Using online video to promote database searching skills: the creation of a virtual tutorial for Health and Social Care students

Karen Gravett
2010, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 66-71


In recent years, online tutorials have become well-established tools for the delivery of information literacy training as information professionals continue to seek new and more effective ways to reach audiences. However, the rapid transience of technologies, and the ongoing need to maximise the efficiency of services, mean that the question of how best to exploit the online medium needs further exploration. This paper focuses on a project at the University of Surrey Library to develop a new approach to online instruction. The goals of the project were to explore how the addition of video might create a more engaging user experience, and how the online video tutorial might therefore both improve existing information literacy training as well as offering a ‘just in time’ point of support. This paper examines the practical challenges involved in creating useful and accessible content and compares different software solutions for producing and editing video, audio, screencasts and subtitles. Further, it also examines the specific issues encountered when using external content, including database modifications and e-copyright issues. Finally, it touches upon the feedback collected so far in order to begin the evaluation of the resource. Using video can maximise the impact of e-learning tools, helping online tutorials to deliver information in a more personal and immediate way. However, when allowing for the time investment in creating and managing such resources, both their role alongside alternative information literacy approaches and their lasting value must be carefully considered.


Online tutorial; Information Literacy; Academic librarianship;Health and Social Care students

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