Collaborative tools and Library Resources

York University Libraries have been working to enhance learning and research by engaging with online collaborative tools such as wikis and blogs.  The Libraries can assist with developing students’ critical thinking and research skills in a collaborative online environment.

Here are some ideas how we can help.  

Assignment Design

The York University Libraries have a great deal of experience working with instructors to design effective assignments that use library resources.

We have suggestions on how to design assignments that use wikitechnology.

  • Have students author or edit Wikipedia entries as an individual or group assignment.
  • Create a copy of existing Wikipedia entries on a local server to use as the starting point for a collaborative research and writing project.
  • Have students create their own wiki articles from scratch on a local server.

We would be interested to hear what kinds of other wiki or blog assignment ideas you are considering. The Libraries can suggest successful strategies for researching and writing whether your students are creating encyclopedia entries or other types of academic writing.

Teaching Support

York University Libraries have an active Library Instruction program. The program seeks to bolster the research and critical thinking skills of students for programs across the university through workshops, lectures and online learning. Librarians are able to:

  • Offer lectures or workshops to critically discuss Wikipedia, blogs and other online and print resources.
  • Create course-specific pathfinders to lead students to key periodical indexes and resources.
  • Create help pages for your course tools that outline effective research techniques and strategies.
  • Discuss critical issues regarding issues of authority in an online environment.
  • Explore aggregators of blog content around the world and discuss the global impact of blogs in relation to other forms of media.

Please see the Library Instruction pages on the Libraries’ website for more information about this program.

Technical Support

The library provides many tools for bringing resources together in course tools, including the following:

  • Build stable URLs to full-text journal articles. Please see the Locating and Using Permanent Links page for further information.
  • Create links to items or groups of items in the Library catalogue.
  • Access to and training workshops in the use of RefWorks, an online bibliographic management system