quinebaug valley community college

Instruction Menu

Below is a sampling of library offerings supporting information literacy. Don’t see exactly what you or your students need? We’re always happy to collaborate with faculty to learn about your courses, and to design new library instruction and resources. Contact M’lyn Hines , Reference & Instruction Librarian.

Appetizers        5 to 10 minutes

Meet & Greet

Objective: students will know that QVCC Librarians welcome their questions and are ready to help in person, by email, and over the phone.

  • On-Ground: A librarian visits the classroom for a 5-10 minute introduction to library services. Best suited to classes with first-semester students or students new to library resources.
  • Online: A librarian posts a welcome in the course Blackboard Shell that is specifically targetted to upcoming assignments, or meets students online for a brief synchronous or asynchronous session introducing library resources.

Guide to Resources

Objective: Instructor and students will have quick access to resources curated for specific courses or assignments.

  • Librarians design online guides with active links providing instant access to specific websites, optimal library databases, streaming video, e-books, scholarly articles and other sources selected for their relevance to either general course work or specific research assignments. Please provide at least two-weeks’ notice to request this resource.

Side Dishes        15 to 30 minutes

Keyword Searching

Objective: students will be able to select terms and successfully employ keyword search strategies to obtain relevant results using either Internet search engines or library databases.

  • The ability to crystalize an idea, a thesis statement, or a research question into a few words or phrases; the stamina to tweak, refine and recombine those terms; and a clear understanding of how the use of quotation marks or Boolean operators will affect search results are essential competencies for successful research using Internet search engines or library databases. While this lesson has frequently been combined with instruction on specific databases or other online resources, librarians are also available to teach keyword searching using interactive strategies in a stand-alone lesson. Students gain deeper understanding of their research topic before diving into a quest for sources. 30 minutes minimum.

Tools for Citing Sources

Objective: Students will know about readily available tools for generating footnotes and lists of sources.

  • This 15 to 20-minute lesson walks students through footnoting and citation management using Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office 360. Reliable citation generators are also recommended.

Scholarly Sources

Objective: Students will understand the differences among scholarly, professional, news and popular sources and will be able to identify the types of information needs best met by each type of source.

  • Interactive, hands-on comparison of sources.  Discussion of when to use each different type of source and instruction on search strategies to quickly find the information needed.

Entrees        50 to 90 minutes

The Sampler

Objective: Support instructors’ information literacy goals and the information literacy needs of students.

  • Mix and match. Select any combination of suggested lessons below; consider adding a sample of appetizers or side dishes from above. Librarians will work with you to provide the lesson that best meets the information need.

Evaluating Websites

Objective: Students will be able to use meaningful criteria to evaluate the credibility of information found using Internet search engines.

  • Typically run as a 90 minute session (but can be modified). During the first half of the class, students work in small groups to analyze websites and build familiarity with evaluation criteria, then share their findings across groups and participate in a guided discussion. During the latter half of the session, students typically embark on Internet research for a specific course assignment while the librarian provides one-on-one scaffolding. Most classes are taught using the CRAAP evaluation method (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose) but the 5Ws approach is also an option.

Evaluating Sources

Objective: Students will gain awareness of the contextual nature of authority and the importance of evaluating the credibility of information. In addition, students will be able to employ meaningful criteria to evaluate sources.

  • This session takes a broader approach to source credibility, discussing the contextual fabric that alters the perceived credibility of a single source for different research questions and digging deeper into the authority assumed to attach to various methods of production, editing, and review. Most classes are taught using the CRAAP evaluation method (currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, purpose) but the 5Ws approach is also an option. Typically run as a 90 minute session, including hands-on practice with scaffolding, but can be modified.

Research Databases

Objective: Students will know which library resources are most relevant to the discipline under study, or the research question being investigated, and will be able to utilize the filters and tools in those databases to optimize search results.

  • Each session is designed to meet the needs of a specific research assignment. Please contact the library as early in the semester as feasible. Lesson planning requires a copy of the assignment and either the syllabus or a verbal/emailed summary of the context for that assignment. With sufficient lead-time, faculty are welcome to review and comment on proposed lesson plans in advance of the scheduled class meeting.