Teaching & Learning Team Online Instruction Policies

Library instructors can teach in both synchronous and asynchronous learning environments. Depending on your students’ learning needs, online instruction may require more preparatory work than face-to-face instruction, so please submit your online instruction requests as early as possible.  

What if I Request Synchronous Instruction

Once you have submitted your synchronous instruction request and a library instructor has reached out to you, they will need the following, depending on the web conferencing tool:  

  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra: add library instructor as a course builder. This will allow the instructor to add content to your course such as slides and handouts (if requested) and present to your students. Library instructors will not be able to see student grades as course builders. Instructions for manually adding users may be found on the ITS Knowledge Base website.    

  • Zoom: Email the Zoom meeting link as soon as possible. In order to share their screen, send private chat messages, and use other functions in Zoom, the library instructor will need host access to the meeting. Add the library instructor as an alternative host in advance or make the library instructor a co-host when they are logged into the meeting. If the session will use breakout rooms, the library instructor will need to be the host (not co-host) to manage that activity. 

What Happens During the Session? 

Being a guest instructor in an online class comes with its own unique challenges. While students may have developed good rapport with their course instructor and feel comfortable participating in group discussions, they may feel less comfortable speaking to a library instructor. The library instructor may make heavier use of non-verbal forms of communication such as chat, the whiteboard, polling etc. In addition to this, library instructors may rely on these forms of communication for assessment purposes.  

Unless you have a long-established relationship with your library instructor, we do not recommend making “on the fly” teaching requests (Example: “Will you show the students how to use Zotero?”). If you think of something during the library session that you would like your students to know, please ask the library instructor post-class for an additional session and/or online instructional materials.  

What if I Request Asynchronous Instruction

The Teaching & Learning Team has many ready-to-go learning modules and other online learning objects for asynchronous instruction (see menu in link above). If you would like to preview these modules, please contact the Online Learning Coordinator at delib@gmu.edu to be added to the Online Instruction Blackboard course.  

All modules include active learning/optional graded assignments in the form of discussion board posts, quizzes, building a wiki, and reflective exercises. While you may use these materials and facilitate them on your own, we highly recommend embedding a library instructor in your course (see instructions in Synchronous Instruction). Library instruction offers students direct access to an information expert and may encourage them to seek research help. Finally, library instructors often count on the data provided by the active learning exercises for assessment purposes. 

Furthermore, if you utilized course copy when building your course in Blackboard, the library instructor can verify that you have the most up to date learning materials in your course.   

Library instructors can also create new content at the request of teaching faculty. Requests for new content should ideally be made at least one month in advance, though exceptions may be considered at the discretion of the library instructor. We welcome creating new, highly collaborative learning experiences for our students with our faculty.

More Information

For more information about our online instruction offerings, email the Online Learning Coordinator, Janna Mattson, at jmattso1@gmu.edu.

For more information about our instruction program broadly or these policies, email the Instruction Coordinator, David Lemmons, at dlemmons@gmu.edu

Policy last updated: 01/06/2021