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Faculty week: Supporting your distance education students


The Center for European Studies and Architecture

Aug. 19, 2014 – The library provides a range of services to support distance education students taking classes at a remote site or through an online class and to faculty who work outside Blacksburg (Graduate Centers, Extension offices, ARECs, Equine Medical Center, etc.). We strive to give these remote users a similar experience to our Blacksburg patrons.

Electronic resources

Online access to library resources — databases, ebooks, journals, and some theses and dissertations—is restricted to current Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. Remote access is controlled by Internet address. Users connecting from the campus network have direct access to these resources. Users outside the campus network who use a commercial, work, public school, or public library ISP must authenticate their Virginia Tech status before they can access these resources.

We authenticate remote users through a process called Off Campus Sign In. You sign in using your PID/password combination, which then routes your browser traffic through a campus computer so that you appear as part of the campus network and thus gain access to restricted library resources. Almost every library web page provides a button that links to the Off Campus Sign In proxy service. Faculty including links to restricted resources should use the proxied form of the URL; we include instructions on this process on our Persistent links page.

We also recommend distance education users install the LibX browser plugin, which greatly simplifies the process of authentication when users reach a restricted page without making use of Off Campus Sign In first.

Document delivery

Distance education users outside the New River Valley counties of Montgomery, Giles, and Pulaski are eligible to use the ILLiad system to request books, articles, and other materials be delivered to them. Articles and similar materials are typically sent electronically. Books, videos, and other returnables will be mailed to the user's home address. These materials are provided with a prepaid return mail label.

Interlibrary loan will send both materials owned by the Virginia Tech Libraries and items we obtain from other libraries. Distance education students do not need to indicate whether the item is locally owned on their request, though we do offer a process that makes requesting locally owned books simple. Log in to My Library Account prior to searching Addison, the library catalog. Book records will include a link to the ILLiad request form that fills out the bibliographic fields (title, author, etc) for you.


Librarians can provided instruction sessions to distance education classes. They can travel to our extended campus for in-person sessions, or they can participate remotely using video conferencing technology. Contact your college librarian to arrange an instruction session.

Need help?

Email the Distance Education support group or use the chat service below.


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