Teaching information skills to large groups with limited time and resources

Paul Verlander, Catherine Scutt
2009, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. pp. 31 - 42

Abstract


The purpose of this article is to discuss the various interactive teaching methods used during large group information literacy sessions at Liverpool Hope University during the academic year 2008-2009. Based on the practical experience of piloting a range of methods with students at Liverpool Hope University during the current academic year, this article analyses the benefits of using various interactive teaching techniques to assist in the delivery of information literacy skills when large group teaching is the only available option. This includes an outline of a variety of aides to interactive teaching within the lecture. Also discussed is the use of post-session follow up actions to ensure that students receive hands-on practice using resources through the use of quizzes and worksheets, while drop-in sessions and online tutorials enable further support for those students who require it. Evaluation to date indicates that interactive teaching methods improve student understanding although different methods may be more successful than others and with different groups of students. The article recommends using a variety of different interactive methods during a lecture, as well as ensuring there are opportunities for hands on practice after the lecture. This will cater for different learning styles and also the teaching styles of the presenters. 

This analysis contributes to the literature on teaching information literacy in higher education settings through a focus on aides to facilitate information literacy with large groups. The discussion of the relative merits of various teaching methods will help formulate practical solutions to the common problem of how to teach information skills to large groups with limited staff time and numbers.


Keywords


information literacy; academic libraries; information skills; learning theory; active learning; large group teaching; interactive teaching methods

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