CWU Libraries
Phone: 509-963-3682

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Discipline Specific Instruction

We believe developing strong information practices, habits, and skills are essential to the 21st century student. We are your partner in instruction, curriculum design, and consultations to ensure our students are gaining the information literacy skills they will need for CWU and beyond.

Our instruction program aligns with the Association of College and Research Libraries definition of information literacy as, “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning” (ACRL Framework).

Contact your subject librarian for advice on integrating information literacy skills into your assignments, strategies for getting students to use better resources, and for in-person or online instruction for your classes.

Canvas Modules

The CWU Libraries is here for your Canvas instruction needs. Talk with your subject librarian to develop course-specific modules and embed research support into your course. Faculty can also choose from a selection of our pre-built modules available in Canvas Commons, including:

Research Guides

Explore our research guides highlighting titles, collections, tips, and resources for specific subjects and courses. Talk with your subject librarian if you’re interested in seeing a research guide for your class.

Video Tutorials

Find videos and tutorials on our Youtube channel about using library resources, supporting the research process, oral histories, and library programs and events.

Course Reserves

Faculty may request to have course materials held at our service desk for short-term checkout. Complete the online form or visit the library in person to request physical reserves for your course.

Request Physical Course Reserves

If the material needed for your course is not yet owned by CWU Libraries, please complete the online form to recommend a purchase.

Recommend a Purchase

The libraries will also scan and deliver articles and book chapters from our collection for faculty to place on Canvas. Find material and place requests through OneSearch. Due to copyright and administrative restrictions we can only offer scanning of reasonable and limited portions of works.

If your students will need electronic access to an entire physical book owned by CWU Libraries, please contact with your course and book information, and we will look into your options. To be eligible for this service the material must be owned by CWU Libraries, the physical copy will not be available for checkout while the digital copy is accessible, and only one student may access the digital copy at a time.

Streaming Media

The libraries subscribes to databases offering extensive access to streaming media, including:

Academic Video Online (AVOn) is the most comprehensive video subscription available to libraries. It delivers more than 67,000 titles spanning the widest range of subject areas including anthropology, business, counseling, film, health, history, music, and more.

Documentary Educational Resources (DER) is the premier source for classic and contemporary ethnographic films, which explore modern cultural struggles and artistic traditions and offer a longitudinal view of changing communities, cultures and identities.

For additional information and resources, see the Streaming Media Collections research guide.

Open Educational Resources

Open educational resources (OERs) are teaching and learning materials which are freely available online for faculty and students to use. Incorporating OERs, including books and textbooks, into your course will help your students save money. For assistance, reach out to your subject librarian or check out our OER research guide.

184 Instruction

Library instruction support for 184 courses comes in a variety of forms to help faculty in integrating information literacy into these sections. The following lessons were created to help students develop their information literacy skills and help fulfill the following 184 outcome:

184 instruction outcomes and assessments
Outcome Assessments
Engage in a library-led information literacy session and apply best practices for evaluating information sources in scholarly research.

6a. Evidence of participation in library-led information literacy session.

6b. Ability to find, determine credibility of, interpret, and use scholarly works based on established criteria.

Canvas module

The Canvas module “184 – Library Module” is accessible through Canvas Commons for easy download into your course. The module includes pre and post quizzes for knowledge checks. Quizzes are self-grading and are based off material covered in the module. The module outcomes focus on:

  • Defining scholarly research
  • Bias awareness
  • Search strategies
  • Approaches to evaluating information

Learn more about downloading the module through this video.

In-person or synchronous instruction options

While faculty are not required to bring 184 courses to the CWU Libraries for instruction with a librarian as part of the outcome, we are here to support you in accomplishing it. You are welcome to contact your subject librarian to set up an in-person session. We have designed three lessons geared toward the 184 courses that focus on different areas that may be covered in the course. Please check with your subject librarian to see which option might be most appropriate given your course assignment.

1) Developing the research question library session

This lesson plan complements and works to prepare students for a research paper or assignment. Builds on material covered in 184 Canvas module and works best when students also complete the 184 online module.

  • Helps students build toward developing a research question
  • Practice searching in OneSearch.

2) Understanding the research process library session

Builds on material covered in 184 Canvas module and works best when students also complete the 184 online module.

  • Navigating research within an academic field.
  • Critical discussion of how academic literature is produced and how researchers participate in that environment.
  • Examining various resources to evaluate for authority and credibility

3) Exploring academic sources library session

May be used in place of 184 online module or in conjunction with. Does not include assessment of information literacy skills.

  • General introduction to scholarly research and strategies for conducting searches in the library search engine.
  • Introduction to evaluating resources, specifically covering the SEE method, identifying bias, and differences between reading news laterally or horizontally.

Frequently asked questions

UNIV101 Instruction

CWU Libraries is an active partner in supporting University 101 students and the online Canvas module covers the following outcomes:

  • Learn about resources available to you through the library
  • Identify characteristics of popular, professional, and scholarly sources
  • Practice strategies for using OneSearch
  • Identify methods of getting help from librarians

Finding the Canvas module

Instructors can find the library module for UNIV101 in Canvas Commons under the title "UNIV101 - Library Session."

Academic Writing I & II Instruction

Developing academic research skills help create stronger writing skills and the library offers scaffolded Canvas modules under “Academic Writing I - Library Module” and “Academic Writing II – Library Module” in Canvas Commons. These modules are appropriate for students in English 101 and 102, and any of the courses offered in the AWI and AWII categories. Module outcomes address the following:

Academic Writing I – Library Module

  • Explore the topic development process and introduce methods for developing a research question
  • Recognize the differences between summarizing, paraphrasing, and quoting
  • Apply strategies to evaluate the authority of an author and the value of a work within its context
  • Use library resources by navigating through OneSearch

Academic Writing II – Library Module

  • Identify methods for developing a topic of interest into a research question
  • Navigate OneSearch and library databases to conduct preliminary research
  • Discover limitations of Google and Wikipedia
  • Identify tools and strategies for effectively conducting research
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary information and apply it to one's own research
  • Retrieve materials from library databases related to your topic

If you teach Academic Writing I or II and have course-specific needs, please get in touch with your subject librarian to discuss creating or offering something for your class.


Throughout the year, the library offers sessions to improve your researching skills. Popular workshops have included:

  • Misinformation and Malarkey: Strategies for Understanding What You’re Reading
  • Google and Google Scholar: Tips, Tricks, and Tools
  • Mendeley, Zotero, and Other Citations Magic
  • Hidden Gems of Primary Sources

Find out what’s offered and register for workshops through our events calendar.

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