As Portland State has increased its online course offerings, subject librarians have also increased their support for the development of online courses and student learning in the online environment. Librarians are often team members in online course development, and work closely with the Office of Academic Innovation. Librarians support online instruction in a variety of ways; they can:
Ensure Access to Course Readings, Streaming Video, or Alternatives
Your subject librarian can teach you to identify useful online resources available from the Library, such as journal articles and streaming video, and teach you how to find alternatives if needed. Doing this
- Saves time for the instructor because access to the readings or videos are verified prior to the point of need
- Saves students’ time at the point they expect to access the source by using persistent links to articles
- Saves students money by avoiding the creation of course packets or other materials and
“As several of our faculty plan and engage with new online teaching formats, [the librarian] has helped us mobilize literature, practice frameworks, and other resources to ensure that our exploration of these tools is effective, efficient, and ethical.” — Faculty member
Budget and time permitting, your librarian may be able to acquire or license access to a new resource for your course.
Integrate Research Skills into Syllabi and Assignments
Your subject librarian can review the curriculum to scaffold in research skills by identifying tutorials that strengthen students’ skills, such as searching for resources independently. Integrating research skills:
- Works research skills and critical thinking about information into curriculum in small, invisible (to students) steps
- May result in more comprehensive and authoritative references
- Saves time at the busy end of term because students will have learned research skills well before then
In Canvas, your subject librarian can:
- Address questions and provide instruction on various aspects of research by teaching a synchronous or asynchronous library session
- Assist students via discussion threads
Create Course Guides
- Course guides direct students to the best resources for successfully completing assignment, along with instructional elements on how to most effectively use those resources.
- Course guides are linked directly to the “Library Resources” page in your Canvas navigation without any effort on the part of the course instructor.
- Enables students to learn about a particular research skill or concepts such as authority and how to critically think about information and its sources
- Allows students to independently learn how to use a library resource (e.g. a database, book, data set)
- Facilitates more expert student use of discipline-specific resources