Question: Would you accept a works cited page from a student that was just a bulleted list of links? What if some of the links reference the dreaded 404 Page Not Found screen?
Think of links as individual citations in an annotated bibliography. Citations give us information about the resource: author, overview, date, etc. When we present links and resources to students, it is important that we provide information about the link/resource. Below, you will see links presented with additional information. The student can see additional information be tapping/clicking on the "link info" icon. Students can also quickly see which links are highly recommended and/or are primary sources.
LibGuides gives us the ability to present additional information in a variety of ways. You can choose to have a description appear directly under a link, pop up on a mouse over, or appear in a bubble when clicked.
It is important not to treat your website and/or guides as a dumping ground for links. Coming upon a page that is just an endless list of links is not helpful to students. Instead, group together similar links into logical sections. In the example below, you can see a section for web resources, video, database searching, and resources of Mao's Little Red Book. Students will quickly be able to determine what resources will be most useful to them.
When sharing media links, particularly YouTube clips, embed the clip instead of just providing a link. Allowing students to view media directly reduces clicks and the potential for them to skip the resource. If applicable, use images to help promote links. In the above example, students can click on the Little Red Book to view an interactive version of the book. Our goal is to promote resources and breaking up the monotony of text links is an easy way to achieve that.
Make sure your links are active. There is little more frustrating than seeing what appears to be a really awesome link to a resource only to click on it and find out that it is either dead or redirects to something completely unrelated. LibGuides has a great link checking feature that will check all of your guides for dead links. If you can get in the habit of checking every week or so, you'll avoid bum links and keep your guides, and website, current and useful.