Bridging the Gap in Research Skills for Graduate Students

Watch This Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

Graduate students present a unique challenge because they have a varying range of research skills and often there is a gap in knowledge of library resources. Learn about our online course hosted in the LMS that presents information  in a variety of formats to meet the needs of all learning styles.


Bernadette Mirro has been the Digital Initiatives Librarian at Marymount University since February 2015. Prior to joining Marymount University she was part of a team of reference and instruction librarians at Berkeley College in Manhattan. She holds a Masters in Library Science from the City University of New York at Queens and a Masters of Arts and Humanities from Marymount University. At Marymount University she is responsible for developing unique online learning opportunities to ensure patrons can make the most of the library’s digital resources. Bernadette Mirro’s research has focused on integrating library resources into Marymount’s learning management system to ensure the library is at students’ point of need.

Extended Abstract

Graduate students present a unique challenge to librarians conducting information literacy sessions because they have a wide range of backgrounds and familiarity with technology.  By utilizing your learning management system (or open source platform of choice) you can develop a course specifically geared towards graduate students to help bridge the research and technology skill gaps.  At Marymount University we launched a course based on a survey of teaching faculty that identified skill areas for improvement in graduate students. The topics include: searching databases, AMA/APA/MLA citation styles, RefWorks, Google Scholar for interdisciplinary research, searching the databases, using the journal finder, more.  We are now soliciting feedback from graduate students to include additional topics of interest and preferred mode of delivery. Currently, the materials are presented in a variety of formats to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles including short two minute lessons, self-guided activities and in-depth lessons. Leveraging the existing learning management system provides a unique opportunity to provide point of need support to an often underserved student population.  We have found the mode of delivery to be as important as the content presented. Learn about different delivery methods and topics covered as well engage in conversation about what additional topics and presentation options would satisfy the needs of your students.