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Library Tutorials keep CUA students SHARP

Early in the spring of 2009 a group of GLPs and librarians gathered to discuss the existing set of online tutorials which had launched the previous fall. Our objective was to expand the Camtasia tutorials Adam Day and Maria Koshute had created, while simultaneously creating a series of new tutorials that students could complete prior to library instruction sessions and that could also be used on a day-to-day basis. During our initial meeting, we reviewed the work of other institutions and decided to keep the existing elements of the tutorial. In addition, we enthusiastically agreed to change the appearance by adding audio and closed captioning, and developing a distinct CUA brand. In May, the group reconvened to vote on a suitable acronym that would reflect the entire series of tutorials. The winning acronym was SHARP (Students Harnessing Academic Research Power.) On a side note, we later discovered a pleasant coincidence. Our title also paid tribute to the pioneering librarian, Katherine L. Sharp, who made significant contributions to the library profession, particularly at the academic level. Once the title was settled upon we then began the summer long process of creating SHARP.

With the input of circulation staff and other individuals, an audio script was finalized. Shannon McMahon and Miranda Rodriguez then began creating the various components of the tutorial (e.g., recording and tweaking audio, creating flash videos, finding appropriate images, and refining the associated tutorial questions.) With useful feedback from the English department, we continued to tweak the project until the beginning of fall semester.

In an effort to encourage student accountability, we developed a series of nine questions that corresponded to the modules within the tutorial. For consistency, each section begins with a question and ends by encouraging students to answer the question for that segment. Students enrolled in ENG 101/105 can access the tutorial and corresponding assignment through the 'Library Component' tab in their Blackboard course page. In August, a beta version of SHARP was demoed to the English faculty and in September, the tutorial went live on the library homepage.

We continue to solicit feedback about the tutorial (both through evaluations and focus groups). Your comments and suggestions are welcomed and can be sent to .

Special thanks to Landyn Minter for contributing his voice to the project and to Jonathan Smith for his patience in posting various versions to the library home page. We also appreciate the assistance of CPIT in creating a Library Component tab within Blackboard.

~ Miranda Rodriguez, Instruction Librarian

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