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CatCourses Library Modules

Information on Library Modules available for faculty to use with first-year students in CatCourses

Library Modules Available in CatCourses/Canvas

Library Modules are available for faculty to use with their students in CatCourses. The modules introduce students to the basics of accessing library resources and beginning information literacy concepts. They are especially intended for first-year students in Writing 1 and Spark classes.

  • Library modules can be directly imported into your CatCourse(s) from Canvas' Commons and incorporated into your curriculum.
  • Each module includes one or more quizzes with point values assigned. Once imported, you can adopt as is or adapt as desired.  For example, you could choose not to assign point values from the quizzes. 
  • Instructors can preview available modules below.  Librarians have suggested potential sequencing and use.
  • Starred modules are replicated in the Starting Your Research Series outside of Canvas.

Module Content

Time for Completion


Suggested Use

*Information Privilege & Accessing Information (~12 minutes, without VPN download)
  • recognize your information privilege as a UC Merced student.
  • understand why the VPN is needed for access to library resources from off-campus locations.
  • connect to the VPN in order to locate library resources.
  • know where to locate help for VPN set-up.
  • become familiar with the purpose and value of the Get it at UC button.
  • use the Get it at UC button to locate information.
suitable before or after Finding & Selecting Databases
*Understanding the Information Cycle (~10 minutes)
  • recognize the speed and oversight with which source types are created.
  • recognize the benefits and limitations of source types in the information cycle. 
  • identify the impact of information production on source-type reliability and availability.
suitable after Information Privilege & Accessing Information or after Developing a Research Question; suitable when students are just starting their research as this may influence where they search and what they may expect to find
*Identify Scholarly & Popular Sources (~10 minutes)
  • recognize scholarly, trade, and popular articles.
  • understand the basics of peer review.
suitable after Information Privilege & Accessing Information and after Understanding the Information Cycle; could also be placed after Developing a Research Question and Finding & Selecting Databases.
*Developing a Research Question (~15 minutes)
  • identify key research question criteria.
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of research questions using research question criteria.
  • recognize the value of 4Ws and pre-searching for research question development.
suitable after Information Privilege & Accessing Information or after Understanding the Information Cycle; suitable when students are identifying a topic of interest with the goal of eventually crafting a research question 
*Finding & Selecting Databases (~12 minutes)
  • recognize how the library provides access to academic content for your research.
  • find databases available from the library.
  • select subject-specific databases to search based on a topic.
suitable before or after Information Privilege & Accessing Information
Evaluating Information  (~15 minutes)
  • identify important questions to ask when evaluating sources.
  • understand that source evaluation includes considering one’s information need.
  • evaluate sources and determine if a source is suitable for a specific information need.
suitable prior to Searching for Information
Searching for Information - Searching in Google (8-10 minutes)
  • recognize the pros and cons of using Google for specific information needs.
  • be able to use specific search strategies to improve Google results.
suitable after Evaluating Information; useful if students will be using freely available web sources

*Using Keywords & Search Strategies

(~12 minutes)
  • generate keywords from your research question.
  • combine keywords and search strategies to locate resources.
suitable after Finding & Selecting Databases
*Searching in Databases  (8-10 minutes)
  • identify what a database is and how it is structured
  • use database functionality to locate information
suitable before or after Finding & Selecting Databases
*Citing & Managing Your Research (~12 minutes)
  • Locate a citation in the library catalog or in a database.
  • Assemble a citation from information found in a book, article, video, or other resource.
  • Determine which citation style is best for your writing.
suitable before or after Finding & Selecting Databases, and after Searching for Information or Searching in Databases.

Finding Statistics & Data

(~5 minutes)
  • distinguish between the need for statistics or data.
  • identify strategies for locating statistics or data.
suitable after Evaluating Information and Searching for Information - Searching in Google; useful if students will be using freely available web sources with a focus on finding stats

Working with Information - Reading Scholarly Articles

(~12 minutes)
  • understand the common characteristics of scholarly articles.
  • know strategies for effectively reading scholarly articles.

suitable prior to any requirements that students read scholarly articles; could use after Finding & Selecting Databases, Searching for Information-Searching in Google, or Searching in Databases.

Bobcats Live with Academic Integrity (2024) (~20 minutes)
  • Discuss the meaning of the scholarly conversation and academic discourse.
  • Explore how academic honesty is a form of social justice.
  • Explain how academic integrity allows for personal growth.  
  • Interpret the appropriate use of Generative AI from a scenario.
  • Practice attribution and citation using real-world examples. 
  • Recognize where to go for help with copyright and fair use.
  • Write a personal Academic Integrity Pledge. 
Spark courses and other First-Year Experiences