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Student Information

SmartStarts has now moved to Blackboard. To access the course go to Blackboard and login with:

Login: smartstarts

Password: smartstarts

If you are getting a grade for this assignment the quizzes will be in that class's blackboard class.

Faculty Information

This information has been provided for faculty & instructors interested in learning more about the SmartStarts tutorial. If you have contributions or suggestions about using SmartStarts, please  e-mail us.

SmartStarts is now available through BlackBoard. To make it easier for you SmartStarts quizzes can be uploaded directly into your own blackboard course.  Contact Amy Shriver at 716-2962 to have these quizzes added.  If you do not use blackboard in your course we do have paper copies of the quizzes available or your students can print the results of the practice quizzes.  If you have any questions please contact the library at 716-2303 for more information. 

What Is SmartStarts?

SmartStarts is a resource for SPC students, a self-instructional tutorial to teach them basic library and research skills. It covers the research process from initial topic selection to citation styles and the issue of plagiarism. The SmartStarts tutorial is now available through blackboard you and your students can access it directly using the Username: "smartstarts" and the password: "smartstarts". 

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 has tips on broadening & narrowing a topic and discusses search concepts.

3. Using the Online Catalog has videos demonstrating how to do searches in our online catalog.

4. Finding articles has videos demonstrating searching in Academic Search Complete database.

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 of the modules is followed by a short practice quiz (see details below).

How Can I Effectively Use SmartStarts with My Courses?

Please have students complete SmartStarts before they begin their research or attend a library session. Students can complete SmartStarts on their own time and you can have the quizzes added to your own blackboard course for quick grading.

Each module is followed by a short practice quiz and a results page, which provides an overall percentage score for that module, as well as a summary of questions answered right or wrong. Students can print the six results pages and submit the printouts to you as proof of completion.  Or to make it easier for you contact Amy Shriver 716-2962 and she will upload the quizzes directly into your blackboard course. 

Many instructors have chosen to give extra credit points to students who complete SmartStarts. We strongly suggest that students be required to pass the quizzes with a score of at least 85% or better. 

Does SmartStarts 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 SmartStarts, then schedule library instruction with us for a date after they have 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.