Ramping Up Library Tutorials

Temple Libraries has a long history of providing high quality information literacy instruction for courses at Temple. As we continue to learn more and adapt our teaching methods, our Learning and Student Success unit recognized a need to grow our inventory of asynchronous tutorials to support increasing demand for online learning content.

Back in Fall 2019, we started a pilot of a new model for library support for the First Year Writing (FYW) Program, one of our largest and highest-impact instructional programs. While we had seen success in the past holding two in-person workshops for each section, we were curious to experiment with new modes of delivery that could increase learning while maximizing staff time. In Spring 2020 we started making plans for the second phase of the pilot when…well, you know what happened in Spring 2020. Our quick ramp-up to fully online support was stressful, but resulted in a wealth of new online learning content that we knew could be reused and repurposed.

Building on earlier work

After receiving positive feedback regarding the elearning modules created for ENG 802/FYW, we decided to utilize aspects of the existing content to create short tutorials that promote information literacy education and support students on topics related to research. These tutorials offer students support on information literacy topics in real time and can be revisited as needed.

Improving findability

Over the past few years, we’ve been steadily growing the library of self-paced and interactive tutorials, hosted on the Tutorials page. Launched in early 2020, the page itself has also gone through updates as the number of tutorials has grown and adjustments were necessary to make the page more user-friendly. Each tutorial is now accessible from its own tab on the Tutorials page, which allows us to include additional information, such as learning objectives and estimated duration. Over the summer, we worked with LTD to implement another key change, which allows each tutorial to be embedded directly on the page, keeping users on the website.

screenshot of library website, with annotations pointing out individual page links and embedded tutorials

In addition to improving the user experience of our tutorials, these changes will also allow us to track usage at a more granular level, informing us about which tutorials are being discovered, and where users are coming from.

Making changes based on user feedback

While tracking website analytics may contribute to informing future development, our richest assessment data come from the feedback surveys found at the end of each of our tutorials. While these forms are completely optional, we receive a fair amount of feedback there, both critical and positive.

To share one example of user-directed updates, we noticed a trend in our feedback that seemed worthy of addressing. Student feedback surveys include a place to list outstanding questions, and citations is one of the most commonly entered responses. For instance, in spring 2022, we received 488 responses to our FYW Module 1, and 25 of those responses included a question about citing.

While it can be tricky to figure out exactly what students mean when they say they want to know more about “citing,” our current response involves adding additional tutorials on citations, both created in house and adapted from colleagues at other institutions (like these great examples from librarians at Marquette University). Check our Tutorials page again soon to see these in action!

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