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University at Buffalo Libraries

Health Sciences Library
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Course-Related Instruction


Request a course-related instruction session

Faculty in the health sciences schools may arrange for a librarian at the Health Sciences Library to provide course related instruction. We can assist in many different ways:

  • Welcome new students to the HSL and orient them to our services and policies
  • Introduce information resources specific to the student's area of study, such as MEDLINE, CINAHL, Web of Science, and the Libraries' Catalog, with several levels of instruction, from basic to advanced to power searching
  • Teach the skills needed to not only search the Internet effectively, but also to evaluate information found online
  • Integrate evidence-based health care resources into your curriculum
  • Instruct on using citation management software, such as EndNote
  • Lead the users to the electronic journals and explore their advanced features
  • Inform your students about the role that publishing will play in their academic careers, with specific attention to peer reviewed journals, selecting appropriate journals for submission of articles, locating instructions for authors, and using style guides appropriately

Interested faculty should contact:

Deborah McConnell Chiarella
Coordinator of Education Services
(716) 829-5753

Tips for Teaching Faculty: Preparing HSL Research Assignments

Teaching faculty recognize, especially in this information-driven age, the necessity of getting their students thoroughly immersed in the library and its resources. The faculty of the health sciences schools are especially keen on giving their students library-specific assignments that require the use of MEDLINE, CINAHL, and other major bibliographic databases. When these assignments are done well, students often come away with a greater confidence and assurance in using library and Internet resources. Unfortunately, library assignments that are poorly designed or out of date often have the opposite effect, leaving students confused and frustrated and often unclear as to the purpose of the assignment.

The Health Sciences Library encourages faculty to consult with us when developing or updating these assignments, to make their educational objectives clear and achievable, and to minimize students' frustrations. For assistance in these matters, we often rely on the HSL faculty liaison for your school or department to provide instruction in library resources, although we often employ a team-teaching approach in the classroom.

When developing a library assignment for your students, you may wish to consider the following:

Names of resources should be specific and up to date. As an example, if you ask them to search MEDLINE, do you mean Ovid MEDLINE through HUBNET, or PubMed from the National Library of Medicine? Do you want them to search all years of the database, or just the last five? Any assignment involving computer systems and databases should have very detailed instructions and be checked for accuracy each semester.
Be realistic about what the students will be able to find. Perform all searches yourself before assigning the work.

If you will require all the students to find the same book or journal article, you should arrange for those items to be placed on reserve. Submit a Course Reserve Form to the HSL Circulation Desk (829-5682) at least two weeks before the beginning of the semester.

Be sure that the HSL reference librarians have a copy of your assignment, too, and that they are familiar with its contents and requirements. (Fax 829-2211 Attn: Reference)

Online quizzes may be developed for UBLearns with the aid of HSL librarians and can be designed to custom-fit the instruction and course materials.
Good library assignments are accurate and clearly understandable to both the students and the library staff that will assist them. These assignments should require critical thinking and analysis, but also be flexible enough to provide students an opportunity to explore their own specific interests, or modify their topics based on available resources.

If you have any questions about course-related library assignments or instruction, don't hesitate to call Deborah McConnell Chiarella
Coordinator of Education Services at (716) 829-5753. We're eager to work with you and your students.