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Hostos Using Blackboard for Information Literacy Workshops

This semester, for the first time, the library began offering online versions of our information literacy workshops through Blackboard. “Keys to Database Searching” was offered four times and “Finding Articles” class was given twice during the Fall semester. On weekdays, the workshops were open 7 a.m. to 8:45pm while a Saturday work-shop was offered from 8 am to 3 pm. Instead of having to sign up for an information literacy workshop and struggle to fit the workshop into their busy schedules, the online format now freed Hostos students from the inconvenience of traveling to a class. They could now log into the workshop at any time throughout the day, completing tasks at their convenience. On their end, librarian instructors logged in throughout the day to respond to discussion board posts and student questions. Busy Hostos students who attended the online workshops were able to learn information literacy and research skills from anywhere.
All workshops were fully registered although not all registered students completed the workshops. Student comments were uniformly enthusiastic: “I thought the online workshop was GREAT! I got to do it at home by myself and really concentrate and focus on what I was learning. And I really liked how the Librarian answered all of my questions pretty fast. I wish there were more FULLY online workshops!” One student commented that this work-shop was her first introduction to Blackboard.
Librarian instructors benefited from the experience of teaching online. We are able to assess student learning in ways that are not possible in a short, single session workshop. We also connected with individual students, responding to their specific concerns through email in the context of an organized lesson. We hope that these individual connections will encourage students to come back and use the library for future research. Although we are still experimenting with format and process, look for more online workshops during spring semester.
—Prof. Kate Lyons


  1. Wow, great idea, Kate! Like Kathleen, I’d love to hear more details. We have a couple of online-only sections of English 1 that we have tried a couple of different ways of accommodating for the past couple of semesters, and I’m curious to see how what we’re doing compares to what you’re doing.

  2. This sounds really interesting. I’d love to be able to see a demo or learn more about the logistics. Any way you can share the process visually, etc. with LACUNY? Congrats on a great idea!

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