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Library Instruction Program

Why add a Research Guide or Database Resource to your Canvas course?

In late Spring 2021, the NMSU Library activated a tool in Canvas that allows you to link to or display library resources directly in your course in a more seamless way than was available previously. Embedding these resources into your course is a great way to bring the library to the students when they need it most. 

The following library resources can be embedded into your course:

  • Research Guides (embeds directly into Canvas as if students were on the library website)
    • Choose either a Single Page on a guide, or the Full Guide.
    • Note that there is an option to link to a specific content box on a guide, but we're not currently recommending this as most guides contain more than one useful skill for your students. 
  • All A-Z Databases (direct link to the full list of databases)
  • Specific A-Z Database (direct link to a specific database)
  • Database for a Specific Subject (direct link to the full list)
  • Database for a Specific Subject + Subject Specialists (direct link to the subject specific list and the contact info of the library liaison for that subject)
  • New/Trial Databases (direct link to new or trial databases, if we have any, and the list of our most popular databases)

There are two ways to insert these library resources into your Canvas course. You can insert them into your modules or on your home page, or you can insert them within text boxes throughout your Canvas course.

If you are unsure which Research Guide or library resource to choose, visit our Research Guides page to browse or search, or contact a librarian, or the reference desk, for a suggestion.

Instructions for Adding Research Guides & Database Resources to your Canvas Course

The first way you can add a Research Guide or Database resource to your Canvas class is by adding it on the module level. If you want to add a library resource at this level, you'll need to create a module for it, or add it to an existing module. How you organize this for yourself will depend on the organization of your overall course.

  1. In your module page, choose the "+ Module" at the top right of the content page or the "+" in the top right of the module where you want to add the resource. Circled in light blue in the image below.
  2. From the dropdown, choose "External Tool" and scroll down to find the "NMSU Library Research Guides & Resources" choice. Purple arrow pointing to choice in the image below.
  3. A new pop-up window will open and will ask you to choose a site. There is only one site to choose.
  4. From there, a new line will open to choose which type of content you would like to embed into the module or homepage (see list above). There are a lot of different choices. If you are unsure what to choose for steps 4-5, please don't hesitate to contact a reference librarian for a suggestion.
  5. Depending on your choice, a new line or lines will open to help you find the right resource by narrowing choices down. See an example in the image below.
  6. Click the button to "Embed Content" at which point that window will disappear. Choose the button to "Add Item" to finalize the process.
  7. The resource will now be added to your module. If you've chosen a Research Guide, opening it will load the resource automatically within Canvas, without pulling them away from the LMS, or opening another tab or window. If you've chosen a link to a database, a direct link will appear that when clicked will pull students directly into the database. You can check what your students see and edit your choice once the resource is embedded in your module by opening the resource and following the directions on this screen, which are similar to the process above.

The second way you can add a Research Guide or Database resource to your Canvas class is by embedding it within a text item you have created in Canvas. Guides and database resources can be embedded directly into Pages, Discussions, Assignments, Syllabus, and Quizzes on Canvas. Basically anywhere that you have access to the "Apps" choice in the text editing box.

Something to note: because the Apps tool embeds these Library resources directly into your text page, some resources, such as Research Guides, will take up a lot of space on the page. Research Guides may be more useful, less confusing, and less overwhelming for students if they are dropped into the course on the Module level. 

  1. First, make sure your cursor is in the place you want the Library resource to be.
  2. Then, in the formatting toolbar of your text page, choose the "Apps" icon. It looks like a little electrical plug. 
  3. Scroll down to find the "NMSU Library Research Guides & Resources" choice.
  4. A new pop-up window will open and will ask you to choose a site. There is only one site to choose.
  5. From there, a new line will open to choose which type of content you would like to embed into the module or homepage (see list above). There are a lot of different choices. If you are unsure what to choose for steps 5-6, please don't hesitate to contact a reference librarian for a suggestion.
  6. Depending on your choice, a new line or lines will open to help you find the right resource by narrowing choices down. 
  7. Click the button to "Embed Content" at which point that window will disappear. 
  8. The resource will now be added to the text of your item. The resource will be automatically embedded within the text of the item, without pulling students away from the LMS, or opening another tab or window.