Research & Digital Literacy Instruction

Instruction Service Intro

*85.5% of faculty agreed that students did better on their assignments after a Librarian’s visit to their class (2019 Faculty Survey).*

Humber Libraries’ Research and Digital Literacy Instruction services are designed to teach students the skills they need to succeed in their academic and career pursuits.

Our Research and Digital Literacy Instruction Service Menu showcases the sessions offered by our librarians. These sessions are divided by Skill Type (Research, Digital Literacy) and categorized by Level (Foundational, Developmental, and Proficient) and Delivery Method.

Skill Type: Research 

  • Examples include database searching and resource evaluation.

Skill Type: Digital Literacy 

  • Examples include 3D printing, video production, and podcasting.

Note: the service menu is also available as a PDF file.

Instruction Service Menu Filters

Choose from the drop-downs and select Submit to filter the results for relevant session(s).

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This active-learning workshop will take students through the research process by focusing on the Library’s Discover search tool and/or subject-specific databases for finding, downloading, and citing print and electronic resources.  Students will develop search strategies and brainstorm keywords based on research topics. Students will be given basic guidelines for determining credibility, authority and reliability of sources. 

The workshop will be tailored to the subject area and/or assignment. Interactive digital tools will be used: students will complete a digital worksheet to record their searches that can also be shared in summary form with the hosting instructor.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Identify a range of information source types which are appropriate for their assignment or program
  • Apply relevant keywords and synonyms to build effective search strategies
  • Identify basic strategies for selecting quality resources
  • Practice searching, downloading, and citing articles and other resources related to their search

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students with little/no research experience
Time Required: 60-75 minutes
Best Practice: This session works best as an introduction to a research assignment. 
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This self-paced tutorial (eLearning object) takes students through key skills and ideas that form the foundation of library-based research. Students work through six sections: search vs. research, types of information, keyword development, the library search, evaluating information, and citing sources. Each section includes text and a brief video, and encourages students to practice the highlighted skills. After reviewing the tutorial, students are required to complete a skills challenge in Blackboard. 

After this activity, students will be able to:

  • Describe the difference between searching and researching for academic work
  • Identify different types of information and their distinct purpose
  • Recognize the importance of keywords in research and apply keyword brainstorming to concepts
  • Practice using Humber Libraries' Discover search tool to find sources of information
  • Evaluate information found through the Library and online
  • Apply APA citation to information found through the Library

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students with little/no research experience
Time Required: 45 minutes
Link: Library Research Tutorial: The Basics
Best Practice: This tutorial is best assigned to students as an exercise completed outside of class; credit for participation and in-class take up is also recommended.
Technology Required: A computer is required to complete the tutorial. Smartphones are not recommended. Contact your librarian for the skills challenge activity and corresponding answer sheet.

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This video (eLearning object) is designed to provide students with an introduction to using Discover, the Google-like tool that searches through Humber Libraries’ resources. The video describes how to search in Discover, filter results, save results, and export citations.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Search Humber Libraries’ resources using Discover
  • Refine search results in Discover using filters
  • Export a citation using the "Cite this item” tool

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students with little/no research experience
Time Required: 2.5 minutes
Link: Video Tutorials on using Discover
Best Practice: Link to Start Your Search with Discover from your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This video (eLearning object) playlist is designed as a digital handout for students who participated in an in-class company and industry research workshop. The videos in the playlist recap the navigation of the various library databases used in the workshop using simple examples.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Find information on companies and industries in select library databases

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students who recently received instruction on company and industry research
Time Required: 20 minutes
Link: Company and Industry Research video playlist
Best Practice: Link to video tutorials in your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required:Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This video playlist (eLearning object) is designed as a digital handout for students who participated in an in-class career research workshop. The videos in the playlist recap the navigation of the various library databases used in the workshop using simple examples.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Find information on organizations and industries in select library databases

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students who recently received instruction on career research
Time Required: 20 minutes
Link: Career Research video playlist
Best Practice: Link to video tutorials in your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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Students will receive an overview of the legal research resources available to them through the Library. They will see a demonstration of how to navigate the library website and use the Discover search tool to locate the resources most relevant to them. They will also be provided with a description of the physical legal research collections at the North and Lakeshore Libraries.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Understand the legal research services and collections available from Humber Libraries
  • Search and filter results in the Library’s Discover search tool
  • Utilize the library website to locate key research database and research guides

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: First semester students in Law Clerk and Paralegal programs
Time Required: 30 minutes
Best Practice: This session works best as an introduction to a legal research assignment. 
Technology Required: None.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This is an ideal activity for instructors who want to encourage students to visit the Library. In this self-paced activity, students will use mobile devices to complete an interactive tour of the Library and Learning Commons at their campus. Students will be introduced to a selection of key services and resources available in the Library’s physical spaces; online resources are not covered in this tour.

After this activity, students will be able to:

  • Identify the Librarian dedicated to their program
  • Locate the service desks within the Library for future academic needs (e.g. research help, technology lending, textbooks)
  • Borrow materials and technology with their newly activated library barcode

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: First semester students who are new to academic libraries
Time Required: 30 minutes
Link: Mobile Library Tour
Best Practice: Credit for participation is recommended as it encourages completion.
Technology Required: Smartphones or other personal mobile devices (tablets).

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This video playlist (eLearning object) is designed as a digital handout for students who would like extra support when crafting in-text and reference list citations. The videos in the playlist recap the information required and the special formatting used when citing in APA style. Examples of sources include, but are not limited to: books, journal articles, newspapers, movies, and online images.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Create in-text and reference list citations in APA style

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning with activity
Ideal Audience: Students with limited to moderate citation experience
Time Required: 5 minutes
Link: APA in Minutes video tutorials
Best Practice: Link to APA in Minutes from your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This checkpoint-based citation game (inspired by the television show “The Amazing Race”) is a fun way for students to explore APA citation. Faculty can download the game template and resources from the CTL website. In the game, students will complete six separate challenges, improving their ability to correctly cite multiple formats and identify errors based on the APA citation system. 

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Cite a variety of information formats in APA style
  • Locate APA in Minutes video tutorials on the library website

Skill Type: Research
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning with activity
Ideal Audience: Students with little or no citation experience
Time Required: 60-75 minutes
Link: Amazing APA Race resource bundle (downloadable zip file)
Best Practice: Faculty need to download, prepare, and print the support materials for the class. (Average prep time ~ 90 mins.) Contact your librarian with questions.
Technology Required: Smartphones, tablets, or laptops with internet access.

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In this short online tutorial, participants will learn the basics of how 3D printing works and the policies and guidelines for using 3D printers at the Idea Lab. Participants will also be introduced to safety considerations when using a 3D printer. The tutorial is followed by a 10-question quiz that allows for multiple retakes. Those who pass the quiz are eligible to attend 3D Printing at the Idea Lab, Part 2, an in-person workshop.

Please note that this tutorial will be mandatory for all students, staff, and faculty wishing to use the 3D printers in the Library’s Idea Lab.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Identify the key concepts and vocabulary in 3D printing
  • Identify how to book 3D printers the Idea Lab
  • Identify the duration of bookings and maximum number of weekly bookings for 3D printers at the Idea Lab
  • Name safety considerations and procedures when using a 3D printer

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, no experience necessary
Time Required: 15 minutes
Link: 3D Printing at the Idea Lab website
Technology Required: Computer and internet connection.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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In this workshop attendees will learn how to create simple animated videos, including narration and background music, using free or freely available tools such as PowToon, PowerPoint, and Keynote. This workshop will provide instruction on scripting and storyboarding an animated video. It will also introduce resources for royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images and music. Attendees will be given guidance on image and music attribution.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Book time and equipment in the Idea Lab studio spaces
  • Plan and script/storyboard an animated video for an assignment
  • Locate and attribute royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images and music
  • Locate the major functions for animation and narration within PowToon and PowerPoint
  • Upload an animated video to a hosting platform

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, with some experience using PowerPoint or Keynote
Time Required: 60 minutes
Best Practice: Attendees can choose to attend a Mac or PC-based version of the workshop.
Technology Required: Provided.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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Attendees will learn how to design and create an infographic using free or freely available tools such as Piktochart and PowerPoint. This workshop will begin with a brief overview of infographics as a means of presenting information or research. Students will then participate in generating and sketching a visual theme for a topic. Students will be shown resources for royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images and icons, and will be given guidance on image attribution. This will be followed by a demonstration of digital tools to create infographics. Students will have the opportunity to experiment with these tools.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Identify a visual theme and select an appropriate style for their topic (e.g. road map, comparison chart, etc.)
  • Sketch an outline of an infographic
  • Present/translate data into an appropriate visual form
  • Locate royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images (and attribute when necessary)
  • Locate the major functions (select background, add images, add text) in browser-based infographic tools (e.g. Piktochart) and in PowerPoint

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, with some experience using PowerPoint
Time Required: 60 minutes
Best Practice: This workshop pairs well with an assignment that requires data visualization. Workshops can be scheduled to account for assignment due dates.
Technology Required: Provided.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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In this workshop attendees will learn how create simple websites using free, browser-based tools. Attendees will learn how to create pages and menus, add text, insert photographs, and embed media clips. The workshop will also introduce resources for royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images and music and will advise on how to provide proper attribution.

After this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Create a simple website using free browser-based tools
  • Locate and attribute royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images
  • Embed media files from a variety of online sources (e.g. Soundcloud, YouTube, etc.)

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Required: Provided

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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Attendees will watch and participate in the creation of a live-action video, from planning and scripting to shooting, editing, and uploading footage. The demonstration will focus on best practice and simple strategies for capturing well-lit footage with clear audio either using the Idea Lab studios or personal equipment (e.g. cell phone). Time will also be dedicated to on-camera presentation skills. The second half of the workshop will focus on editing footage.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Book time and equipment in the Idea Lab studio spaces
  • Plan and script/storyboard a video for an assignment
  • Implement strategies for recording well-lit video footage with clear audio that is suitable for editing
  • Locate royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed images and music (and attribute when necessary)
  • Locate the major editing functions (trim, add text and music, adjust audio, export) in free or freely available software

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience:Students, Staff, or Faculty, no experience necessary
Time Required: 60 minutes
Best Practice: Attendees can choose to attend a Mac or PC-based version of the workshop.
Technology Required: Provided.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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In this workshop attendees will learn the basics of 3D design using a free and simple browser-based tool. Attendees will be given a demonstration and then guided through an in-class activity to learn the basic functions of the software. This workshop will also outline the procedures to gain access to Idea Lab 3D Printers.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Modify an existing 3D design in Tinkercad
  • Create a simple design from scratch in Tinkercad
  • Locate repositories of 3D designs with Creative Commons licenses
  • Identify the process for gaining access to Humber Libraries’ 3D printers

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, no experience necessary
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Required: Provided

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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In this workshop attendees will learn how to format and enhance presentation skills and visual materials so that they can increase audience engagement. The workshop is divided into three sections: story, slides, and presence.

After this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Structure a presentation in a way that is memorable and engaging
  • Design slides that help support their presentation topic
  • Employ techniques which help engage an audience

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, with some experience using PowerPoint or other presentation software.
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Required: Provided.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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Attendees will watch and participate in the creation of a podcast, from planning to editing audio. The demonstration will focus on best practices and simple strategies for capturing quality audio either using the Idea Lab studios or personal equipment (e.g. cell phone). The second half of the workshop will focus on editing recordings in Audacity, a free application compatible with Apple and Windows computers. 

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Book time and equipment in the Idea Lab studio spaces
  • Implement strategies for recording clear audio that is suitable for a podcast or audio assignment
  • Locate and attribute royalty-free and Creative Commons licensed music
  • Locate the major editing functions (cut, paste, adjust audio levels, EQ, export as MP3) in Audacity

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Foundational
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, no experience necessary
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Required: Provided.

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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During this active learning workshop, students will practice search strategies for an assignment. The peer review process and the value of scholarly research will be explained. Students will have the opportunity to build on their source evaluation skills through the examination of a variety of resources to determine their credibility, reliability, accuracy and relevance to their chosen research topics. Finally, students will analyze the quality of the results, followed by a revamping of the search string.

The workshop will be tailored to the subject area and/or assignment. Interactive digital tools will be used: students will complete a digital worksheet to keep a record of their searches that can also be shared in summary form with the hosting instructor.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Use Boolean operators AND/OR/NOT to construct search strings
  • Filter resources by content type (e.g., scholarly peer-reviewed articles)
  • Apply intermediate strategies for evaluating library and online resources
  • Revise keyword searches to improve results

Skill Type: Research
Level: Developmental
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students with some research experience (e.g., students who have completed Research 101)
Time Required:  60 minutes
Best Practice: This session is designed to be paired with a research assignment and will be tailored to your course/subject.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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Students often rely heavily on Google when doing research with varying results. This session will provide an opportunity to compare and contrast Google and library resources to enable students to make informed source choices for their assignments.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Identify the benefits and limits of Google and library resources as sources of information
  • Compare search results from Google to library resources
  • Communicate which source is better for their assignment/academic work

Skill Type: Research
Level: Developmental
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students with some research experience
Time Required:  60 minutes
Best Practice: This session will be tailored to different subject areas with relevant topic and source choices.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops 

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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In this workshop students will be provided with a demonstration of how and where to access the legal research tools (including primary and secondary sources) available through the Library. They will receive an overview of core legal research concepts, including legal citation tools. A digital mini-quiz will be provided during the formal lecture to help reinforce key concepts, and students will complete a digital worksheet. Time will be provided to take-up the exercise and discuss student questions.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Identify the legal research services and collections available from Humber Libraries
  • Locate print and electronic legal literature using the Library’s Discover search tool
  • Differentiate primary and secondary legal resources
  • Compare and discuss how to effectively use core legal research databases

Skill Type: Research
Level: Developmental
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Law Clerk and Paralegal students currently taking a legal research class
Time Required: 60-90 minutes
Best Practice: This workshop pairs best with a legal research assignment.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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Students will see a demonstration on the use of library databases for finding information on organizations and industries. The demonstration will focus on pitching business and market research techniques for researching future careers. As this is a pitch presentation, it does not require a computer lab or portable computing. The librarian may engage students using online polls and smartphones at their discretion.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Recognize that research is a component of finding work in a given career
  • Recall that business and industry research is possible via library databases

Skill Type: Research
Level: Developmental
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students in a Careers course
Time Required: 30 minutes
Best Practice: This presentation pairs well with an introductory career research assignment.
Technology Required: None.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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In this workshop attendees will be guided through the preparation of a 3D design for 3D printing using Cura software. Attendees will discuss the rationale for the Idea Lab guidelines on booking and use of 3D printers. The workshop will also guide students through identifying and resolving common errors in 3D prints.

Please note that this workshop will be mandatory for all students, staff, and faculty wishing to use the 3D printers in the Idea Lab.

After this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Book 3D printers in the Idea Lab
  • Identify the basic parameters of a 3D print in Cura (e.g. speed, temperature, resolution, wall thickness, infill, support)
  • Prepare and export a 3D design for printing
  • Identify common errors on a 3D print

Skill Type: Digital Literacy
Level: Developmental
Delivery Method: Open workshop
Ideal Audience: Students, Staff, or Faculty, who have completed the online tutorial 3D Printing, Part 1
Time Required: 60 minutes
Technology Required: Provided

Interested in learning more? We invite you to visit the Idea Lab website.

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During this workshop, students will be introduced to specialized databases for discipline-specific research. Available resources will be introduced with a live demonstration of advanced search processes. Advanced search functionalities and strategies that enhance research will be explored. A hands-on component will follow, during which students will have the opportunity to research their topic with a librarian available to guide and provide feedback.   

After this workshop, students will be able to: 

  • Identify the resources best suited to their research topic
  • Recognize the value and purpose of different types of sources available at Humber and beyond
  • Apply Boolean operators (e.g., AND, OR) with relevant keywords, subject terms, and search tools to build effective searches
  • Identify relevant articles through bibliography mining and citation chaining
  • Evaluate search results to select quality resources

Skill Type: Research
Level: Proficient
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students with research experience 
Time Required: 60-75 minutes 
Best Practice: This workshop requires an advanced assignment that involves in-depth research and/or specific types of information (e.g., literature reviews, specific resource/information requirements, capstone/thesis projects). Workshops will be tailored to the course subject, assignment topics, and required resource selections.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

p>Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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Students will practice working with a variety of open and licensed sources of statistics. This workshop begins with a focus on Statistics Canada and their Census program. Students will practice searching and extracting statistics from a variety of complex interfaces (including building cross tables). Students will work to complete a digital worksheet to keep a record of their work that can also be shared in summary form with the hosting instructor.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Recognize Statistics Canada as the leading source of open statistics for researching the Canadian population
  • Practice searching and extracting statistics from open and licensed library sources
  • Employ techniques for matching their research need to the accessibility and format of available statistics
  • Recall that researching statistics requires a precise understanding of the research need and the available statistics

Skill Type: Research
Level: Proficient
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students completing assignments that require statistics
Time Required: 60-90 minutes
Best Practice: This workshop requires an advanced assignment focused on statistical research. Workshops will be tailored to the course subject and assignment topics.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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In this workshop students will practice working with library databases to find information on organizations and industries. The workshop will focus on using business and market research techniques but adapt them to researching future careers. Beyond using business and industry research tools, students will also learn to search across news sources for current organization information. Students will work to complete a digital worksheet to keep a record of their work that can also be shared in summary form with the hosting instructor.

After this workshop, students will be able to:

  • Identify library databases that are best suited to career research
  • Find information on organizations and industries using library databases
  • Apply organization and industry research to career prospecting

Skill Type: Research
Level: Proficient
Delivery Method: In-class workshop
Ideal Audience: Students in a Careers course
Time Required: 60 minutes
Best Practice: This workshop pairs best with an advanced assignment that involves in-depth research on organizations, industries, and careers.
Technology Required: This is a hands-on workshop; a computer lab or student laptops are required.

Interested in booking a session? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This video playlist is designed as a digital handout for students who participated in an in-class Vividata research workshop. Vividata is a research tool for learning about the demographics, preferences, shopping habits, ownership, and opinions of communities and populations in Canada. This playlist will recap the navigation of the database required to create, read, and export a cross table using a simple example.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Select questions and splits in Vividata for creating a cross table
  • Generate a cross table to answer a simple research question
  • Export cross tables into MS Excel format for further manipulation

Skill Type: Research
Level: Proficient
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students who recently received instruction on the Vividata database
Time Required: 10 minutes
Link: Vividata video tutorials
Best Practice: Link to Introduction to Vividata from your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

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This video playlist is designed as a digital handout for students who participated in an in-class Polaris research workshop. Polaris is a research tool for learning about the demographics of communities and custom locations. This playlist will recap the navigation of the database required to create and compare communities as sites for new businesses and events.

After this tutorial, students will be able to:

  • Create and compare communities in Polaris
  • Download demographic reports from Polaris

Skill Type: Research
Level: Proficient
Delivery Method: eLearning
Ideal Audience: Students who recently received instruction on the Polaris database
Time Required: 10 minutes
Link: Polaris video tutorials
Best Practice: Link to Introduction to Polaris from your Blackboard course site.
Technology Required: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer with internet access.

Need more information? We invite you to reach out to your librarian.

Students can borrow the equipment listed below from the Library or Learning Commons. Bring your student card to the relevant desk to get the items.