Choose Your Own Adventure: Developing and Assessing Online Library Instruction Modules

Academic Services Librarian
San Jose State University


In the last few years, there have been several major forces to guide library instruction at San Jose State University (SJSU). The first is the increasing number of courses and programs turning to a fully-online or hybrid format. The second is the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ (WASC) push for assessment of critical thinking and information literacy skills as a core competency for students graduating from WASC-accredited institutions. This presentation will discuss one librarian taking a leadership role in confronting these instruction challenges and providing an example to guide the library through these changes. Over a two-year process, ten online library research modules were developed to be embedded into SJSU’s course management system. Five modules were created for a basic series that introduced library research concepts, with each covering a different aspect of college-level research. An additional five modules formed an advanced series geared toward upper division students. The online format allowed for the inclusion of video tutorials, YouTube videos, and an interactive concept map. The basic series is used for large-scale lower division classes, and all ten modules are offered as a menu to interested faculty. Instructors select only those modules which suit the needs of their course research assignment. In addition to the modules, pre- and post-tests were created to assess student learning and collect data that can be provided to WASC. Each module was matched to questions on the assessment, making the tests adaptable depending on the modules the instructors chose for their classes.


This presentation will provide interactive discussions and exercises for librarians to begin developing similar adaptable modules for their libraries. First, audience members will brainstorm topics for modules that would be appropriate for the courses and instructors they work with. From there, participants will use those proposed modules in exercises to determine: -How to match a module with assessment questions -How to map modules and assessment questions to corresponding ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards -How to structure a module so it is flexible enough to meet the needs of multiple faculty members -How to embed additional learning into the module, such as citation, thesis statements, keyword selection, or identifying key points in article abstracts Finally, the audience will participate in a discussion on the benefits and drawbacks of various options for gathering the modules’ assessment data, including Google forms, Qualtrics, and the possibility of building an in-house tool.

Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 8:00am - 9:15am


San Martin [LL]