Elearning Modules


Searching the Library for Evidence


Library of Medicine

Document Type

Instructional Material

Publication Date



Each fall semester, the library leads a one-hour-50 minute instructional session for students enrolled in Nursing 316: Evidence-Based Nursing Practice and Leadership in Nursing. In this course, students “focus on the practical skills required to identify and appraise best evidence to support nursing practice.” A step in this process is searching the literature.

The library session takes place in Omaha, Lincoln, Kearney and Norfolk. Class sizes can reach up to 70 students. Each student is seated at a computer with Internet access. The session includes a lecture, which explains the concepts of searching and demonstrations of multiple resources, and a hands-on portion in which students search the resources for materials on their assigned topics. The material covered in the lecture is quite voluminous, and it is understandable the students may get overwhelmed. Additionally, efforts to lead the class in sample searches often leave students frustrated when they fall behind the group.

During the fall of 2014, a flipped instruction session will be instituted. Students will view a nine-minute module, which is a more precise version of the live lecture, interspersed with questions that serve as a self-assessment of the students’ understanding of the material. The reduced lecture time and interactive elements make the task less passive, and students are expected to gain a greater understanding of search techniques.

During the classroom session, students will complete a structured and interactive tutorial that will guide them through the resources and reinforce concepts covered in the module. Following completion of the tutorial, students will be assessed on their comprehension of the content. The remainder of the session will be a workshop in which the students search for materials on their assigned topics, as well as a short demonstration on tasks such as finding full-text articles and citing sources.

The flipped instruction component meets the needs of contemporary students by focusing the instruction time on practical application. The self-paced approach will reduce the number of overwhelmed students and enable them to take control over their learning. An expected outcome includes utilizing library resources to find appropriate, evidence-based literature. The in-depth understanding will lead these students to have confidence in their abilities to find suitable resources and provide better care to their patients.