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Faculty Toolkit

Who Teaches Library Research?

Many faculty, across the disciplines, help students learn library research skills and practice them. Faculty librarians at Hostos support this effort in a number of ways:

  • Working with you to design and co-facilitate in-class workshops tailored to your research assignment and learning goals (please see below for examples of base models of workshops and how to request a workshop);
  • Providing low-stakes activity and lesson plan ideas that you can integrate into your curriculum (please see the Activities section of this guide).
  • Collaborating with you to create course-specific research guides;
  • Working with you to hone research assignment design;
  • Sharing with you information about the resources available to Hostos students at the library;
  • Offering individual guidance to students and answers to their research questions at the reference desk on the lower level of the library;

And we are always open to speaking with you to discuss other possibilities for collaboration.

Examples of "Base Models" of Workshops

To give you an idea of the kinds of workshops that we may suggest, here are several basic types that can be customized to your assignment and learning goals:

Focusing a topic and differentiating among library sources
  • We can introduce accessible strategies that help them focus their topic, develop researchable questions of an appropriate scope, and identify key words to use as starter fuel for their searching.
  • Students are often new to differentiating among the types of sources available to them. We can provide hands-on activities in which students discover differences in kinds of sources and why they might use each kind, depending on their inquiry and where they are in the research process (e.g., reference articles, books, news articles, primary sources, and, when appropriate, peer-reviewed articles).
  • Students will also have the chance to start hands-on searching using library tools, filtering for appropriate sources and using the key words they have identified.

Being a critical researcher using the open web
  • In an increasingly complex web environment, students must go beyond simple dichotomies of “bad vs good" or "credible vs. unreliable" websites, to consider factors that critical thinkers weigh when deciding how much to trust a given site.
  • Students will engage in hands-on activities to consider factors such as use of known reputation/credentials of author, the inclusion/exclusion of points of view, level of bias in language, relative rhetorical strength of a persuasive argument, and the presence or lack of acknowledged and respected sources of evidence.
  • These concepts are presented in accessible ways, as questions to ask of every website: Who wrote this? Are they qualified to speak on this subject with authority? What is the known reputation of the author/institution? What points of view are included? Where did they get their information?
  • Students will also have the chance to articulate keywords relevant to their research assignment, and start hands-on searching for appropriate sources using those keywords.

Exploring empirical articles

What is an empirical article, and what are the best ways to triage the results from a database list? What are strategies for sussing out quickly and effectively whether an article is appropriate to one’s research? Students (best for advanced classes) will have hands-on time learning the answers.

Using primary sources

A workshop can be created to get students thinking about differences between primary and secondary sources, and learning where to find relevant material for their project. Depending on the kinds of sources used, this could be an introductory or advanced workshop

This list is not meant to be comprehensive – the best workshop is one that is tailored to supporting your assignment! We’d be glad to speak with you about possible options.

Library Workshop Request

If you would like an in-class research workshop, your department's liaison librarian and/or the library's teaching coordinator, Prof. Haruko Yamauchi, would be happy to speak with you about tailoring the workshop to support your research assignment and learning goals for your students. 

We request at least two weeks' notice before the date when you would like the workshop.

(1) Student learning goals 

Please describe your research assignment, including major deadlines (or just attach your syllabus, if it describes the assignment).

By the end of the semester, what do you expect students to know and be able to do regarding research?

(2) Logistical information 

  • Professor name:
  • Course and section:
  • Room number and day/time of class:
  • Is your classroom a smartroom (Y/N)?
  • Is your enrollment/expected attendance 25 or more?

Please note that for classes over 25, we may need to make reservations for smartrooms, computer labs, COWS, and/or projectors, which are all subject to availability – advance notice helps our chances.

We look forward to collaborating with you!

Library Research Help via Blackboard

Work with us to customize the "Library Research Help" guide in your Blackboard course!

To provide students with 24/7 support online, all student instances of Blackboard now include a "Library Research Help" link in their menu.

When an individual professor has worked with a librarian to create an assignment-specific guide, that guide will appear when students in that class click the research help link. If there is no assignment-specific guide for that class, a discipline-specific research help guide may appear. Finally, if there is no assignment- or discipline-specific guide, the default our Research 101 guide will appear.

If you are interested in a customized approach, please contact your liaison librarian.