For most Academic Planning Seminar classes there is a component where the instructor brings his/her students to the library for a one-hour instruction session on how to use the library. The components of this section are very useful, but sometimes can be dry. Often, students forget what we have tried to teach them shortly after they leave our session and later come to the reference desk to ask how to navigate the library, find books and articles or they remember something and are not sure where it exists on our webpage. Furthermore, library services are going more and more virtual in today’s fast-paced online learning environment. This tutorial site attempts to provide an online reference to the in person classes as well as provide library instruction to transfer students who do not take Academic Planning Seminar classes.
This tutorial has been broken down into several sections, or modules. Each module will contain an appropriate combination of technology and pedagogy to accomplish the related learning outcomes that are listed in the lesson plan. The design template that is used on most library web pages will be used on this site to help the student recognize that the tutorial is part of the library’s web content. In the future, the site may be transitioned into ANGEL, the campus learning management system; however, the question exists: will the tutorial be more effective if it is left out of a learning management system? If the tutorial is left stand-alone it can serve as a refresher for students who have graduated, incoming students without access to ANGEL as well as students who want the information but would not take the time to log in to the campus learning management system. In the beginning stages, some features of ANGEL will be incorporated into the course to provide a database-driven back-end, such as the survey tool to create a feedback mechanism that is easily viewable by several library faculty members.
Ultimately, I hope this tutorial site proves useful and that students begin to reference the site when they cannot remember how to find a book, where to start with a database article, or as a more interactive format than our flat “How Do I…” pages. Furthermore, as Joe Janes would say, “we need to be better online than in person.” This tutorial is a direct result of hearing that statement at a library-related conference and hopefully will be the start of several more tutorials to enhance information literacy and scholarly research skills in the undergraduate and graduate student populations.