This is a collection of tutorials on library research help and related topics. Most tutorials are video format, but a few are text-based, built using the LibGuides platform.
Type of Material:
Ask students to choose an appropriate research topic. As homework, ask students to view the InfoPower tutorial, jotting notes for each step as it applies to their research project. In class, discuss the process and answer specific research questions. Point out the other SJSU tutorials, and encourage students to use them as they conduct their research.
Accessed using the Safari web browser. Some tutorials require Flash. Links at the top of the page provide instructions for enabling Flash in different web browsers. Viewer must be able to handle video format.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The tutorials enable users to become independent library researchers, knowing how to find articles in various databases, avoid plagiarism, find a book in the library stacks, etc.
Target Student Population:
The target population is users of the King Library, which includes the general public as well as university students. Most tutorials would be appropriate for high school level and up.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic web navigation skills are required to use the tutorials. Flash may need to be enabled for some tutorials, but instructions are provided for how to do this.
San Jose State University librarians created this set of tutorials, several of which are videos (marked with a play arrow); videos are under 4 minutes. Eachself-contained tutorial provides an overview, learning goal, explanation, examples, and summary. Some tutorials include quizzes to check for understanding. The information is accurate and current, and reflects good research and library practice at the basic level. In some cases, the tutorial (e.g., InfoPower) consists of a series of modules that build upon each other. Students can use these tutorials independently in a self-paced manner for several courses.
Some illustrations in the videos seem a bit corny, but most are effective and help to get the point across. Some of the information is site-specific, which might confuse users.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
All of the tutorials involve ICT literacy, and tend to draw from older information literacy standards. The tutorials are clustered topically, and tutorials consisting of several modules build upon each other. Some tutorials have variations depending on the academic level of the learner. These tutorials enable instructors to make sure students gain knowledge about research-related skills, and can easily be assigned as homework or as a "flipped" activity. The materials are applicable to almost any undergraduate course that involves finding outside resources or writing research papers,
Nearly all tutorials reference the King Library web site or San Jose State University. While other libraries may have many of the same databases, for example, the process of getting to the database and finding full text material may be different at other institutions. Users from other institutions will need to disregard the specifics that do not apply to their own institution. Teachers at other institutions wishing to incorporate these tutorials may want to check their own library web site for tutorials on similar topics.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Tutorials are nicely arranged in various categories, making it easy to find individual topics. Users should be able to use these independently with ease. Most videos include subtexts, making them accessible for visually impaired users. Some tutorials, such as the basic plagiarism tutorial, are interactive.
The tutorials do not seem ADA-compliant. videos do not include captioning or transcripts, and images do not include alt-text. No help feature exists.
Other Issues and Comments:
This is an exceptionally thorough collection of tutorials on topics related to library use and research.
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