EBLIP and Active Learning: A Case Study

Helen Buckley Woods

Abstract


Objective – To determine how librarians use evidence when planning a teaching or training session, what types of evidence they use and what the barriers are to using this evidence. The case study also sought to determine if active learning techniques help overcome the barriers to using evidence in this context.

Methods – Five librarians participated in a continuing education course (CEC) which used active learning methods (e.g. peer teaching) and worked with a number of texts which explored different aspects of teaching and learning. Participants reflected on the course content and methods and gave group feedback to the facilitator which was recorded. At the end of the course participants answered a short questionnaire about their use of educational theory and other evidence in their planning work.

Results – Findings of this case study confirm the existence of several barriers to evidence based user instruction previously identified from the literature. Amongst the barriers reported were the lack of suitable material pertaining to specific learner groups, material in the wrong format, difficulty in accessing educational research material and a lack of time. Participants gave positive feedback about the usefulness of the active learning methods used in the CEC and the use of peer teaching demonstrated that learning had taken place. Participants worked with significant amounts of theoretical material in a short space of time and discussion and ideas were stimulated.

Conclusions – Barriers to engaging with evidence when preparing to teach may be addressed by provision of protected time to explore evidence in an active manner. Implementation would require organisational support, including recognition that working with research evidence is beneficial to practice.

Keywords


active learning, information literacy,

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