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Library Resources for Blackboard

How can a librarian help with my online classes?

As you can see from other pages on this guide, there are lots of library resources you can incorporate into your classes. 

Don't forget the most important resource - your librarian! Here are a few ways we can help:

  • Instruction:
    • Your librarian can assist in the design, implementation, and/or assessment of assignments (research-related and multimedia-related). 

    • Your librarian can develop resource-based instructional materials - i.e. how to use a specific database or tool (ARTStor, Google Scholar, etc.).

    • Your librarian can develop competency-based instructional materials - i.e. research as a conversation, evaluating resources, etc.

  • Resources:
    • Your librarian can assist you in identifying and embedding static library resources (e-books, research guides, etc.).

    • Your librarian can assist you in identifying open educational resources (OERs) relevant to your course.

  • Communication:
    • Your librarian can share their contact information within your course.

    • Your librarian can administer and / or participate in a discussion board dedicated to library- or research-related questions.

How do I know if my class is a good fit for an embedded librarian?

Is your class...

  • a required, first-year English course where students have research paper assignments?

  • a writing intensive course or a course that has research papers?

  • a capstone course that include a major research project?

  • a research methodology course?

  • a graduate-level course that include a literature review?

  • a research-oriented graduate-level course?

  • a course that involves creation of multimedia or other creative object (i.e. a video, infographic, 3D printed object, etc.)?

If you said yes, then your course might benefit from an embedded librarian!

I want an embedded librarian in my course - what next?

  1. Make an appointment with your instruction liaison librarian (see our list of liaison librarians if you're not sure who to contact).

  2. Before the appointment, there are a few things to consider:

    • How would you like to collaborate with the librarian? We go into these ideas in more detail above, but just to reiterate, here are a few ways we can help:

      • Instruction - designing, implementing, and / or assessing research-related assignments

      • Resources - identifying and implementing library resources and OERs

      • Communication - sharing the librarian's contact information; creating a discussion board related to library or research-related questions

    • Timing

      • If you'd like the librarian to work with your class during a specific class session, when?

      • If you'd like the librarian to be available in Blackboard, would you like him or her to be available for the entire course, or just when the students are working on a particular assignment?

      • If you'd like the librarian to be available in Blackboard, how often would you like her or him to login to your course?

    • Blackboard role - which do you think will be most appropriate for your course?

      • Instructor: Instructors have access to all areas in the Control Panel. This role develops, teaches, or facilitates the class. Instructors can access a course that is unavailable to students.

      • TA: Teaching assistants—or co-teachers—can administer all areas of a course. Their only limitations are those imposed by an instructor or your institution. A teaching assistant cannot delete an instructor from a course. Teaching assistants have access to most tools and features in the Control Panel. Even if a course is unavailable to students, teaching assistants still have access to the course. Teaching assistants are not listed in the course catalog listing for the course.

      • Course Builder: The course builder role has access to most areas of the Control Panel. This role is appropriate for a user to manage the course without having access to student grades. A course builder can still access the course if the course is unavailable to students. A course builder cannot delete an instructor from a course.

      • Grader: A grader assists the instructor in the creation, management, delivery, and grading of items, such as tests and discussion board posts. A grader also assists the instructor with managing the Grade Center. A grader cannot access a course if it is unavailable to students.

      • Guest: Guests have no access to the Control Panel. Areas within the course are made available to guests, but typically they can only view course materials. They usually do not have access to tests and assignments, or have permission to post on discussion boards.

      See this Blackboard help page for more information:
      https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Courses/Course_Roles

      If you and your librarian agree that s/he will be part of your Blackboard course, make sure to add her/him using one of the roles above!

Your methods and timing will depend on what you and your librarian have decided upon, but here are some general guidelines:

Help your students connect.

  • If your librarian will be available in Blackboard for the entire length of the course, introduce your librarian during the first week, distinguishing between their role and that of the instructor.
  • Include information about the library and specific library modules (i.e. videos, research guides) in your syllabus, via email, via announcements, and/or in person.
  • Point out embedded content throughout your course, especially if it's relevant to an assignment.
  • Refer students who need extra assistance directly to the embedded librarian.

Keep the librarian informed.

  • If your assignments or course timeline changes, let the librarian know in advance.
  • Let your librarian know how things are going – do students seem confused by the librarian's instruction, or do they seem to be getting the message?

Make another appointment with the librarian to debrief and exchange ideas.

  • Was the collaboration successful? Are there things you'd like to change or retain in the future?
  • Did students mention the librarian in course evaluations?
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