A LibGuides presence in a Blackboard environment

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Bowen, Aaron

Bowen, A. (2012). A LibGuides presence in a Blackboard environment. Reference Services Review, 40(3), 449-468. doi:10.1108/00907321211254698


Purpose – Describes current approaches to and assesses the value of placing course-level research guides generated through LibGuides software into Blackboard learning management system (LMS) shells. Describes the specific technique of such placement in Blackboard Vista and Blackboard Learn shells. Design/methodology/approach – A link to a library assignment made with LibGuides was embedded as a button in the left-side navigation bar of the Blackboard shell for an undergraduate communications course. Fifty-seven student users responded to a survey on their perceptions of this method of accessing library resources. Findings – Students broadly value access to library resources from a convenient and persistently visible link within their course shell. They demonstrate a strong inclination to use the embedded library resource link first before using other information sources on the open Internet.
Practical implications – The study supports the placement of library research guides in a persistently visible position in LMS course shells and presents specific instructions on doing so. Further, this process requires and promotes coordination among librarians, instructors, and information technology staff. Originality/value – Fills a gap in the current practice and theory of the placement of library research guides in course-level LMSs. Provides empirical research results on the strong effectiveness of persistently visible embedded links to these guides with a student user survey. Describes the practical procedure for combining the dominant instructional technology programs of LibGuides and both Blackboard Vista and Blackboard Learn.

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