Reading Online Scholarly Content Through Students’ Eyes


This virtual poster will take the form of a Captivate screencast (.swf files) examining the ways in which visual literacy skills inform students’ ability to identify scholarly online sources, particularly journal articles. As more and more content migrates to digital formats, and as projects such as Google Scholar open online scholarly content to students in new and potentially confusing ways, students can no longer rely on familiar print-based visual cues to determine whether sources are scholarly. Students may not know whether a given online source is an article, a conference proceeding, or another kind of document, and they may not know how to determine whether it has ever seen print.

This poster will take the form of a practical, modular tutorial demonstrating the evaluation of online scholarly content in ways that students can readily understand and use. It will show concrete examples and suggest practical strategies students can use to interpret the different visual cues of online formats. The screencast will be 3-5 minutes in length and will involve interactive and multimedia elements.

Grounded in the concepts of visual literacy, it will suggest an alternate approach to the ‘website evaluation checklist’ model.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Librarians will gain a better understanding of the confusion students face in navigating online scholarly content

  • Librarians will challenge and refine their own perceptions of “reliable” visual cues for scholarly content

  • Librarians will consider a visual literacy approach to teaching the evaluation of online scholarly resources

  • Librarians will be exposed to screencasting as a format for online tutorials and guides
  • Presenters:

    Merinda McLure
    Applied Human Sciences Librarian
    Colorado State University

    Karen Munro
    E-Learning Librarian
    University of California at Berkeley


    For optimal viewing select View > Full Screen in your Web browser window.



    1. Kate Zoellner said,

      Merinda & Karen,

      I much enjoyed your presentation; perhaps it will find its way to PRIMO soon! Great design/images/layout.


    2. Lynn Jones said,

      I found this very useful and can imagine asking students to use it, perhaps by embedding it in a class CMS site. No sound– very helpful in allowing viewer to focus on the screen.

      great work!


    3. Lynn Jones said,

      love the image credits!

    4. Clara Fowler said,

      Fabulously done! Just the right amount of content and the pacing is great. Excellent use of bolded words to draw your eye to the key points on the screen. I loved the way you followed the initial presentation of the content with a great example. This really reinforced the important points without being redundant.

      Thanks for sharing it.


    5. […] McLure at Colorado State University and I created a Captivate tutorial [<>%5D for the virtual […]

    6. Sue Samson said,

      This is a finely crafted modular tutorial. The potential of linking to a class site, embedding it in a 90-minute or multiple-session class, or asking students to review it prior to a class session are rewarding to consider! Good work and thanks for sharing.

    7. Linda McCreight said,

      wonderful tutorial! great to include google scholar! love the visual literacy approach, too.
      thank you for sharing this…

    8. roopa said,

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I would like to know about scholarly content & e signs . Kindly do the needful.

      Thanking you

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