LibWizard Tutorials

Reviewed by Kayla Harris, Marian Library, University of Dayton [PDF Full Text]

LibWizard is a multipurpose tool by SpringShare that includes four components: forms, surveys, quizzes, and tutorials/assessments. Although each of these features presents an opportunity to be used in primary source instruction, this review will focus specifically on the tutorials and the ways in which they can be used for archival instruction.

Some instruction archivists and librarians may already be familiar with LibWizard, as it is comparable to a tool called Guide on the Side, allowing for a website, video, or other media to be shown on one side of the screen while instructions and questions can be presented on the other half.[1] Several institutions have LibGuides (another tool that is part of the paid LibApps suite by SpringShare) that promote the use of LibWizard tutorials for instruction, such as Washington State University, University of Minnesota Duluth, and The Ohio State University. The SpringShare blog includes posts tagged “LibWizard,” including Learning Labs featuring institutional users demonstrating how they’ve used the tool in different ways. However, few examples exist of institutions using LibWizard for archives and special collections, and specifically for primary source instruction.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marian Library at the University of Dayton has used LibWizard to create asynchronous tutorials for co-curricular learning. Discover the Marian Library is a general introduction for undergraduate students to the Marian Library’s collections and services as a scavenger hunt through the website and online resources. On Paper: Nativity Imagery from the Marian Library guides students through an online exhibit in Scalar. Finally, Citizen Web Archiving: Preserving Websites for the Common Good introduces students to the concept of web archiving and features “hands-on” learning where students preserve a website page in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. In the future, the Marian Library plans to use LibWizard for a flipped classroom model, asking students to complete a tutorial with context about the collections, proper handling procedures for rare materials, and protocols for navigating archival research before a class visit. Previously, we attempted something similar by directing students to particular sections of the website, but the LibWizard tutorial does a better job of guiding a user through different websites or media, while assessing learning since the tutorials can be developed with questions. This type of formative assessment can provide valuable feedback about what areas the student understood, and what topics need further clarification. The ways in which we have used this tool can provide valuable inspiration for remote and hybrid instruction, or as a complement to in-person instruction. 

Screenshot of the Citizen Web Archiving tutorial instructing students how to archive a webpage in the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine.

Tutorial Creation

Creating tutorials within LibWizard is very easy, especially for those who have any experience with web editor tools. For each slide, the user selects from a LibGuide, website, image, PDF, embedded media (such as a video), or custom content via a rich text editor to be half of the split screen content. Then, users are given a Slide Workpad where different features can be dragged and dropped, and easily reordered. Text Blocks (a basic editing feature to enter text) allow the creator to provide directions to the participants, and there are fields specifically to collect names, emails, or other contact information from participants. A preview button allows the user to easily check the layout and usability of each slide as it is being created.

Screenshot of a Slide Workpad for one portion of a guided online exhibit tutorial.

Assessment and Reports

LibWizard provides a great deal of flexibility and ways to assess learning throughout a tutorial. Different options include creating an open-ended response, a dropdown list, radio buttons, checkboxes, star ratings, a grid, or an image choice.

Screenshot of a short answer open-ended question.

Within each of these types of questions are customization options. For example, with open-ended questions, the creator can specify whether the user has to answer a question exactly, or whether a partial match can be counted as correct. Several possible correct answers can also be supplied. In the example below, users were asked to watch a short video and then list one of the several disciplines named in the video that the Marian Library collections could support. Within the answer properties, each of the disciplines was listed as a possible correct answer, with partial matches counting as correct. This meant that someone writing “art” instead of “art history” would still receive credit. The answer properties also allow for custom messages for correct and wrong answers to be displayed.

Screenshot of customizable answer properties for an open-ended question.

Even when requiring that a user must submit a correct answer to proceed, the tutorial report includes the submission and grade for the first try only. In the example above, if a user submitted an answer not listed as a possible correct answer, they would see the message “While it may be possible that the Marian Library supports that discipline, it’s not listed specifically in the video. Review again, especially near the 1:50 minute mark.” They would then have to submit a correct answer before being able to proceed to the next slide. This is a helpful tool for identifying questions or activities that may have been confusing for the user. As part of the Discover the Marian Library scavenger hunt, users were directed to search the catalog and enter the call number for a specific book. As shown in the screenshot of the report in LibWizard, one user entered the Marian Library’s phone number, while another student entered only the first part of the call number. This formative assessment is very valuable in understanding why users answered incorrectly, and can be used to clarify the directions the next time. When used in conjunction with in-person visits, this data can inform which topics need more discussion or individualized follow-up with particular students. The reports can be exported as CSV files and the tool allows for field and cross-tab analysis.

Screenshot of student responses in the Live Submissions Report, with incorrect responses highlighted in red. Responses in black and blue are for open-ended questions that do not require a specific correct answer to proceed.

User Feedback

From the user perspective, the Marian Library has received very positive feedback about the actual format of LibWizard. For all three of the examples provided above, an optional question was included at the end for students to share what they liked, learned, or would like to see in future programming. In addition to comments about the tutorial content, several students commented about the ease of having everything contained within one browser window, and not having to click out to separate links.

One potential downside is that the tutorial does not save a user’s progress if they close the browser window. This may be especially difficult for students who complete the tutorial on mobile or tablet devices. To address this, we have included a warning at the beginning of new tutorials with an estimated length of time to complete, and explained that it should be fully completed in one sitting to receive credit. 

There are many more possibilities for archives and special collections to use LibWizard tutorials for instruction beyond the examples provided by the Marian Library. This flexible tool has been particularly valuable during a period of remote learning, but will continue to be utilized even after in-person instruction fully resumes.

[1] Graham Sheriff, “Guide on the Side and LibWizard Tutorials Side-by-Side: How Do the Two Platforms for Split-Screen Online Tutorials Compare?” Journal of Web Librarianship 11, no. 2 (2017): 124-142,

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