Research Essentials

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. 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.

Research Essentials Team

Mardi Mahaffy

Mardi Mahaffy

Head of Teaching & Learning


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


The Research Essentials curriculum is embedded in all sections of FSE, English 110 (online module only), English 225, and gen ed communication studies courses.

Research Essentials Team
Miller Nichols Library,
University of Missouri-Kansas City
(816) 235-1526

Research Essentials online learning content is available to import into your Canvas course site through the Canvas Commons. (See detailed instructions under “How do I embed Research Essentials in my Canvas site?”) Once embedded in your course site, the Research Essentials modules will generate a grade column in your course Gradebook. (FSE does not incorporate a graded quiz.)

  • One grade column will be for the Quiz module.
  • The Quiz will come with a default point value. You can edit the values for each question to match your course point scale as necessary.
  • Scores will appear in the grade column as soon as your students complete the quiz. You will have editing capabilities for the grade column as well as for individual scores.

The Research Essentials Team at the library contacts relevant General Education instructors a week or so before the start of the semester to determine those who wish to schedule Research Essentials instruction.

Detailed scheduling instructions are provided to instructors every semester. Steps include completing a form with first and second date choices, receiving scheduling verification from the library, and being connected with the librarian who will be teaching your session.

UMKC Essentials Curriculum

First Semester Experience

Oral communications

Written communications

What instructors are staying about Research Essentials

Streaming video request

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Case dimensions: 5’ long x 30” wide x 9” high sitting atop 3’ legs

Glass exhibit table


The First Floor Gallery is located just inside the main entrance of the Miller Nichols Library.

Wall with exhibit content

Conference Room 325

Located on the Third Floor of Miller Nichols Library. For access, enter the library at the north ground floor entrance or the west first floor entrance. Then take the stairs or the elevator to the third floor..

Map of third floor of Miller Nichols Library
The fourth floor of Miller Nichols Library is closed for renovation until Fall 2025.
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