Instructional Services

Teaching crucial information and digital skills in and beyond the classroom

Concordia Library's Instructional Services contribute to the Library's overarching vision by empowering members of the Concordia community to interact with and think critically about information and digital landscapes.

Instruction takes place in co-curricular settings and course-integrated contexts with focused disciplinary perspectives.

Our teaching librarians and professionals bring continuously evolving expertise in academic research skills and digital shifts in society, employing a critical lens to make power and privilege visible. They are equally adept at facilitating in-person and online learning.

Instructional Services learning outcomes

Through engagement with library-led learning opportunities, students should be able to:

1. Value diverse ways of knowing

Respect others by considering the value and limitations of all forms of knowledge.

2. Critically reflect

Reflect on the scope of their own knowledge and investigate perspectives that can broaden that scope.

3. Strategically explore

Search for new and diverse knowledge in inclusive and ethical ways.

4. Identify and evaluate sources and tools

Critically evaluate tools and sources of knowledge before using them.

5. Cultivate digital mindsets

Mobilize digital technology for personal and professional empowerment.

The overarching learning outcomes are modified from Western Libraries' Library Curriculum, used under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.

Instruction areas

We teach the following topics:

Broad information literacy

  • Foundational academic research skills
  • AI literacy
  • Identifying bias and exclusion of voices in search tools and information sources
  • Creation and dissemination of information
  • Information search tools
  • Source evaluation and fact-checking
  • Data literacy

“Learn by doing” workshops

  • Virtual Reality
  • 3D printing and scanning
  • Electronics (e.g., Raspberry Pi, Arduino)
  • Fibre arts
  • AI tools for research and learning
  • Citation management software

Research skills for graduate students

  • Information organization and citation management
  • Graduate-level strategies and tools for information search, such as systematic review techniques, disciplinary tools, AI tools, and bibliometrics
  • Scholarly publishing
  • Data at the graduate level, including research data management, data visualization, data discovery, foundational data manipulation concepts, and data ethics

See more details in Learning Outcomes and Offerings.

Guiding documents

Guiding documents developed collaboratively by Concordia Library's Instructional Services Committee, with essential input from our peers and colleagues.

Support for faculty and instructors

Supporting your students' learning

Concordia University's subject and teaching librarians are ready to work with you to support students in their discovery, strategic searching, critical evaluation, and use of information relevant to their academic disciplines, research questions, professional trajectories, and beyond.

Workshops, activities, and assignments for your courses

Subject librarians develop workshops, online learning activities, and assignments tailored to the needs of individual Concordia faculty and their courses.

For example, workshops can include hands-on instruction in the use of search tools in a specific discipline or discussions of the critical evaluation of information sources. Assignments or activities can include exercises or tasks that reinforce concepts covered in workshops or that enrich research or critical inquiry skills being taught in the course overall.

The Library has also developed a guide to scholarship on teaching and learning to support the university's teaching librarians, faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants who are undertaking research in the context of their teaching practice.

Materials to incorporate in your teaching

From core research skills to digital capabilities, Concordia Library provides a range of self-learning modules and guides for critically navigating the information landscape. As instructors, you can integrate them in your courses, or work with a subject librarian to customize resources and workshops for students. Ideas for use in your courses are included in the “how to use” pages of the resources.

Library Research Skills Tutorial

The Library Research Skills Tutorial walks students through core research skills. It has modules on choosing a research topic, searching for information, finding books and articles, reading and note taking, and citing.

Critical Toolkit for Navigating Information

The Critical Toolkit for Navigating Information is a collection of units on the most important aspects of learning, researching, and writing in our current and near-future information environment, including misinformation, inclusive citation, bias in information sources, and how to select a search tool. Each topic is accompanied by interactive quizzes and tutorials.

How-to videos

The Library has prepared videos that demonstrate search tools and introduce key concepts for students who are looking for information sources. Recommended videos on the Library's YouTube channel include:

Quick Things for Digital Knowledge

Quick Things for Digital Knowledge is a learning resource from the Library about emerging topics in our current data-rich and technology-driven world. It aims to promote critical thinking about complex topics that affect everyone, such as generative AI (like ChatGPT), Web 3.0 and the metaverse, data visualization, and security and privacy.

Subject and course guides

There is a subject guide for each field of study at Concordia and many course-specific guides as well. Links to these guides can also be found in the Library Resources Moodle Block. These subject and course guides introduce key information resources in each discipline and contain contact information for subject librarians.

Library how-to guides

Top library how-to guides include:

Citation guides for all popular styles including APA, MLA, Chicago, SBL and IEEE. See all citation guides.

See all general guides for finding, evaluating, writing and using library resources.

Contact us

To arrange for a workshop or activity, or to discuss other possible collaborations, contact your subject librarian, the librarian or professional who specializes in the area relevant to you, or the Instructional Services Coordinator.

We are very open to collaboration for the benefit of your students and welcome conversations around your requirements. It is helpful if you include teaching materials such as your syllabus and major assignments in your communications, as these are likely to indicate the information needs and expectations that you have of your students.

Note that a minimum of two weeks before the delivery of a workshop or activity may be required in order to tailor the offering to your students' needs.

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