Home » Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session (Spring 2019) » A Distance-Learning Library Instruction Approach for In-Person Students


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Members-at-Large: Karla Aleman and Jennifer Rundels

A Distance-Learning Library Instruction Approach for In-Person Students

This poster is part of the Distance Library Instruction Virtual Poster Session hosted by the ACRL DLS Instruction Committee. We encourage you to ask questions and engage in discussion on this poster! Authors will respond to comments between April 1-5.


Alex Harrington, Penn State University and Garrison Libby, Tidewater Community College

Poster Description:

Tidewater Community College Libraries responded to staffing and scheduling concerns by creating online instruction modules to provide key library and information literacy information to first-year students in lieu of in-person instruction time. This poster is an exploration of the modules’ implementation in Spring 2019.


(Click the pop-out icon in the upper right corner to enlarge)

About the Presenters

Alex Harrington and Garrison Libby are both committed to providing engaging, relevant library instruction to their students, using whatever tools and methods are at their disposal, including high-tech and low-tech solutions, and active learning activities.


  1. Alex and Garrison-
    Thank you for your clear presentation.
    Are the IL modules in the SDV course mandatory viewing/reading for online and in-person students? If so, how do you check for this? My experience is that “nice to know” IL modules are not used by students, but if there is some mandatory check, students are more likely to view/use them.
    I also have a question about personalizing these for different student populations who may be going in to different programs? Do you differentiate any information in the SDV modules based on students in different programs?
    Best, Jenni, CityU Seattle

    • Jenni: Great questions!

      For now, the modules being optional or required is a decision for the individual SDV instructors. Theoretically, once it’s in wider use, it should be required as much as attendance at the class session in the library would be. (An alternative to this could also be incorporating an assessment for students to complete to demonstrate that they used the module or, at the very least, know the relevant information.)

      The different student populations / different programs question is really interesting. There are actually a few SDV courses specifically for some of the larger populations (military students, health programs, and engineering are, I believe, the most popular). I think having an extra box or tab for these specific SDV classes would be a pretty good idea; considering that, in person, we’ll frequently show those classes a related subject-specific research guide, it could be as simple as linking to those guides.


  2. Hello! We are in the midst of preparing to do something similar for the very same reasons!

    Does the feedback form go to the librarian or the teaching faculty? Do both have access?
    What are you using to host the surveys/feedback form?

    • Sarah:

      The feedback form was made in LibWizard (we’ve used it before for instruction assessment activities, too) and the results are accessible by the library’s instruction team.

      Thanks for your questions, and good luck on your own project!

  3. A well-thought out solution to a growing problem. As more and more of our community college courses move online, we are missing the opportunity to offer library instruction in online sections.
    Thanks for your work!

    • Jane:

      So true! And it looks like we aren’t alone in doing something like this, so it’s great to have the resources and technology to meet the students where they are!


  4. I left comments on the presentation itself, but see others leaving them here, so… first, what assessment methods are you using to determine the short and long term impact of this instructional method?

    Second, I see that you are using LibGuide to distribute this information to your patrons… have you considered creating an online course module through something like BlackBoard that would allow you to include test banks and randomized test questions to help assess how many students are retaining/understanding the information, and could be set up to be required by all students, or added to existing courses?

    • Michelle:

      Excellent questions!

      We have an brief online summative assessment we ask students to fill out following completion of the module. We hope to use that to gauge student learning, and identify areas where they might have confusion.

      The college is planning to move from Blackboard to Canvas soon, so LibGuides was the “safest” choice to begin with, knowing that the librarians have full control over that virtual space, and it could be created/used right away. Hosting it on LibGuides also makes the page open. (If a student wants to refer back to it later for other classes, or if a non-student – former or future – can make use of the information, there are no barriers to the page like log-ins.) Personally, I think it would be a great combination to add assessments (like you’ve described) in Canvas (once the move is made) while leaving the content on LibGuides (to get the data on student learning, but still have the content freely available — and only have to update the content in one place, too).

      Thank you!

  5. This is an informational work flow process to address concerns where there is a move between LMS, and if the staffing situation gets resolved, this is a good way to encourage a self-learning experience.

    • Linda:

      Yes, we’ve actually used a private/”hidden” LibGuide to do staff training (and as a sort of online staff manual to refer back to). I believe it is still being updated when changes are made to procedures or policies, and I know I was referring back to it as recently as the Fall 2018 semester to look things up. It was created when LibGuides was still fairly new to us (I think we had had access for two years at that point?) so it also helped familiarize staff (who weren’t necessarily involved in moving the website’s content) with LibGuides itself.

      Thanks for the great comment!

  6. Wow! That choice of colored text box backgrounds and light type is terrible for low-vision people like myself (mislaid my glasses!) Consider importance of making posters accessible to the largest number of people, please! Can’t comment on content as I didn’t bother to try to read it.

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