Share Your Teaching Tool Kit:
Best Practices in Library Instruction

Sponsored by the Teaching Methods and Education Committees
of the ACRL Instruction Section.
Held on Sunday, January 16, 2000, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX

What are our "best practices" in library instruction? This Discussion Forum looked at several instruction issues and scenarios and gave audience members a chance to formulate solutions and strategies in a workshop type of format. We broke up into four groups to discuss the four topics and summarized the discussions for all at the end. The four discussion topics below are linked to notes from those discussions. We also created a brief bibliography on these four topics.

Instruction issues and scenarios:

1) Teaching without a computer lab: How do you provide active and/or collaborative learning and keep students interested when you don't have a computer lab to give them hands-on database practice?

2) Teaching to a bad assignment: How to talk to faculty about a bad assignment, how to orient students in a meaningful way when they are given a bad assignment, how to work with faculty on library assignments, how to get faculty to send assignments in advance, general tips for good assignments. Specific examples: Faculty member gives a scavenger hunt every year -- what can you do? Another assignment has everyone using a small number of resources and one ends up with pages torn out -- how could this situation be improved/prevented?

3) Increasing your teaching skills: How do you learn more about teaching? Also, what tips, tricks, planning, etc., do you do before or during class time to present yourself with confidence in order to engage the class?

4) Teaching information literacy concepts: Students often want to know the mechanics of searching particular databases, but information literacy includes understanding many research concepts. What are your tips for teaching information literacy concepts? What methods work best for teaching concepts? Specific concepts: Boolean operators, keyword versus subject heading searching, narrowing or broadening a search, selecting appropriate resources ( types of resources, resources by subject, etc), evaluation of search results (not just the first three full-text articles, Web sites, etc.), identifying and using scholarly resources.

15 February 2000


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