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Research Essentials

Research Essentials is an undergraduate information literacy instruction program that serves the General Education students of UMKC.

Program Description

Research Essentials is integrated into the UMKC General Education program to teach students skills that will help them meet key student learning outcomes related to finding and using information. Within UMKC Essentials we offer instruction for First Semester Experience, Written Communications, and Oral Communications courses. We also provide instruction for Discourse classes. Our curriculum covers information literacy skills and concepts—identifying source types; evaluating information needs; finding, using, and integrating sources—applied to the course research assignment. It consists of online tutorials that students complete through Canvas, as well as targeted class sessions. Our learning activities are intended to help students achieve identified learning outcomes while maintaining focus on the larger goals of their research projects, course outcomes, undergraduate education, and future careers.

The instructor feedback has been positive; instructors appreciate the value of the instruction and attribute improvement in student use of sources to it. Outcomes are assessed via evaluation of student work, and student success is proven; qualitative and quantitative assessment methods show that students are achieving desired learning outcomes.

information obtained into academic and creative endeavors

the ability to find and use quality research from a broad range of sources

effective use of research resources

Format and document
source materials in properly constructed papers, presentations, and a variety of visual formats


Our goal is to give students the skills they need to be information savvy for success in both academics and the real world.

Instruction & Curriculum

Research Essentials curriculum is delivered synchronously and asynchronously. The program utilizes:

  • Classroom Instruction. Strategically timed synchronous instruction allows us to cover higher-level concepts while remaining integrated in the course and tailored to the research assignment.
  • Flipped Classroom Model. Students complete homework sets before their library sessions that introduces information literacy concepts and includes formative assessment. Activities are designed to apply the homework concepts to the research assignment the class is assigned. This approach introduces major information literacy concepts through online tutorials, allowing us to spend class time clarifying that information, applying the concepts directly to the course assignments, and assisting students individually.
  • Mapped Curriculum. Our curriculum is carefully mapped to the student learning outcomes and signature assignments of each course to ensure that we are strategically addressing programmatic goals.
  • Standardized, Customizable Lesson Plans. The teaching librarian tailors a standard lesson plan to every class to ensure that the course objectives are supported, examples and resource recommendations are relevant, and students conclude their library instruction with all the tools needed to perform the level of academic research required by their project.

Research Essentials Team

  • UMKC Essentials
    First Semester Experience
    • Academic Research Tools
    • Exploring UMKC Libraries
    Oral Communications
    • Source Evaluation
    • Topic Development
    • Types of Sources
    Written Communications
    • Citing Sources
    • Database Searching
    • Search Strategies