier 2: Specific Course Guides

Similar to the research guide, but specific to course needs. Check out this example from EDU 455.  

Tier 3: Library Instruction Modules 

This option offers a course guide as well as instructional guidance through active and participatory database tutorials. See this example for BUS 651. Additionally, creating an "Ask the Librarian" thread to the discussion board will remind students to do just that. Either weekly, or simply during the few weeks students are working on a research assignment, students will gain insight about the research process through postings.

  • Video tutorials are used to demonstrate concepts such as selecting a topic. This is the preferred method of delivery for students with disabilities due to voice recording and text capabilities. 
  • Guide on the Side tutorials are a more interactive way to demonstrate the use of our sources as well as applying concepts learned in videos. This software employs traditional assessment techniques where students are simply asked to demonstrate knowledge gained. However, one benefit of this software is the instant feedback to student responses. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Free Tech Tools

We also incorporate free tech tools in our library instruction where appropriate. For example: 

  • Audacity: Student produced oral histories.
  • Kahoot: Gamified classroom assessment. Check out our presentation on its' use here.
  • PB Works: Student produced research in order to inform general public.
  • Poll Everywhere: Instant classroom assessment.
  • Popplet: Creating keywords and mind maps. A good thing to use to begin one's research. 
  • Prezi: An alternative to video tutorials. 
  • Skype: Interview with major author. Students conducted research and asked their own questions of him.
  • Windows Movie Maker 3: Students to create their own digital stories based on legal research. 
  • QR Codes: Used in scavenger hunts of basic library knowledge.

Subject Guide

Melissa  Langridge's picture
Melissa Langridge