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UConn Library's LibGuides Standards and Best Practices — Course Guides

A guide to help you create and edit your subject, course, topic and general purpose guides

Guidelines for Course Guides

Course guides, due to the narrowly focused audience, must be considerably more flexible in design and style than any other guide. The principle focus should be on providing resources and instruction for a particular course that are not duplicated in another existing guide. Authors should adhere to general design principles to ensure consistency with the rest of the site.

 

Rationale: if there is an existing relevant research guide, determine if there is enough new and unique content to justify a course guide.

Avoid Duplication: Do not create a course guide if you plan to significantly copy the same information found in a general purpose guide (Research QuickStart, Using the Library's General Search Guide) or a Subject Guide.

Instead, Create/Add a Course Page into an already published Subject guide (Sociology, English)

► If you are not the author of the relevant subject guide, work collaboratively with the author to add your content.

► Create a Master Guide for commonly taught courses, e.g. ENGL 1010-1011, FYE classes, and link to the General Purpose guides for the in-depth explanation on how to use the library services 

Contextualize: Subject specific course guides must contextualize the information and focus on the class assignment. Ensure most, if not all, pages in the guide have content that is specific to the class topic and that help students answer the questions/find the resources they need to fulfill their assignments.

► When using Shared Content Boxes, don't just add them to the guide without any contextual information. Instead contextualize the information in the boxes by pairing them with specific advice, examples or resources related to the topic of the class.

Profile: a profile box with the appropriate subject specialist must appear on all course guides. Contact information for other subject specialists who might assist (especially for cross-disciplinary topics), may also be added.

Instructor Collaboration: work closely with the course instructor and use the course syllabus to ensure relevancy and usefulness to the class.

See the examples below for reference when creating your course guides/course pages:

Citation Style: if a major assignment for the course is a research paper, consider linking to the appropriate bibliographic citation style page in the Citation Guides & Management Tools guide.

Subject guide with Course pages for Sociology. Course pages can be set as hidden or visible as needed. We recommend to create a Friendly URL for your course guide and share it with your faculty. That is the landing page for the class but they still have access to the rest of the guide, e.g. SOCI 3601: Sociology of Gender - Hartford, https://guides.lib.uconn.edu/soci/sociologyofgenderhartford

Master Guide for ENGL 1010-1011 with a Class Assignment Page, listing assignments by course.

Traditional Subject Specific Course Guide: Because of the complexity of the course topic which need to help students to find very specific and hard to find information materials (primary and secondary sources) about Asian ethnic groups in Latin America & the Caribbean, I decided to create a course guide with content that it is not replicated in my Subject guide for Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Example of a standalone course guide.