Category Archives: Library Services

Providing information on a service offered by the library: details or interesting insights, modifications to previous service, new tool or utitlity…and informing how it affects the user.

Teaching Information Literacy: A New Tool for Faculty and Students

Introducing Credo Instruct

Healey Library is excited to introduce a platform called Credo Instruct, a set of standalone, interactive information literacy modules.  These modules are used in the Library’s in-person instructional program and are also available for independent faculty use.  

Information literacy addresses critical thinking and research skills by teaching students:

  • How to identify an information need
  • Where to locate the information they need
  • How to evaluate the quality and reliability of the information they find
  • How to use the information they find ethically

These interactive Credo Instruct modules include text tutorials, videos, and interactive exercises, and they allow students to test their learning with graded quizzes. The interactive modules include:

How Can Faculty Use Credo Instruct?

Faculty can choose individual videos and activities to incorporate into their classes as needed, or they can assign students to review entire modules. Faculty may select and assign the lessons independently, or they may assign specific modules or lessons to their students to review before a library instruction session. When students view the modules before a session with a librarian, students have more opportunities during that session to engage with library and information resources and expand on larger conversations about research and critical thinking. 

For more information, please review the Faculty Guide to Credo Instruct, which contains the full menu of Credo Instruct learning objects. 

Contact the reference department at library.reference@umb.edu if you have questions or need help with the links.

Evaluating Information Module Menu of Lessons
Each video, tutorial, and quiz in Credo Instruct can be used individually or as part of a larger module. Faculty can pick and choose from the Credo Instruct “menu” which lessons they want to incorporate into their course content.
Screenshot of Credo Instruct Plagiarism Video with Transcript
All the videos in Credo Instruct are fully captioned, and video transcripts can be downloaded as separate files. Playback speed can also be adjusted up or down.

 

Feedback from Faculty and Students

Since the introduction of Credo Instruct this year, faculty feedback has been incredibly positive.  

Faculty have told us:

  • “Tell me how I get your wonderful Credo segments into my class’s Blackboard page, so I can have them well prepared before they come to visit the library.” (Nursing) 
  • “This is great!” (English)
  • “In advance of your visit, I had the students review Credo Instruct, choose a module that would be helpful for them, and then write a short paragraph explaining why the info was helpful.” (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures)

Students have told us:

  • They like the content, pacing, and activities, especially the Test Your Knowledge segments. 
  • The citation activities give them a better understanding of what a citation is and its different parts.
  • Viewing the module Presenting Research and Data gives them an understanding of how to synthesize information for a research paper. One student said, “In high school, I never even thought about where information was coming from. My teacher would give me an article and tell me to write about it. I didn’t have to do research; in high school everything was given to me. Until I viewed the module, I didn’t realize how complicated information is.”
  • “I watched the Evaluating Information module. My main takeaway was how ineffective Google is when evaluating for quality.”

Review the Faculty Guide to Credo Instruct, and contact Library.Reference@umb.edu for more information about using these modules in your classes!

Healey Library: We’ve Got You Covered

Umbrella picture with the text: Welcome to Healey Library! We've Got You Covered
Welcome to Healey Library: We’ve Got You Covered

We want to begin the new school year by reaffirming our mission to support our users. “We’ve Got You Covered” is our commitment to the campus and our community partners. If you need something, we will do everything we can to try to get it for you, whether it’s a specific research resource, research or classroom support, or any of the services offered by Healey Library staff. We’re here to help you and your students succeed, so please let us know what we can do for you.

Healey Library’s Fine Amnesty Program

*Please note: Fine amnesty for library items ended on January 31, 2019. Current Library fine and fee policies are now in effect.*

Healey Library is sponsoring a fine amnesty program until further notice. What does this mean for students?

  • All fines on regular items from Healey Library’s circulating collections (books and DVDs) will be forgiven upon the return of the item(s) to the library!
  • The removal of fines will also result in the removal of any holds from a student’s WISER account.
  • Please note the EXCEPTIONS to this amnesty:
    • Late fines on course reserve items, item recalls, or laptop fines
      The Library’s system of Course Reserves and recalls, as well as its circulating laptop collection, is set up to provide equitable access of Library materials and resources to all of our patrons. Late returns create difficulties for other students, faculty, or staff and so are not eligible for amnesty.  Fines and holds on accounts will continue to be applied to late course reserve items, recalls, or laptops.
    • Late fines and fees on Interlibrary loan (ILL) items
      These fines and fees cannot be waived.

For questions related to library fines and fees, please email Library.Circulation@umb.edu.

Faculty, submit your reserves requests today!

The deadline for submitting library reserves requests for Winter and Spring 2018 is Friday, December 15, 2017!

Why the compressed deadline?  Because UMBrella is coming!  You may have heard that Healey Library is in the process of transitioning to a new library system—one that will culminate in the launch of UMBrella, our new library search and discovery tool, at the end of January 2018.

While we are executing this system migration, our ability to perform reserves processing will be frozen for a short period of time. In order to work around this freeze, please submit your reserves requests for Winter and Spring 2018 by Friday, December 15, 2017. We cannot guarantee that any requests submitted after this date will be available for the start of the Winter and Spring semesters.  This includes requests for the purchase of new materials, transfer requests, and the removal of materials you will no longer be using. Requests received after December 15 will be processed and added to the new system after February 1, 2018.

New purchase requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, and as always, we strongly encourage faculty to utilize open educational resources (OERs), subscription resources available through the Library, and personal or review copies of textbooks to place on reserve.

Personal copies of books and DVDs can be dropped off at Healey Library’s circulation desk on the second floor by completing a short form anytime the library is open. You may also submit requests via our online Reserves Request Form. Email any questions to library.reserves@umb.edu. Find more details on the Reserves Policy Page.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we prepare to explore exciting new library frontiers together! The staff of Healey Library wish you all a smooth and productive close to the semester!

Open Educational Resources (OER) Information Sessions

Open UMB iconAs you know, one of the major expenses students incur in college is on textbooks and other materials for class. To help students cut down on schooling costs, universities and community colleges across the country have embarked on programs to replace textbooks with Open Educational Resources (OER). These are resources that are available at no or little cost to the student.

Studies show that the quality of OER materials is just as high as that of traditional textbooks. Using OER in class has shown to improve test scores, enhance completion rates, improve retention, and most important—make the courses affordable. [Hilton, J. (2016). Open educational resources and college textbook choices: a review of research on efficacy and perceptions. Educational Technology Research & Development]

In addition to adopting OER content, faculty members can build on existing OER content as well as create new content to meet their teaching and pedagogical needs and give back to the open education community.

Continue reading Open Educational Resources (OER) Information Sessions

Assessment in Action: Overview

In Spring 2016, Healey Library and the English department collaborated to design an assessment study focusing on students enrolled in ENGL 102.  Librarians and faculty worked together to develop learning outcomes, instructional materials, and data collection instruments (pre-test, post-test, rubric).  Our learning outcomes were that after research instruction, students would be able to:

  • explain the difference between Googling and academic research
  • apply subject-appropriate vocabulary to brainstorm keywords and find books and articles
  • revise their research questions and search strategies according to what they discover and synthesize across multiple sources of information

In January, English department chair Cheryl Nixon described our study in a meeting with Composition faculty.  Ultimately, we had 10 participating faculty and 24 ENGL 102 sections:

  • 320 students attended research instruction delivered by their professor and/or librarians
  • 281 pre-tests were collected
  • 222 booklets were collected from students that attended research instruction sessions
  • 250 post-tests were collected

There are no results to report yet, as we are just beginning to analyze the data we gathered.  However, I can share some lessons learned:

  • Put together a large team with diverse strengths, and delegate accordingly.
  • Collaborating is time- and labor-intensive, but an extremely fruitful endeavor. Getting buy-in from participating ENGL 102 professors was probably made easier because we worked so closely together.  In fact, we heard from more than one professor that they were impressed with how much reflection was built into the lesson!
  • While your study may change drastically over time, it still helps to have a research design document that is updated as needed.
  • Don’t try to assess too many learning outcomes at once! We only had 3, which still resulted in a lesson plan that packed too many things into too little time and a booklet that the majority of students had difficulty completing in class.
  • If you show students how to email articles to themselves, they will not necessarily want to write down the articles’ bibliographic information.
  • Don’t be afraid to deviate from the original plan to address more immediate needs, if that’s what’s needed.
  • Recruit more participants than you think you’ll need; also, try to recruit participants even if they didn’t initially indicate interest in the study – at worst, you’ll hear “no.”
  • Just remind yourself if you feel like you’re lost, that you’re not making a mess of things and to keep going, and that your hard work and frustration will pay off! Remember, you put together a good team with diverse strengths.  Lean on your team and trust that you’ll learn something useful that you can use to make improvements to your program and/or your teaching.

AiA wordcloud

Word cloud of student responses collected in the post-test when asked “In the database(s) you searched, what features did you find the most helpful/useful?”