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Faculty Services: Support for OAKS

This guide is a resource listing the various library services available to faculty.

Library Services Widget

The Library Services widget is included as a default for each course homepage.  The widget allows students to chat with library and student computing support staff at the Access & Instruction Desk, get answers from our knowledgebase, browse through library research guides, access library quick links, and contact library staff for additional assistance.


Library Services Widget

to view the Student Library Services
available with this widget.

Link to Research Guides

Research Guides offer starting points for your research, such as what databases to search for the journal articles that you need for your paper, what reference sources to use to find background information for your topic, etc.

We divide the Research Guides into Subject GuidesCourse GuidesHow-to Guides,Special Topics & Issues.  For more information visit the Research Guides tab of this guide. 

How to Add a Widget to Your OAKS Homepage

Step 1: Create a new widget (or box) for the homepage

  1. From your course page in OAKS click on Management, use the drop down arrow to select "Edit Course"
  2. Select "Widgets"
  3. Click on the "Create Widget" button
  4. Give your new widget a Name, Description, and other options as desired on the tabs.
  5. Select the "Content" tab to create what you wish to appear in the widget box. To embed your LibGuide widget code, click the edit HTML source button (located on the bottom left of the screen). Paste your widget code.
  6. Click the "Save and Close" button on the bottom of the screen.
  7. You should see your new widget on the "Custom Widgets" tab.

Step 2: Create a new homepage (this step is only required if you are using the default homepage.  If another homepage has been activated, select the desired homepage and follow steps 5-8 and click on your course homepage to see the changes you have made.

  1. Click on Management, use the drop down arrow to select "Edit Course
  2. You can create your own new Homepage or make a copy of the Default Homepage.  Creating a copy is recommended.
  3. Use the drop down arrow to copy the Default Homepage. 
  4. Select "Default Home V10 Copy"
  5. Click the hyperlinked text "Default Home V10 Copy"
  6. A new window will open.  Give the new homepage a Name
  7. Add widgets as desired to each area of the homepage by clicking on the "Add Widgets" button. Select the "Custom Widgets" tab.  Select your Widget by clicking on the checkbox to the left.  Click the "Add" button at the bottom of the window.  Click the "Save and Close" button at the bottom of the screen. 
  8. Under the "Active Homepage" field, use the drop down arrow to select your new homepage.  Click the "Apply" button.
  9. Click on "Course Home" on the Navigation Bar in OAKS to view your new Homepage.

Teaching, Learning & Technology (TLT) OAKS Tutorials

TLT has created a number of self-paced video tutorials on how to use OAKS.  Each tool has been broken up into 5-10 minute videos. To access these video and text-based tutorials visit the OAKS Support blog!

If you need assistance using OAKS, please contact your Instructional Technologist for assistance!

Embedding a Librarian into OAKS

Librarians can assist with avoiding plagiarism, topic selection, search techniques for finding books and articles, and critical evaluation of sources. Embedding a librarian in your OAKS course allows an instructor to add a librarian to assist their students with research.

You may embed a librarian in your course in one of two roles. Both roles allow the librarian to participate in the discussion board and to appear on the classlist for easy email access.The librarian cannot see any student work or the course grade book.

Librarian role - Allows students to email their librarian from the classlist.  Librarian can create customized widgets for library research guides.

Content Assistant role – In addition to the above, librarian can add content beyond widgets such as links to tutorials and articles.

If a librarian has not been assigned to your class, please use this form to request a librarian to assist in the research aspect(s) of your OAKS course. Once a librarian has been assigned, please follow the steps below to add the librarian to your course.

  1. Decide which role the librarian should have:  Librarian (appears on the classlist allowing students direct email access, can create widgets and homepages only) or Content Assistant (can do all of the above and add additional content in the course).
  2. From your course page in OAKS click on Communication and use the drop down to select “Classlist
  3. Click "Add Participants".
  4. Select "Add Existing Users".
  5. Under the "Add Existing Users" option use the "Search For" box to search for a librarian’s first name, last name or email (e.g.> or Burton Callicott). Click the magnifying glass or hit return
  6. Check the box next to the librarian’s account.
  7. To the right of the librarian’s name, set the role as appropriate to Librarian or Content Assistant and choose the appropriate section.
  8. Click the "Enroll Selected Users" button at the bottom of the page to add the librarian to your course.

Questions? Call Burton Callicott, Head of Research & Instruction Services, at (843) 953-0016 or email

Course Reserves in OAKS

At the College of Charleston Libraries, faculty can place course materials on reserve for students online. Materials are available to students at all hours of the day, every day. The library staff will now help faculty upload their existing materials into OAKS and add new materials to OAKS within copyright guidelines.

Notify the Circulation Department via email ( that you would like them to add content to your OAKS course.  Please be sure to specify the course number, section and title as OAKS doesn't print the instructor's name. This is all we can see PUBA-663-01 - Arts And Technology - 21882.201120 so we need a name to correctly match the course and section.

Questions: Contact a member of the Circulation Dept. Staff at 953-8001 or  


Steps for adding the Circulation Department as a content assistant in your Oaks course

If you have materials that you would like assistance with adding to OAKS, please use the following steps to enable the circulation department to assist you in OAKS.

  1. From your course page in OAKS click on Communication, use the drop down arrow to select  “Classlist
  2. Click on "Add Participants"
  3. Click "Add Existing Users"
  4. Under the "Add Existing Users" option use the "Search For" bar to search for circle or under first, last name and email.  Click the Magnifying Glass or hit return to search.
  5. Check the box next to the circle account.
  6. In "Enrollment Options" select the drop down arrrow and Set the role to Content Assistant.
  7. Click the "Enroll Selected Users" button at the bottom of the page to give us authorization to post your documents on your course page(s).

Build Reading Lists OAKS

Build Reading Lists (formerly Curriculum Builder) is an External Learning Tool in OAKS that allows an instructor to:3 books

  • search most library databases and the catalog for ebooks and scholarly articles
  • use those resources to create a copyright compliant digital reading list that students can use at no cost
  • see how many students have accessed the reading list and specific articles
  • add notes specific to each resource, including external links
  • edit and/or reuse your reading list in other courses

Building Reading Lists in OAKS can save time for you and money for your students!

Use our tutorial below to get started. Your library liaison can help you find resources to add, and the Circulation Department can help with building your list in OAKS. 

Linking to Electronic Library Resources

To place links in Oaks to any of the library’s electronic resources, use the permalinks contained in our databases and library catalog. Permalinks contain our proxy server,, to prompt students for their My Charleston username and password for off-campus access. Furthermore, permalinks do not include session information which could result in expired links. It is important to use permalinks rather than the url displayed in your browser to ensure student access to electronic resources.

Alternatively, build a Reading List to display links to full text for articles or ebooks directly in OAKS.

OAKS Tutorials

OAKS Tutorials for Students (v10.3)

OAKS is the College of Charleston's e-learning portal.  It has been upgraded to version 10.3 in May 2014.  The Library has created a OAKS 10.3 Student Tutorials Playlist, which provides a single point of access to all the new tutorials.   Please feel free to share or embed these tutorials or our playlist in your classes. The tutorials are captioned and fully accessible for your students.

Playlist Embed URL: 

Playlist Embed iframe Code: 
<iframe width="640" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Individual Tutorials Individual tutorials are also available on the Library YouTube Channel 

The OAKS Overview for Students – Logging in and Course Navigation (v10.3) tutorial contains instructions for logging in to OAKS, a navigation overview, and a brief description of the tools featured in the OAKS version 10.3 upgrade. Topics covered include My Home, My Course pages, and Navigation Bar tools. Information on where to find additional student tutorials on how to use OAKS and resources/contact information for finding assistance when experiencing difficulties with OAKS is also included.

Subsequent tutorials in this playlist include detailed instructions for using the various features and tools in OAKS.

These OAKS student tutorials are also available on the OAKS Support Blog and in our Ask Us! Knowledgebase in the OAKS category!