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Library Quick Fixes for your Course: Tutorials and How Tos
Are your students running aground on library assignments and library-related skills? You don't have to wait til the next revision cycle to make some improvements. The library can help with simple improvements that you can make before the module is done!
The Research Skills Tutorial is a self-paced course that's supposed to be the equivalent of about one credit. For students to complete the whole thing, research portfolio and all, is a big endeavor. It works very well if the research portfolio is integrated into a term-long research project that is the big assignment for the course.
Simply going through the content and taking the self-assessments at the end of each chapter is less strenuous, and is appropriate for the big assignment during course orientation.
Each chapter is divided into pages, and each page. Chapters and pages function well as standalone tutorials on library research topics, which you can link to in your course where they are needed.
Keywords, concept chart, and boolean searching
Narrowing your search by publication date
Searching when you know the author or title
Descriptor and citation chaining, bibliography mining
This is a self-paced, ungraded online tutorial in how to do college-level research from the ground up. You can skip around to the parts you need or go through the whole thing from beginning to end. There are self-quizzes and even portfolio activities (in case instructors want you to take the tutorial as part of their course.)
You will learn how to decide on a research question, do background research, construct database searches, manage your search results, evaluate the sources you find with a critical mindset, and cite your sources in your paper.
If students are having trouble citing sources, we have some options for them.
First, we have the Citing Information Sources chapter of the Research Skills Tutorial, which explains the whys and hows of citing.
Then we have the Citing Sources Guide, which links to various citation tools (Zotero, Mendeley, etc.) and web sites that offer help and examples for formatting citations in the different citation styles.
Scroll down the library's home page and click Article Databases (or Books, Multimedia, Dictionaries & Encyclopedias, Newspapers, etc.)
Scroll down the alphabetical list and click [Name of Database.]
If it prompts you for a login, use your college login and password, which is the same one you use to access your online courses and student account. If you are able to access your online courses and student account, but cannot access the library databases, please contact the ITS Helpdesk. 99% of the time the problem is one called "Duplicate entry in the student address book," and if you say that, they will know exactly what you mean and can fix it right away.
Also, it's a good idea to include a link to that database's How To Use tutorial right at point of need. We find that students are more likely to notice it and click it if it's right there in the course so that they don't have to go out and look for it.