The Library in the LMS: More than Tools!

Library Instruction Coordinator
SSU Library
Megan Kinney
Instruction Librarian
SSU Library


With SSU’s freshman population increasingly rapidly and only ~2 FTE teaching librarians in our small library, we can no longer meet every faculty request for a class visit and need to supplement our in-person program with online instruction. Without the option to develop a credit-bearing information literacy course, we looked for new ways to provide faculty with our content through the learning management system (Moodle). In this presentation, we will share how we used Moodle to create portable “modules” of instruction. These short teaching supplements can be used stand-alone, or adapted to the content of any instructor’s course. This venture is not without risks! The SSU library is cultivating a new role as a leader in academic technology on a campus where many faculty have yet to realize the benefits of a hybrid program. We are not just using the LMS to embed library tools or links to resources--we are modeling new pedagogy for our campus.


This interactive presentation will build on audience knowledge and participation, demonstrating how to grow your role within the online teaching environment. While many libraries use the LMS to embed tools such as search widgets or to provide links to library databases, we will show how to design “modules” or sections of your traditional in-person lesson plan and convert them to a portable format. We developed three modules so far, using Moodle's "book" format: media literacy, evaluating information, and avoiding plagiarism. These can be downloaded and imported by any faculty member into his or her Moodle course. The design requirements included a range of criteria from considerations of discipline flexibility to varying technical expertise. We wanted the modules to be both ready-to-go for those who didn’t want to touch them, and also adaptable by those who thought their specific needs weren’t met by the content as provided.

Using Moodle for this purpose reduces the number of individual classes that we will visit and also reduces redundancy for students (because we can decide what content is covered in which classes).  This transforms our overall IL program into a hybrid program and gives us a key seat at the table during campuswide discussions about academic technology, where many are uncertain of its teaching benefits -- or just unsure how to proceed. A new type of instructional delivery is an opportunity for us to be campus leaders, and also comes with all the risks inherent in trying something that people have not seen before. Our discussion with the audience will include the practical “how-to” knowledge we have gained about how to create portable instruction for the LMS environment, as well as the cautionary tales from one library stepping out on a limb.


Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sat, 04/05/2014 - 10:15am - 11:30am


San Martin [LL]