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Info Lit Tool Kit: Teaching Essentials

Teaching Essentials

These teaching essentials have been developed from the paper 296101 Adult Teaching and Learning.

These can be used as a guide for structure or planning a class or as inspiration for experimenting with class content.

Peer Checklist


What I hear, I forget.

What I hear and see, I remember a little.

What I hear, see, and ask questions about or discuss with someone else, I begin to understand.

What I hear, see, discuss, and do, I acquire knowledge and skill.

What I teach to another, I master.

Silberman, M. L. (1996). Active learning: 101 strategies to teach any subject.

Boston: Allyn and Bacon


Guide and Guard the process of learning (rather than direct, or lecture to students)

Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle

Planning your Session

Ask the lecturer

                What should students be able to do after the library session?

                What do they need to know how to do for upcoming assessments?


What are the learning outcomes?

                Only include 2-3 outcomes

                e.g. 1.  Identify ways to refine a search


Remember - keep content relevant to the needs of the students. Remind students why its relevant to them!


How is this different to the outline?

               An outline lists what is covered in the session (chapters of the session)


  • Set up class and be ready to go (when you can)

       - have generic logins ready

      -  test equipment

       - plan your timing

  • The 'plumbing' or set up shouldn’t be noticed, so is seamless for participants

  • Use colour to highlight different points/parts of workshop

  • Anticipate questions that might be asked

  • Remember: Classes start on the hour in the morning (10am-10.50am), ten minutes past the hour in the afternoon (12.10pm - 1pm)

Workshop Structure

  1. Outline should be visible (whiteboard or poster)

  2. Explain learning outcomes of workshop (use cognitive objective verbs e.g. identify two different search techniques)

  3. Housekeeping (when appropriate)

  4. Introduce yourself, help establish comfort (who you are, what you do)

  5. Content

    • Include an Activity

    • Include places people can go for help e.g. online tutorials, Help Desk

    • Review/Recap what has been covered

  6. Reflect! What was great? What can you do next time?

Dealing with Difficulties

Late comers

   - explain we will keep class going, they may want to attend another workshop, or contact a Liaison Librarian

Off on tangents

   - keep to timing

   - keep to outline

   - allow for some organic and relevant discussion but pull in if diverts too much! Suggest discuss at end of class, or arrange an appointment (if  appropriate).

   - clearly state outcomes at the beginning of class

Different levels

   - set expectations at beginning of class. State if complex, and check with group of each section of workshop.

Blank faces, facebooking, twittering

   - try some engaging techniques/activities, e.g. pair activities

Equipment & technology failure

   - test prior to workshop


Some things are out of our control!  But we can do our best to minimise the difficulties.

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