Background: This paper summarizes and evaluates a partnership between subject and functional liaison librarians and a health science Ph.D. program to deliver hybrid-online doctoral learning. A health sciences librarian and a data librarian partnered with the director of an interdisciplinary health professions Ph.D. program that includes students from various health professions in a yearly doctoral cohort for a hybrid-online Dissertation Seminar course. Past doctoral students had demonstrated several challenges in information use throughout their prospectus assignment. To improve their use of the literature in all chapters of the dissertation, the librarians were asked to integrate library instruction throughout the dissertation seminar.
Description: After discussing course objectives with the program director, the librarians created learning objects aligned with these objectives. The content was posted in an online course guide, linked in the class’ Blackboard page to appear as the class progressed. The class met biweekly and online for assignments in modules based around the chapters of a dissertation proposal. Library materials developed for each module included resources on APA citation style, videos outlining the steps for conducting a literature review, videos on researching theory, and a video on study design literature. The Blackboard discussion board was used to hold “library office hours” in addition to the lead instructor’s office hours. Formative, low-stakes self-assessments were included for library content in each module. A summative assessment was collected at the end. The next version of the course (in progress) has incorporated assessment findings.
Conclusion: The students reported a favorable response to having the library materials available in a timely manner, and prospectus assignments showed a more effective incorporation of the literature throughout student research planning. The librarians and program director presented this project to other faculty within the health professions college. This presentation led to connections with other departments and discussion of broadening the library’s role in health professions graduate education. Learning objects from the course are also forming the seeds of a content hub for resources that can be used for all curriculums in the graduate health professions college.