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GE Area A Library Instruction

This guide contains information about requesting library research workshops for GE Area A1/A2/A3 courses.

Foundational Experiences Program

Thank you for your interest in library instruction for your GE A1/A2/A3 course! Foundational Experiences is the Robert E. Kennedy Library's foundational information and multi-literacies and library instruction program. Our model embraces a peer-to-peer learning environment, so workshops are mostly led by trained undergraduate peer instructors, or LibRATs as well call them (short for Library Research Assistant Technicians). 

Request a Workshop

For Fall Quarter 2024, please submit requests by Friday, October 11. To submit a request, fill out the request form

We kindly ask that you provide us with at least two weeks’ notice before your desired date for instruction to ensure the smooth scheduling and coordination of these sessions. You'll receive a confirmation e-mail within one week with the location and pre-workshop assignment information. If you do not receive an e-mail within one week or have any questions, please feel free to contact Mercedes Rutherford-Patten: meruther@calpoly.edu.

Workshop Offerings

Online, Synchronous Research Workshop offered via Zoom (50-minutes)

Required Pre-Workshop Homework: Library Research 101 Tutorial & Notebook

In this active learning session led by LibRAT peer instructors and/or the Foundational Learning and Engagement Librarian, students learn about Kennedy Library’s resources and services and ways to get research help, and participate in activities where they practice searching strategically in the library's catalog and databases and evaluate the credibility and quality of information sources. You can view the Research Workshop presentation slides. As a part of our flipped classroom model, we kindly ask that students complete the Library Research 101 Tutorial & Notebook homework before attending their workshop. Learn about the tutorial here.

In-Person, Synchronous Introduction to Data Visualization Workshop (50-minutes)

Required Pre-Workshop Homework: Finding Data Tutorial and Notebook

In this workshop led by Digital Projects Lab Student Assistants and/or the library's Data & GIS Specialist, students will learn how to find and analyze data sets appropriate for their topic and use tools to turn data into compelling visuals. The Intro to Data Visualization Workshop presentation slides and Finding Data Tutorial and Notebook are available here.

Do you teach an asynchronous course?

We offer self-guided library research tutorials for asynchronous courses. View our list of tutorials

Embed Your Librarian in Canvas!

The Foundational Learning and Engagement Librarian and LibRAT Peer Instructors are eager to connect with students in your Canvas Courses. In previous courses, we've provided Q&A opportunities via discussion boards, but we're open to trying new ways to support students as they work on their research. This embedded partnership also allows the librarian to collect student feedback from the Research 101 Tutorial Notebook activity and make improvements. If you'd like to embed your librarian, Mercedes Rutherford-Patten, into your Canvas course, follow these directions. My e-mail is meruther@calpoly.edu. Feel free to reach out with questions or suggestions!

Self-Guided Library Tutorials

We offer a variety of self-guided research tutorials. Students can access the following tutorials by enrolling in the Kennedy Library Canvas course. For instructors, if you’d like to add these modules to your Canvas course, search for the tutorial title in Canvas Commons (except for the Library Orientation and Finding Data Tutorials; use the external links provided).

Learn about top Kennedy Library Resources and Services in this 20-minute Kennedy Library Orientation Tutorial

In the Research 101 Tutorial, you'll learn a variety of foundational information literacy skills that will help you get started with college-level library research. This module is separated into three lessons with knowledge checks embedded. There are also three optional lessons: Research Ethics, Evaluate Sources, and Primary Sources and Archives. 

  • Lesson 1: Begin Research - students learn how to develop a focused topic and appropriate research question, create a search term strategy on their topic, and collect information to help them refine their topic. 
  • Lesson 2: Understand Information Sources - students learn how to identify various types of information sources, distinguish between scholarly and popular sources, explain the peer review process, and define and identify primary, secondary, and tertiary sources.
  • Lesson 3: Find Sources - students learn how to locate materials such as articles, books, and eBooks effectively using the Kennedy Library's OneSearch catalog and databases and how to find information sources using precision searching techniques like Boolean Operators and truncation.

After you finish the module, you can complete a Research Notebook guided worksheet where you'll practice developing your research topic, a keyword strategy, and conducting effective searches in OneSearch and library databases. 

For Students - If the module is not available through one of your courses, you can access it by self-enrolling in our Library Canvas Course. The module is titled Research 101 Tutorial.

For Instructors - You can import the tutorial to your course by going to the Canvas Commons and searching for the title of the module "Research 101 Tutorial". You may need to filter by “shared with California Polytechnic State University” when searching by tutorial title. View this how-to video for importing the module from Canvas Commons. If you have issues, please contact Mercedes (meruther@calpoly.edu).

In the Finding Data Tutorial, you'll learn search strategies for finding data and visualizations. This tutorial takes approximately 30 minutes and includes knowledge check questions to check for understanding of the content. You can practice finding data and visualizations on your topic by completing the guided worksheet Finding Data Research Notebook.

Need more help? Visit the Introduction to Data Visualization research guide or book an appointment with a peer instructor to get help with your project.

In the Finding, Using & Citing Images tutorial, you'll learn how to find the best images for your topic, analyze images for effectiveness and credibility, and learn MLA and attribution citation styles for images. This tutorial takes approximately 30 minutes and includes knowledge check questions to check for understanding of the content.

For Students - If the module is not available through one of your courses, you can access it by self-enrolling in our Library Canvas Course. The module is titled Finding, Using & Citing Images Tutorial. There is an optional Finding, Using & Citing Images Activity to complete after the tutorial. This short exercise will take you through the steps of finding, using and citing the best images to use in your paper.

For Instructors - You can import the tutorial to your course by going to the Canvas Commons and searching for the title of the module "Finding, Using & Citing Images". You may need to filter by “shared with California Polytechnic State University” when searching by tutorial title. View this how-to video for importing the module from Canvas Commons. You have the option to have students complete the tutorial as a graded assignment, an ungraded assignment, or a page. If you have issues, please contact Mercedes (meruther@calpoly.edu).

Learn how to use the MRI Simmons database which provides information on demographics, lifestyles, product and brand usage, and advertising media preferences of consumers.

For StudentsSelf-enroll in our Library Canvas Course to access the module

For Instructors - Go to the Canvas Commons and search for the title of the module "MRI Simmons". You may need to filter by “shared with California Polytechnic State University” when searching by tutorial title. View this how-to video for importing the module from Canvas Commons.