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Library Instruction Resources for Teaching Online

Resources and options for incorporating library instruction into online teaching.

Welcome

Library Instruction Resources for Teaching Online

Even when your courses are entirely or mostly online, there are still a number of options for how to arrange research instruction for your students. This guide includes:

  • Premade asynchronous resources developed that students can be assigned independently
  • Options for contacting your subject librarian to arrange customized instruction

Learning Modules

Learning Modules

The following modules have been developed by Rowan University librarians to guide students through asynchronous, self-paced learning of research skills and concepts. If you would like to use a module in your course, please review the associated instructions carefully before moving forward.

Most of these modules can be linked to from your course independently, without the intervention of a librarian. We do, however, ask that you contact the librarian listed as associated with the module to let them know you will be using it and in what course(s).

Annotated Bibliographies

Contact: Ashley Lierman (lierman@rowan.edu)

How long does it take? About 30 minutes

What will students learn? Students will learn the nature and purpose of an annotated bibliography, how to find the information to include in annotations, and how to create a complete annotated bibliography entry for a source.

How will they learn it? Reading short explanations and recommendations, using citation style reference guides to practice constructing citations, taking notes on two sources they have already found, and saving their process so far for reference as they write their annotated bibliography entries

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses with an annotated bibliography assignment, where students have already done some searching for sources.

Implementation instructions: It is strongly recommended that the module be a required assignment, though pass/fail evaluation should be sufficient. In order to complete the module, students will need to have been assigned an annotated bibliography and have already found at least 2 sources. At the end of the module, students will receive a summary of all their responses that can be downloaded as a PDF and submitted as proof of completion. Since the module requires students to draft annotated bibliography entries, it is also recommended to establish some means of giving students feedback on this work, either from the instructor or from exchanging work with a peer for review.

Choosing a Database

Contact: Bret McCandless (mccandless@rowan.edu)

How long does it take? About 15 minutes

What will students learn? Students will learn what a database is, where they can be found on the library's website, and how to choose a database based on their discipline and what kinds of resources they need.

How will they learn it? After reading short explanations and recommendations, students will navigate the library's website and choose appropriate databases based on three different scenarios. 

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses in which students are required to write a research paper using sources accessed through the library. This could be any course with a research paper requirement but especially one designated Writing Intensive.

Implementation instructions: ‚ÄčThis module can be implemented as a stand alone assignment, or for extra credit. Pass/fail should be sufficient for completion. Students will be provided with a PDF of their responses that can be used as proof of completion.

Citation Chaining: Using One Source to Find More

Contact: Andrea Baer (baera@rowan.edu)

What will students learn? Students will learn to use identify connections among related sources through “forward” and “backward chaining” and thereby to locate additional sources about an issue.

How will they learn it? Reading short explanations and demonstrations of forward and backward citation chaining and completing short practice exercises in which students apply what they have just learned.

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses at any level where students engage in research and source use as they seek to understand the larger “conversation” about a given topic.

Implementation instructions: Students must complete all of the exercises in order to continue proceeding through the tutorial. At the end they receive a certificate of completion. It is recommended that the module be a required pass/fail assignment.

Citing Sources

Contact: Ashley Lierman (lierman@rowan.edu)

How long does it take? About 30 minutes

What will students learn? Students will learn how to quote, paraphrase successfully, and cite sources, both in-text and in bibliographies.

How will they learn it? Reading short explanations and recommendations, completing practice questions, practicing skills, and receiving reference materials they can save and consult later.

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses with early undergraduate students where they must cite sources in written assignments.

Implementation instructions: It is strongly recommended that the module be a required assignment, though pass/fail evaluation should be sufficient. At the end of the module, students will receive a summary of all their responses that can be downloaded as a PDF and submitted as proof of completion. Since some activities in the module require students to compose their own quotations and paraphrases, it is also recommended to establish some means of giving students feedback on this work, either from the instructor or from exchanging work with a peer for review.

Evaluating Online Sources through Lateral Reading: An Introduction

Contacts: Andrea Baer (baera@rowan.edu) and Dan Kipnis (kipnisd@rowan.edu)

What will students learn? Students will learn to evaluate online sources using “lateral reading” strategies developed by Mike Caulfield and the Stanford History Education Group (described in this Evaluating Online Sources guide).

How will they learn it? Reading short explanations and viewing videos about different approaches to evaluating online sources, and completing practice activities which help apply these evaluative skills to real-life situations.

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses at any level where students may need to use web sources and critique their value, such as when critically exploring a particular topic or current event..

Implementation instructions: It is strongly recommended that the module be a required assignment, though pass/fail evaluation should be sufficient. Students should complete all of the response portions of this module, as they provide a useful learning experience. 

Finding Newspaper Articles

Contact: Andrea Baer (baera@rowan.edu)

What will students learn? Students will learn to search for and identify relevant newspaper articles and news publications through library and online resources.

How will they learn it? Reading short demonstrations of finding news sources through various library and online resources and completing short practice exercises in which students apply what they have just learned.

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses at any level where students may need to locate current or historical newspapers or news articles.

Implementation instructions: Students must complete all of the exercises in order to continue proceeding through the tutorial. At the end they receive a certificate of completion. It is recommended that the module be a required pass/fail assignment.

Getting Full Text

  • Getting Full Text

Contact: Denise Brush (brush@rowan.edu)

How long does it take? About 30 minutes

What will students learn? Students will learn what “full text” means in the context of library research; how to obtain full text content in various types of library databases; and how to use interlibrary loan to obtain articles not available in the library.

How will they learn it? This module will demonstrate how to obtain the full text of research articles in three different situations, followed by an opportunity for students to practice each skill. 

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses in which students are required to write a multi-page research paper using scholarly sources accessed through the library. This could be any course with a research paper requirement but especially one designated Writing Intensive.

Implementation instructions: It is recommended that students do this module the first time they are assigned a multi-page research paper. Please let me know if you decide to use it! 

Here's how to add this module to your Canvas course:

  1. In your course, click on Commons (this symbol in the left navigation: )
  2. Search for “Getting Full Text,” which should bring up the module.
  3. Click on the title of the module.
  4. In the next page, click “Import/Download.”
  5. Select the course you want to import it into, and click “Import into Course.”
  6. It may take a few minutes, but the module will show up in the Modules section of the course.

Search Terms and Strategies

Contact: Ashley Lierman (lierman@rowan.edu)

How long does it take? About 15 minutes

What will students learn? Students will learn how to develop keywords for searching from a research topic or question, identify variations of those keywords that may also be helpful for searching, and analyze results of an initial search to determine how to make it more effective.

How will they learn it? Reading short explanations and recommendations, working to develop keywords and variations from their own topics and practice searching with them, and reflecting on their results.

In which courses would this be most helpful? Courses where students must complete a research assignment that requires searching for resources beyond the course readings.

Implementation instructions: It is strongly recommended that the module be a required assignment, though pass/fail evaluation should be sufficient. At the end of the module, students will receive a summary of all their responses that can be downloaded as a PDF and submitted as proof of completion. Since completing the module represents the beginning of a longer search process, it is also recommended to establish some means of giving students feedback on this work, either from the instructor or from exchanging work with a peer for review.

Custom Online Instruction

Custom Online Instruction

Librarians at Campbell can collaborate with you to create custom research instruction for use online. This could take multiple forms, from something as simple as a synchronous virtual meeting with your class, to something as complex as developing a new asynchronous module.

Please be aware, however, that creating custom instruction takes time, especially if it means developing new resources! Please reach out to your librarian as early as possible if you’re interested, and we can work together on deciding what type of instruction is reasonable for your time frame, and on setting a realistic timeline.

You can contact us in any of the following ways:

Please note: Online library instruction doesn't have to mean devoting time to a synchronous or recorded session! You can ask librarians for resources to embed in your course for students, to be available as a contact to students, or to consult with you and/or your students on the best ways to approach research projects online. Let us know your needs, and we'll figure out how to meet them together.

Tutorials Developed by Other Libraries

Tutorials Developed by Other Libraries

These links provide some additional options for simple tutorials created by other college and university libraries on commonly-requested topics.