Online Tutorials

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Success Stories

Links to Great Online Tutorials

  • University of Calgary
  • Atlantic Community College
  • Central Michigan University
  • ANTS: ANimated Tutorial Sharing project by COPPULThis project was designed to enable librarians to share in the development of point-of-need animated tutorials for a multitude of e-products. The project makes use of new Collaborative Information Technology (CIT) via an Open Source Institutional Repository (DSpace), a Wiki, RSS Feeds and Web Pages. This enables participants to (1) identify tutorials for development and (2) keep others up to date on their work. Initially only COPPUL librarians could add content to the Repository; but as of October 2006, any librarian can add content as well as download open source tutorials. It should also be noted that as its list of e-resources for tutorial development is on a Wiki, the list is considered to be a starting point for development. Anyone can add new e-products to the list of tutorials for development. Similarly, other types of library tutorials are welcome. One need only indicate that it exsists on the wiki and ensure that the source code for the tutorial is uploaded into DSpace.
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Minnesota

Tips for Developing Online Tutorials & Other Tricks

  1. Resources: Consider what type of software best meets the needs of your library and your tutorial.
  2. Budget: Determine your budget for software and staffing for the project. Often an online tutorial project can be funded with grant money from a parent institution.
  3. Technical Support: Secure some form of ongoing technical support for your tutorials. Tech support can come from your library systems department or a campus Information Technology department.
  4. Planning: Many people find "storyboarding" and graphic outlines to be useful tools for planning tutorials.
  5. Content: Carefully consider your audience when designing tutorials. Tailor tutorials to meet the needs of your audience. Tutorials can be course-related or stand alone. The objectives of the tutorial should be clearly stated for users. The most effective online tutorials allow for interaction and "active learning." Graphics add to the learning experience, but studies have found that adding sound to a tutorial doesn't work. Be sure and provide contact information for librarians who can help tutorial users with the tasks covered in the tutorial. Many tutorials contain email links.
  6. Currency: Keep tutorials current. Update as information and resources change and evolve.
  7. Feedback: Have a novice user review your tutorial to ensure ease of use and to ensure all tasks/steps are clearly defined in the tutorial.

Software We Like




Web-based (Platform Independent)

Blogs/Websites to Watch

  • Distant Librarian
  • Jon Udell's Weblog
  • CORIL A small but growing Canadian repository of online learning objects sponsored by the Ontario Council of University Libraries
  • PRIMO A database of links to "peer-reviewed instructional materials created by librarians to teach people about discovering, accessing and evaluating information in networked environments". Produced by the Instruction Section of the ALA/ACRL.
  • Library Instruction Wiki - Sharing resources section
  • Rich Hoeg's eContent Blog - knowledge management from the corporate perspective
  • LibCasting

Specific Blog Posts/Articles to Check Out