Library Research Courses for the 21st Century


Navigating an increasingly evolving and expanding landscape of information requires new skills and knowledge that our credit-bearing courses in library research skills can provide. These courses help both graduate and undergraduate students establish foundational skills that will last you throughout your entire academic career and beyond, making you more valuable both in academia and the workplace. Students can utilize these skills no matter which career they pursue, be it in medicine, engineering, administration, education, or any other field of interest.

In 2009, the Eugene McDermott Library’s Information Literacy and Instruction librarians partnered with the School of Interdisciplinary Studies to create and teach three online courses. Though the courses are in IS, any student is welcome to enroll by seeking permission from the Instruction librarians.

BIS 2190, Library Research Skills, is a one-hour online course. Students in this class learn to develop the skills to identify information needed for their research, find, and evaluate scholarly versus trade resources, and organize information for a paper or other project. The course also touches on the topics of plagiarism, copyright, and citation management. A sophomore who had taken this course said, “I wish I had known about the library course in my freshman year.”

The second course to be created is MAIS 5321, Library Research Skills, a 3-hour online class that specifically targets the research needs of graduate students. The goal of the course is to help grad students formulate a search strategy for finding resources appropriate to their thesis or dissertation project. The readings and assignments aim to help students identify their information needs. Students will learn to evaluate the credibility, authenticity, and timeliness of the resources. More importantly, students will learn to create and maintain their reference list for their upcoming thesis or dissertation.

The third course, HLTH 4380 Special Topics in Healthcare, is a required elective for students taking the Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Studies. The course introduces students to an examination of journals, research resources and clinical decision-making relevant to current issues in healthcare. After completing HLTH 4380 a student told the librarian teaching that “As a future health provider, these resources that we learn are extremely crucial in our career.”

Page Last Updated: November 5, 2020