a tool for delivering your library help and instruction at the point of need, in particular, within your campus LMS. Niche Academy makes it easy to create your own training that can be edited in one place and automatically updated everywhere it's being used. The platform also comes with information literacy tutorials that can be customized as you choose.
“Your customer service... the service that you provide when there are issues or when I want something new... we've had a problem solving kind of relationship... It has been really superior to any other product that we have at USU. That's been really great.”
USU first began working with Niche Academy to train staff in the fall of 2014.
In 2018, they also began to use Niche Academy to provide library instruction to the broader campus community. This was Teagan Eastman’s focus.
Prior to Niche Academy, instructional material created by the library was not getting used by the people who could benefit most from it. USU had LibGuides to help people become familiar with Library resources, but most students and faculty did not seek out and use the information there.
While the USU Merrill-Cazier Library continues to use LibGuides, Niche Academy allowed them to dramatically expand their instructional offerings and present them in new contexts: embedded in library web pages and within their EBSCO user interface, for example.
Over the last year, Niche Academy has also allowed them to make library tutorials available within the campus LMS so faculty can include them as regular assignments in their own online instruction. Usage is no longer a problem. The library doesn’t have to go out of its way to market the instructional material it creates, Library tutorials are getting used because they’re a part of the regular workflow of university courses and they live at the point of need.
Library tutorial usage in the 2018-2019 academic year totaled 1362 views. In the same timeframe from 2019-2020 there were over 35,000 tutorial views.
A Niche Academy subscription includes tutorials that can be embedded in any online environment, a website, LibGuides, an LMS, or even just an email to deliver instruction exactly at the point of need. Click on the images below to see a sample of those tutorials:
Introductions to specific databases, how to search, and use EBSCO document tools.
Intro to some of the freely available tools for generating MLA, APA, and other citations.
Introductions to specific Gale databases, how to search, and use Gale Document Tools.
A number of databases dedicated to major newspapers from the United States and beyond.
How to use this large collection of scholarly articles, trade publications, and dissertations.
The right way to incorporate other writers' ideas into your own work without using direct quotes.
Many university instructors need their students to understand the essentials of information literacy, but don't want to spend class time covering it. With Niche Academy the library can give faculty an easy way to add library and information literacy instruction right inside their own online courses.
Maybe it's a tutorial about finding the right research source material. Maybe it's an introduction to a subject-specific database. Whatever the specific context, Niche Academy makes it easy for the library to deliver critical instruction that gets to the heart of the mission of the institution.
Some of the most effective subject librarian/faculty partnerships involve library help tailored for a specific class.
Niche Academy makes it easy for library staff to create tutorials including database and info-lit instruction that's exactly right for a target audience.
Then, Niche Academy lets faculty from any department add that library instruction seamlessly to their own courses within the campus LMS, be that Canvas, Blackboard, or Moodle.