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Transformative Website Style Guide: LMS

This guide offers practical advice on creating a transformative library website.

The Library and the LMS

The learning management system (LMS) is a common place for academic work and learning to take place.  This page will describe various ways the library can make use of access to the LMS.  Leveraging access to the LMS can be effective for both online and in-person courses depending on the level of faculty LMS. Having a plan for library representation and service delivery via the LMS will enable a flexible and adaptive approach to evolving needs.
  • Generally libraries are represented in the LMS through the presence of a widget or landing page.  This page can be a single presence default for all courses or can be course specific and tailored. 
  • Librarians will need to have the appropriate LMS roles and privileges in order to create a presence in the LMS.   This will likely be provided through the campus LMS administrator.  Faculty coordination will need to occur when embedding directly in courses as a co-instructor role.
  • Note: “Regardless of how the library is integrated into the LMS, the likelihood of students using the library depends significantly on whether or not the course instructor promotes library use. In a study of students at Ohio State University, librarians found that, in many cases, the library guides that got high usage in the LMS were recommended by the instructor (Murphy and Black 2013).”

Library Service Representation in the LMS

The following are a few examples of library services which can exist in the campus LMS:
  • General Integration into the LMS
    • A library widget or page within the LMS would offer similar functionality as a web page but is typically focused to the most essential information such as:
  • LibGuides
  • Embedded Instruction Modules
    • Embedding instructional modules in the LMS reduces the limitations of time and number of topics which can be addressed.  Students are able to access materials at the point of need and from any location.  The creation of quality modules is time consuming to address multiple learning styles and would likely not be implemented at one time.  Modules offer the possibility of additional tailoring to the specific course or project and could leverage the functions of the LMS such as quizzes, integrated video, and grading.
  • Embedded Librarians
    • A library presence can be added to a course by adding a librarian to a course, such as a co-instructor or TA role.  The librarian can interact with students directly and attend to reference questions through opportunities such as office hours or forum posts.  This level of support can occur in very close alignment to course assignments and projects.  There is a more substantial time investment in this approach.