Library and Research Instruction

In addition to one-on-one reference consultations, librarians at River Campus Libraries offer a variety of instruction sessions to support the University of Rochester community at different stages of the research lifecycle. These sessions may take the shape of:

  • 50-75 minute in-class lessons
  • librarian visits that take less time than an entire class period
  • course-embedded librarian visits where librarian and instructor share teaching responsibilities
  • out-of-class workshops
  • asynchronous content added to Blackboard
  • assistance with assignment design that encourages information, data, and/or digital literacy

Librarians can work with you to create customized research sessions to meet the needs of your students.  Some examples of previously requested content include:

  • Distinguishing between scholarly and popular sources
  • Navigating an academic article
  • Identifying primary/empirical research from secondary research
  • Finding credible and authoritative sources
  • Structuring a meaningful database search
  • Citing, citation styles, and citation managers
  • Introducing students to library resources for specific disciplines
  • Understanding annotated bibliographies and literature reviews
  • Acknowledging the ethics behind plagiarism and paraphrasing
  • Visualizing data or managing metadata
  • Introducing open scholarship, publishing in different areas/media, copyright, building a scholarly identity, or understanding research impact

Subject librarians can create course-specific research guides tailored to assignments or student needs.


Instructional Design

Librarians can assist in leveraging best practices from education research literature to maximize the effectiveness for information literacy and research instruction. 

Beyond library instruction sessions, librarians can also serve as partners with faculty, applying learning theory to assist with the development of engaging learning experiences as they intersect with information, data, and digital literacy, including

  • Assisting with developing a course or a particular assignment for a course
  • Locating or creating Open Educational Resources (OER) or other supplemental course materials
  • Incorporating diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) principles into your course design or course readings
  • Implementing open pedagogical practices
  • Generating ideas for converting traditional research assignments into digital projects
  • Providing consultations to help identify and evaluate resources for teaching with technology and digital scholarship
Reach out to your subject librarian to schedule a consultation for instructional design.


Research Guide Creation

Subject librarians can create a tailored research guide for your class (see course guides for examples). Customized guides can help center a researcher’s focus on key resources for a subject or topic area, letting them know where to begin and who they can reach out to for assistance. Guides may include:

  • Library resources
  • Recommended web resources
  • Instructions for using digital tools
  • Showcase of student examples
  • Policy and government documents, professional codes
  • Videos providing how-to instructions
  • Data sources
  • Tips for evaluating, interrogating, or incorporating sources
  • Strategies for research and writing
  • Data literacy including the importance of good metadata
  • Citation management resources

Some courses where this can be particularly useful:

  • Courses that are offered every semester
  • Classes where the research materials required for an assignment are hard to find or use
  • Experiential or community-engaged courses
  • Workshop Leader classes
  • Classes with a writing component (W) for upper-level undergraduates
  • Graduate classes for finding extensive scholarship in specific research areas
  • Courses with digital components or assignments


Self-Service Tutorials

The RCL librarians regularly create dynamic, self-guided tutorials that highlight library services, introduce library databases and research tools, and build students’ research and information, data, and digital literacy skills.

In addition to robust, librarian-created research guides, RCL provides access to the following self-guided resources:

  • The RCL Libraries YouTube Channel includes an assortment of videos exploring library-supported tools and services.  The #RCLatHome playlist is designed to help the university community navigate RCL’s rich resources from off-campus or when the library is closed.
  • RCL librarians often create videos tailored to a specific class or topic and then upload the videos to YouTube or Panopto (via Blackboard) for class use.  Have an idea for a video you’d like created for your class?  Reach out to your subject librarian to discuss your request in more detail.

The RCL librarians are always exploring new tools and services and are excited about working with you to create an engaging learning experience for your students.  Some of the tools the RCL librarians have used for classes include:

  • Google Forms
  • H5P
  • Mind Mup
  • VoiceThread
  • Pressbooks
  • Wordpress

Remember, contact your subject librarian! We look forward to talking with you.