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FAQS about the  Library Skill Modules

The library skill modules are designed as a way for students to learn basic research and library skills in an online environment allowing them to work independently and at their own pace.  See the Instructional Support for College Writing page for information on how to get starter using these modules.


What Do the Modules Cover?

The modules cover a broad range of basic skills related to library research and using Kent State's Libraries. We recommend you try the modules yourself, but the following is a brief outline of the content of each module. They are available at

 1. Developing a Search Strategy: Tips and Tricks

  • Identifying an appropriate topic.
  • Identifying key terms.
  • Identifying synonyms for key terms.
  • Using Truncation.
  • Formulating search statements using Boolean connectors.

2. KentLINK Part 1: Searching for Books by Topic

  • Searching KentLINK by Keyword
  • Reviewing Boolean connectors and truncation
  • Identifying and searching by Subjects
  • Limiting searches

3. KentLINK Part 2: Finding Books on the Shelf

  • Identifying call number, status and location of items in KentLINK
  • Using building guide to determine on which floor call numbers are found.
  • Reading Library of Congress call numbers and finding books on the shelf.

4. Research Databases Part 1: Searching for Articles by Topic

  • Accessing and introducing Academic Search Premier (ASP)
  • Searching ASP by keyword
  • Limiting ASP searches
  • Reviewing Boolean connectors and truncation
  • Examining search results

5. Research Databases Part 2: Locating Full Text Journal Articles

  • Accessing html and pdf full text in ASP
  • Using "Find A Copy" to find full text
  • Storing and emailing search results and full text
  • Introducing options for Interlibrary Loan

6. Evaluating Information on the Web

  • Understanding the special challenges of evaluating information on the web
  • Evaluating the appearance of web pages
  • Evaluating the currency of information on the web
  • Evaluating the authorship of web pages
  • Evaluating the accuracy of information on the web

7. Avoiding Plagiarism

  • Defines plagiarism
  • Describes Kent State's policies on plagiarism
  • Discusses the consequences of plagiarism
  • Provides practice at solving plagiarism scenarios

8. MLA Style

  • Covers the latest 7th edition of MLA style
  • Describes the rules for quoting and citing materials
  • Provides formatting rules for papers and works cited pages
  • Provides exercises for practice citing materials

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What if I don't use Vista8 for my classes?

A shell for your course already exists in Vista8. You can use Vista8 just for the library assignment if you wish. You will be able to easily view your gradebook to see that your students completed the assigned quizzes. Your students should be directed to and your course name should appear on their My Blackboard page.



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What if my student tells me they already completed these modules in another class?

If the student has had to complete these quizzes in another class this same semester, contact Ken Burhanna. He can confirm this information and send you confirmation of their successful completion. If they completed the quiz in a previous semester we cannot confirm their successful completion and they will simply need to take the quiz again in your course. Keep in mind that the quizzes are brief and shouldn't require more than five to ten minutes to complete. They do not need to redo the modules unless they find they need to do so as a review in order to pass the quiz.



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Can I add the modules myself?

The recommended list of modules for each course will be automatically added to each Writing program course in a library skill modules folder. If you should wish to add different modules, or add them to a different course you can do so yourself.  Instructions on how to add the quizzes yourself are available here.  Or contact Tammy Voelker to request to have specific modules added



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How Do I Assign These Modules?

  1. Instruct students to complete the assignment by logging into the Vista8 course and going to the Library Modules folder.
  2. Ask them to complete the assigned modules. 
  3. After completing the modules, they then are required to complete the corresponding quiz. Most quizzes correspond to a single modules, but the KentLINK and the Research Database quizzes corresponde to two modules each (KentLINK and Research Databases are separated into two-part modules). 
  4. We recommend that students take the quizzes until they achieve a competency level of at least 8 out of 10. They can take the quizzes as many times as they wish.
  5. We have provided these basic instructions within the modules folder. You can, of course, revise these to meet your needs.

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Why are the modules on plagiarism and MLA Style recommended for both tiers of College Writing?

These modules are worth repeating as this material is relevant to both courses and is useful to frequently review. You may also repeat other skill modules if you find that your students did not have the chance to do them in their previous courses.



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I see a module on MLA Style, but I use APA Style

University Libraries also has a series of 5 modules on APA. These are a rather advanced approach to APA and were developed for upper-level Education courses. You can, however, opt to use these in your course and request that the corresponding APA Style quiz be imported into your class. Contact Ken Burhanna or Tammy Voelker for more information.



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If I have all the modules added to my course, do I need to assign them all.

No. What you assign is up to you and is based on your assessment of the needs of your students and the research requirements of your course.  University Libraries has developed this suite of recommended modules to cover a wide range of basic research skills to help students succeed.



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How do I view my Vista8 grade book?

1.  You login into Vista8 at
2.  Click on your course name on your My Blackboard page.
3.  Once inside youre course, click the Teach tab.
4.  The link to your Grade Book will located on the lower left under Instructor Tools.
5.  You should see a page listing all student names and their quiz scores will appear in a column to the right.





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