Prep for Your Courses Using Library Resources!

By Emily Reed, Instruction and Reference Librarian; Adjunct Faculty

Whether you are building a course from scratch or using a preexisting course shell, supplying your students with supportive learning materials will enhance your students’ academic success. There are many ways that adding specific articles and/or videos to your course content can help engage your students and learn more effectively. Articles, ebooks, and/or educational videos:

  • Make for good discussion board questions
  • Encourage students to read higher quality materials than they may be currently comfortable with
  • Get students used to the interacting with a large research database
  • Instill the value of using the library’s online resources for research
  • Provide a variety of content delivery modes

Did you know that it’s never been easier to link to journal articles, ebooks, and digital films provided by our Charles “T.” Jones Leadership Library to your course in Blackboard? You can access all of the following resources at this link. (If you are using this link off campus, you will be prompted to enter your Blackboard username and password to authenticate your account.)

Linking to Journal Articles in EBSCO and Gale

EBSCOhost and Gale (two of the library’s online resources) have millions of journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. You can quickly find articles to share with your students by selecting the “full text” button on the advanced search screen and conducting a search. If you want your students to read a scholarly article, you can also limit your search to include only peer reviewed articles. Once you’ve found the article that perfectly supplements your content for the week, you can share it with your students by copying the “permalink” (for EBSCO) or “bookmark” (for Gale) URL. Under the “Build Content” button in Blackboard, you can either create an “Item” then insert the hyperlink in the text editor or you can create a “Web Link” and insert the URL in the URL field.

Permalink in EBSCOhost:

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Finding the Bookmark Icon in Gale:

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Copying the Gale Bookmark URL:

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Quick tip: Try searching by “Subject” instead of “Keyword”. Each article is tagged with several subject terms. Subjects are specific terms that the databases pull from a thesaurus that indicate the major topics addressed in each article.

Linking to Ebooks in Ebrary (Soon to be Called “Ebook Central”)

Ebrary (which is undergoing a name change over break, but will still operate the same way), contains the majority of the library’s digital book collection. Once you have found the title you would like to link to, you can either link to the cover page of the book, or a specific page in the book. To copy the link to the title page of the book, click “Share Link to Book” underneath the image of the book’s cover.

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To link to a specific page in the ebook, click the “Share Link” icon in the top menu.

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If you want to provide access to several ebooks for your students, then you can create a Bookshelf in ebrary, sort your ebooks into folders, then share the link to one of your folders with your students.

Once you’ve accessed the folder in your bookshelf, click “Share this folder.”

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Then, click once in the box that appears to select the entire URL to copy.

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Linking or Embedding Films On Demand

Films On Demand provides access to thousands of educational and award-winning videos. These videos can either be shared on Blackboard as a link (by creating either an “Item” or “Web Link”) to the entire video, or beginning with a specific segment, or it can be embedded directly into your course. Once you have selected the video (or video segment) that you would like to link to, click “Highlight” underneath the Record URL to select the entire URL, then copy it.

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To embed the code for a video, first click the “Share” tab beneath the video, then select “Embed Code.” Finally, click “Highlight” found underneath the embed code to select the entire embed code to copy.

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In Blackboard, you can embed the code by creating an “Item,” clicking the “HTML” button, pasting the code into the pop up box, then click “Update.” Finally, click “Submit” in Blackboard. Your video should appear on the page.

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You can also create a playlist of videos to share with your students. To do this, you will need to sign up for an account (don’t worry, it’s free!). Once you’ve added videos to a playlist and you’re ready to share the playlist with your students, from the “My Playlists” page, first click “Share,” then click “Highlight” beneath the URL to select the entire URL to copy. (Note: you cannot embed a playlist, you can only share a link to a playlist.)

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Another cool feature specific to Films On Demand is the ability to record your own intro video for a playlist! How can you do this? First, record your intro video using a tool like Screencast-O-Matic or using the One Button Studio, then save the video file. There are a few limitations: you can only have one intro video per playlist, it must be a max of 100 MB in size (usually about three minutes in length or less), and the file must be one of the following formats: MP4, FLV, WMV, or MOV.

To add your intro video, select “Edit Playlist,” then select the “Intro” tab in the right side menu. Next, upload your video file. Then give your intro video a title and description. Finally, click “Save Changes” at the top. Your intro video will automatically be placed at the beginning of your playlist.

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Not Sure What Resource to Use?

Business Insights Global: Business and industry information including company profiles, financial data, market share reports, and much more.

Credo Reference: A great place to start research with information organized into topic pages which include encyclopedia and dictionary entries, images, and links to other online resources.

Ebrary/Ebook Central: 100,000+ full-text, academic digital books

EBSCO and Gale Databases: Journal, magazine, and newspaper articles

Ejournal access to: Emerald’s HR, Learning & Organization Studies collection, Leadership Quarterly, & the Chronicle of Higher Education

Films on Demand: Streaming videos

Medcom Trainex: Award winning videos for online health care education. Contact the library for login information.

Opposing Viewpoints: Viewpoint essays on controversial issues, podcasts, video, news articles, and more

Proquest Dissertation & Theses: the world’s most comprehensive collection of dissertations & theses

Westlaw Next: Legal documents, law journals and reviews

If you have any questions about how to link to a resource or embed a video, (or really, anything else research related), contact me at emilyreed@centralpenn.edu or x2415, or contact the library at library@centralpenn.edu or x2500.

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