Enhancing Library Instruction to Undergraduates: Incorporating Online Tutorials into the Curriculum

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Librarians can replace or supplement traditional in-class instruction with course-specific online tutorials. The literature demonstrates how tutorials customized for specific courses are more beneficial than tutorials on basic research skills. Many authors discuss creating online tutorials but do not design one devoted to a specific course. With increasing demand for instruction services, online tutorials can ease staffing concerns prevalent at many libraries and otherwise enhance the quality of instruction and its application to varied learning styles. Using the Blackboard course management system, the authors created an online tutorial tailored to the required World Civilizations course at the University at Buffalo. The tutorial incorporated elements of successful online tutorials described in the literature: clear terminology, a quiz for self-assessment, opportunities for active learning, and individual e-mail feedback between students and librarians, and applied them to a specific course. The authors discuss student and librarian reaction to the tutorial and make recommendations for how the tutorial can be improved and implemented in everyday instruction services.

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College & Undergraduate Libraries

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