Use of LIT

This information has been provided for librarians, instructors, faculty and other educators interested in learning more about LIT. If you have contributions or suggestions about using LIT, please e-mail us.

What is LIT?
Who Is It Designed For?
How Can Instructors Effectively Use LIT with their Courses?
Does LIT Replace Library Instruction?

What Is LIT?
LIT is a resource for Western Washington University students, a self-paced tutorial that teaches basic library and research skills. It covers the research process from initial topic selection to citation styles and the issue of plagiarism. LIT is set up as a standalone website and as a Canvas module that includes quizzes. To imported the LIT Canvas module into your course contact Ryer Banta. Once imported into your course, you can customize the settings of the quizzes. LIT can also be accessed directly from  Its content is organized into six modules:

1. Starting smart is an overview that introduces students to various types of sources.
2. Choosing a topic provides tips on broadening and narrowing a topic and discusses search concepts.
3. Using the Catalog has live practice searches in our online catalog.
4. Finding articles provides practice searching in the online databases.
5. Using the Web includes the comparative evaluation of Web sources.
6. Citing sources includes the topics of citing, plagiarism, and copyright.

Students can complete the tutorial on their own time outside of class. Each of its six sections takes about 15 minutes and students can complete one or more modules at a time. Each module is followed by a short quiz and a quiz results page, which provides an overall percentage score for that module, as well as a summary of questions answered right or wrong.

Who Is It Designed For?
LIT is designed for students in classes with a substantial writing component or introductory-level research, especially for English 101and Comm 101. However, we hope instructors of other classes will find it useful and assign it to their students.

How Can Instructors Effectively Use LIT with Their Courses?
Please have students complete LIT before they begin their research or attend a library session. Students can complete LIT on their own time.

Many instructors have chosen to give extra credit points to students who complete LIT. We strongly suggest that students be required to pass the quizzes with a score of at least 85% or better. Students may retake a quiz as many times as they want to improve their score.

Does LIT Replace Library Instruction?
No! We continue to offer course-related library instruction and hope that you will incorporate a library session into your syllabus. Timing is important! Have your students complete LIT, then schedule library instruction with us for a date after they've received an assignment. Then they will learn about searching databases when they need these skills to complete their research assignment. Research has shown that:

  • Students learn best and retain most when they need the information.
  • Library instruction is more effective when the course instructor is present.
  • Library instruction is more effective when coordinated with a class assignment.

Wilson Library has one electronic classroom, which librarians use for computer demonstrations and hands-on training. It is heavily booked, so please schedule early to reserve the date and time you need--preferably call us at least 2 weeks ahead. Requests will be filled on a first-come basis.

To arrange a library instruction session, please contact your department's library liaison.

See to find the name of your liaison.

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