What Distance Education Instructors Need to Know About Library Services


1.  Remember to Place Items on Reserves Ahead of Time

If you want copies of textbooks and other course materials from the class available at the Library, the instructor needs to place the items on Reserves.  Come to the Library with the materials, fill out your request, and we will have the materials available in our Reserves section.  At the moment, Chabot College Library is unable to support electronic reserves and current court rulings have not supported fair use when putting copyrighted materials on Blackboard.

Back to the top

2.  Link to the Library Web Page

Please link to the Library web page and direct students to look at our pages instead of Blackboard’s “External Web Resources.”  The Library provides access to premium subscription databases that contain magazine, journal, and newspaper articles online (most in full text).  In addition, pages such as the Library Subject Guides and the Online Reference Shelf pages contain links to sites selected by librarians.  The databases and selected sites are especially suitable for community college students, especially here at Chabot.  Pages also include tutorials and instructional handouts that can especially be useful.

Back to the top

3.  Be Sure to Let Students Know How They Can Get Into Our Databases

All of our library subscription databases are available off campus and are accessible via student's W ID and a password consisting of the first two letters of their first name, first two letters of their last name, and the last four digits of their W ID number.  We have a link that describes this process to them and it's posted on the Library home page: http://www.chabotcollege.edu/library/howdoi.asp#offcampusThere are alternative methods to get into the EbscoHost, ProQuest, Gale and Infobase databases that the Library cannot place on a publicly accessible web page, but the librarians can give to the distance ed instructor to post on their blackboard sites. 

Back to the top

4.  When Linking to a Library Page or a Database, Please Have the Link Open a New Window

We have found students confused when it comes to figuring out where they are if the page they are looking at is in the Blackboard frame.  When students try to print on campus, they have trouble finding their print jobs because the GoPrint reader traces the print job back to the Blackboard server instead of the computer the student uses at the Library.  Sometimes, databases will not work through the Blackboard shell as well so when linking to the Library or to a database such as EbscoHost, please have the link open up a new window. 

Back to the top

5.  When Your Course Has a Research Paper, Please Be Sure to Mention the Library Web Site and Library Subscription Databases 

Instructors who are not as familiar with the Library's collection should also meet with a librarian.  The librarian can inform the instructor if there may be potential challenges for the student, depending on the assignment.  The librarian can work with you to reassure students' success in research.

Back to the top

6.  When Students are Using the Public World Wide Web

With the exception of web sites instructors (or the text book) select for students, if students are researching the public World Wide Web, the course should include at least some type of discussion on the importance of evaluating the information students find on the World Wide Web.  If instructors mean that students should search the library subscription databases, they should explain to students what they are and to distinguish the difference between the two types of resources.    The Library also provides a custom Google search engine that leads mainly to sites suitable for research called Public WWW Sites Selected by Librarians.

Back to the top

7.   The Computer Lab at the Library and Assistance

The computer lab is staffed by students.   Instructional assistance in the Library's lab is limited.  Please do not assume students will get instruction to unique software products or very unique functions that need to be performed in Microsoft products. Please also be aware if you are having students using specialized software programs that they may need to go to the Lab related to your Department.  The Library is unable to contain all software products that classes may use.  Any textbook's CD-ROM that has an executable or similar type of program CANNOT be used in the Student Computer Lab.

The Library also has devices for checkout such as laptops, Macbooks, iPads, camcorders, pocket projectors for checkout.  Most are available for a four hour checkout, but the Library is about to start a pilot project of checking out for three days on some of these items.

Back to the top

Other Useful Resources

Library Staff
The directory listing of our full-time librarians, part-time librarians and our library technicians, ready to assist you for yours or your class's information needs. 

Contact Information
Includes phone numbers, a chat box, and E-Mail for questions.  Answers by Email sometimes take more than a day, so encourage your students to call or chat when the Library is open.

The Library's Mobile Page
The Library has a user friendly mobile presence with buttons for lead-ins to common web pages students are seeking.  Eventually, a student is led to a full web page.  The Library's subject guides also have mobile versions.

Getting Started
Some key starting points students can go to if they are just beginning their research

Developing a Research Strategy For Your Topic
Wonderful handout for students who are beginning their research

Library Subscription Databases
The Library has funds through the college to provide premium, quality resources online, retrievable through a Web browser!  With a subscription of currently 51 databases that contain full-text articles from over 32,000 magazines, journals, newspapers, and over 80,000 ebooks including many reference encyclopedias, the College has a whole Library of materials waiting to be retrieved online.  The Library also subscribes to Films on Demand that lead to many documentaries and other educational films.

Chabot College Library Subject Guides (via the Libguides Platform)
Go to this page to find the databases, reference books, and quality web sites that best suits yours and your classes' needs!  An alphabetical list organized by disciplines and by types of materials sought, this index is your gateway to finding the best resources from the Library, its databases, and selected web sites.  It also includes specific course guides that address specific assignments that are presented at library orientations.  If you are interested in having a course guide to address how to find sources for your particular assignment, contact a librarian.  The librarian will talk to you and can provide a guide for your online course, given a reasonable time frame.

Devices to Check Out
For some of the library assignments, we prepare handouts on how to use databases and search the catalog, as well as provide leads to quality web sites for particular assignments.  We also create Research Guides that give tips on searching the Library catalog and databases, as well as links to web sites to various subject disciplines and particular current events topics.

The Online World: How Well Do Students Understand It?
How well do students understand the World Wide Web and what they find from Web sites found from a search engine?  Do they even begin to understand what "book" each page they find is even coming from?  Read how some students are approaching the Web and get guidelines and how you could approach student research assignments when it comes to them to searching the Web.  For more tips, consider using the Web Evaluation Checklist, listed below.

Web Evaluation Checklist
As students continue to use the Web for research, wouldn't it be nice if students could recognize whether the materials they found is even good or of substantive quality?  Have your students fill out the Web Evaluation checklist for the sites they find!  For more information on web page evaluation, take a look at Evaluating Web Sites

MLA Style Handout
The Library provides a "Works Cited" handout for students in preparation of a Works Cited list, based on the MLA format, 7th Edition. 

APA Style Handout
The Library also provides an APA Style Handout, based on the 6th Edition.  If you prefer your students do not cite database articles based on DOI number (more than 50% of articles do NOT have DOI numbers), tell your students to cite based on the fourth citation example on page 3 (minus citing the accession number).  That was how APA stated how to cite articles based on the 5th Edition.

Noodle Tools
The Library also subscribes to Noodle Tools, the preferred citation generator of most colleges and universities.  Students create a privacy protected account and through the software, they will be directed step by step citing sources correctly while also providing an online platforms to take notes on virtual notecards, drafting annotated bibliographies, and even drafts of the research paper itself. 

New Faculty Learning Community: Library Instruction Bibliography
Presented by Carol Baumann, Norman Buchwald, and Diana Immisch at the New Faculty Learning Community Workshop annually, this is a bibliography of resources on guidelines for effective library assignments, articles on students' research processes and information seeking behaviors, and articles and sites to effective faculty/librarian collaborations and information competency programs. 

Back to the top