Skip to Main Content

Library & Research Readiness Series for Canvas Commons

This series contains modules for use in Canvas course shells. Each module is dedicated to exploring information literacy and/or library use topics, each intended to offer an asynchronous method of delivering content to prepare students for academic resear

Exploring Different Source Types

**RECOMMENDATION: This module is recommended to be paired with the "Evaluating Sources" module if the goal is to both:

1) introduce students to a comprehensive overview of all source types

2) teach students how to evaluate resources as credible or along the criteria of scholarly vs. more pop-culture sources


This module (Library & Research Readiness: Exploring Different Source Types) was built with the following components:

After completing this module, students will be able to:

1) the categories of primary, secondary, and tertiary resources

2) the difference between reference/background information and more robust secondary/primary information

3) prepublication data vs. published titles

4) how to locate tertiary/reference material, secondary material, and primary source material via the library's tools

It was built with the following components:

  • Goals for the module (student learning outcomes)
  • Pages with text and screenshots demonstrating the differences in source types, as well as how to use the library tools to find them
  • Three (3) videos providing examples and suggestions on evaluating resources:
    • Primary, Secondary, & Tertiary Examples (9:32 min.):
      • Overview of how these resource types are defined, and how they differ contextually across disciplines. 
    • Library Website Tools for Locating Primary & Tertiary Materials (11:14 min.): 
      • Highlighting the library tools' effectiveness in locating these material types, and suggestions on how best to leverage them.
    • Finding Secondary Articles via the Library (4:32 min.)
      • Demonstration of how to efficiently focus your research on locating secondary articles via the library's holdings.
  • A 5-question multiple-choice quiz (a 5-point practice quiz in Canvas) to assess student retention of this information.
  • A link to a brief online feedback survey, so that students can share their feedback with the Library.

If you have any questions about this module or any of the other Library & Research Readiness modules in Canvas Commons, please contact both and

Find this module here in Canvas Commons.