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How to engage your students with Oliver v5 - Part Two


Are you taking advantage of all the features in Oliver v5 to engage your students? Here are a few more ideas for you to try. 

Orbit Interface

There are lots of different ways you can use Orbit to engage your Junior and Middle school students.  

Below are a few suggestions.  

Seasonal Backgrounds

Did you know that Orbit has seasonal backgrounds and avatars that can be turned on or off depending on the time of year? Parameter 4807 – Season Images allows library staff to control which season they want available. There are currently options available for ANZAC Day, Christmas, Easter and Halloween.  

The inclusion of seasonal backgrounds and avatars could be incorporated into your library lesson plans or you could just turn them on, sit back and wait for the students to discover them.  

For assistance – use the Help Area in Oliver v5 to search for the following Help Articles:  

  • How to change the look and feel of the My Library screen in Orbit
  • Seasonal backgrounds and avatars for selection in Orbit

Orbit Background and Avatar Competition

Design your own avatar competition
Design your own avatar competition

Library staff have the ability to upload new backgrounds and avatars into Orbit as part of the nightly housekeeping process.

A great way to engage the students is to get them involved in the design of new backgrounds and avatars. The students could use paper and colouring pencils or one of the many drawing software packages that are available.  

A great rainy-day activity could be to run a competition, with the winning drawings being uploaded into Oliver v5. An avatar dressed up in your school uniform would look fantastic and be popular with the students.  

For assistance – use the Help Area in Oliver v5 to search for the following help article:

  • How to upload a custom background and avatar for use in Orbit

Advertise competitions and events on your home page

The Oliver v5 home page is a great place to advertise events and competitions that are going on in the library or school. A home page information box would be the perfect location to advertise the winner of the Orbit backgrounds and avatars competition.  

The information boxes enable you to add images or even link to email addresses. If you are planning to run lots of competitions you might want to ask your IT staff to set up an email address just for library competitions.  

For assistance – use the Help Area in Oliver v5 to search for the following help articles:

  • How to add a simple information box on the Orbit screen
  • How to add or edit an information box on the library home screen
  • How to add an image to an information box

Resource Reviews 

If students have the ability to log into Oliver v5 then they will be able to write a review and give resources a star rating. Writing reviews could be included as a regular part of your library lessons. Alternately, get your teachers involved and, instead of their students submitting a book review on paper, have them add it to Oliver v5 as part of the assessment process.  

Just a reminder that reviews won’t be visible until they have been moderated (approved) by library staff. Once the review has been approved, it can be shared on social network sites like Twitter and Facebook.  

If your Oliver v5 system is available outside of your school environment, and can be accessed by the general public, you might prefer to keep the identity of your students private. Oliver v5 has safeguards in place to protect students who have published reviews.  

Orbit junior interface, book reviews

Parameter 4708 – Reviewer Identity allows library staff to control how the identity of the reviewer is seen in the search results page. Library staff are able to choose from the following options: anonymous, borrower alias, first name only, first and last name, student code and username.  

For assistance – use the Help Area in Oliver v5 to search for the following help articles:

  • How to review and rate a resource
  • How to write a review and rate an item in Orbit
  • Parameters relating to third party and system provided rating and reviews

Looking for more ideas for engaging students using Oliver v5?

  • Check out part one in this two-part series about engaging your students with Oliver v5
  • Click here to find out more about our recent developments that have been designed to engage students with the library
  • To learn more about how Oliver v5 can support learning, read this blog

Editors note: This blog was originally published in September 2016, updated in September 2021 for freshness, accuracy and relevancy.