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Library Quick Fixes for your Course: Tutorials and How Tos

Are your students running aground on library assignments and library-related skills? You don't have to wait til the next revision cycle to make some improvements. The library can help with simple improvements that you can make before the module is done!

Librarians don't have the access to edit your course for you. 

Also, please contact the course owner to have changes made to the course master so that it propagates to all the sections next term. 

Important Library Topic Tutorials

Here are some popular library tutorials that explain important topics that often come up in research assignments. You can embed the links right in your course at the point of need.

Research Skills Tutorial

The Research Skills Tutorial is a self-paced course that's supposed to be the equivalent of about one credit. For students to complete the whole thing, research portfolio and all, is a big endeavor. It works very well if the research portfolio is integrated into a term-long research project that is the big assignment for the course. 

Simply going through the content and taking the self-assessments at the end of each chapter is less strenuous, and is appropriate for the big assignment during course orientation. 

Each chapter is divided into pages, and each page. Chapters and pages function well as standalone tutorials on library research topics, which you can link to in your course where they are needed. 

  • Keywords, concept chart, and boolean searching
  • Narrowing your search by publication date
  • Searching when you know the author or title
  • Descriptor and citation chaining, bibliography mining
  • Types of resources (scholarly, primary, etc.)
  • Evaluating resources for credibility

Citation Tutorials

If students are having trouble citing sources, we have some options for them. 

First, we have the Citing Information Sources chapter of the Research Skills Tutorial, which explains the whys and hows of citing. 

Then we have the Citing Sources Guide, which links to various citation tools (Zotero, Mendeley, etc.) and web sites that offer help and examples for formatting citations in the different citation styles.

Database How Tos

If you ask your students to use a particular database, please give them instructions on how to find it. Our wording is below:

  1. Go to the library web site at You can also find it under the Learning Support tab of MyESC or in the Moodle Library toolbar.
  2. Scroll down the library's home page and click Article Databases (or BooksMultimedia, Dictionaries & Encyclopedias, Newspapers, etc.) 
  3. Scroll down the alphabetical list and click [Name of Database.]
  4. If it prompts you for a login, use your college login and password, which is the same one you use to access your online courses and student account. 
    If you are able to access your online courses and student account, but cannot access the library databases, please contact the ITS Helpdesk. 99% of the time the problem is one called "Duplicate entry in the student address book," and if you say that, they will know exactly what you mean and can fix it right away. 


Also, it's a good idea to include a link to that database's How To Use tutorial right at point of need. We find that students are more likely to notice it and click it if it's right there in the course so that they don't have to go out and look for it.