Integrating FIU Libraries into Online Classes

The Hub @ Green Library (MMC)

Instructors and students begin their semesters with new materials and resources, both hoping for the best information to guide them through the semester. FIU Libraries serve as an entry point in the world of research and information for both faculty and online students. Ultimately, the success of an online course is dependent on its accessibility of information. With thousands of students enrolled in FIU Online courses world-wide, it’s vital that distance learning students know they are entitled to all of FIU’s library services, both online and within their numerous databases. Here’s how instructors can get started exploring and integrating library services within their course.

Creating Effective LibGuides

Decorative: FIU Libraries

Heard of LibGuides? LibGuides are resources which allows instructors to promote library services, create bibliographies, curate knowledge and share information in a convenient online format. FIU librarians and staff collaborate on the creation of LibGuides. These resources directly connect students with course-related content from websites such as YouTube, ArtStor, and thousands of other online databases. 

FIU’s Online Learning Librarian, Sarah J. Hammill and Melissa Del Castillo, Virtual Learning & Outreach Librarian, provide curated bibliographies or Library Research Guides for hundreds of FIU courses. Whether it’s streaming films, integrating journal articles, or teaching students how to research like scholars, Hammill and Castillo are the direct point of contact in developing & expanding library services for online students.

Maikel Alendy stated creating Library Research Guides (LibGuides) for his students has been a powerful tool. It designed content that teaches digital literacy, academic integrity training, and ultimately, produces high-quality assignments among his students. When asked how he integrates library services into the courses, Alendy said: “While this is only one ‘strategy’,  the library guide is a robust tool that helps guide student research, curate credible and peer-reviewed content for my students related to my field of study, and even direct students to academic research engines. We have even built in academic integrity modules to help better explain academic integrity to my students and guide them away from plagiarism.”

FIU Libraries + Canvas Initiative

FIU librarians have created a tool, Curriculum Builder. This tool integrates articles, photographs, and films/videos directly into Canvas modules to easily share of. The FIU Library has created a step-by-step tutorial for faculty members on including LibGuides or Curriculum Builder into courses. 

LibGuides and the Curriculum Builder are just two of the services that are offered for online instructors. When instructional designer Jennifer Antoon was asked what advice would she give a faculty member who’s interested in introducing library services to their online students, she replied, 

“Most people probably don’t know we have Distance Learning Librarians! Sarah Hammill and Melissa Del Castillo have helped the instructors I work with find and select films, journal articles, and research skills sessions for students.”

Combining the plethora of FIU Libraries’ resources with the increasing changes of the digital web is a feat in itself, but our online librarians are ahead of the curve. View the library resources to include in your course.

India Ferguson has been both an undergraduate & graduate student at Florida International University and previously worked as an FIU Online Enrollment Associate. During her time as an undergraduate, India uncovered her passion for greater accessibility of information on the digital web and seeks to educate people through free media. When she's not working at FIU Online, she puts her History degree to work by editing & developing historical articles on Wikipedia.

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