Instructional design for the active: Employing interactive technologies and active learning exercises to enhance library instruction

Anthony C Holderied
2011, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 23-32


In a variety of instructional scenarios, librarians at The University of North Carolina have been working to engage students with the use of interactive technologies combined with active learning strategies in attempts to enhance learning of information literacy concepts. This paper describes the successful use of this approach in not only increasing student engagement, but possibly learning outcomes as well. Practical examples of our use of class response systems (clickers), interactive whiteboards, wireless slates, and digital cameras in conjunction with active learning environments are discussed in the context of both upper and lower-division classes.

Our study, using a clicker group and control group in information literacy sessions for English Composition II classes, revealed a four-point increase in information retention in classes using clickers and discussion compared to classes taught using more traditional methods of instruction. Assessment data collected from experiments provides evidence that these technologies coupled with active learning methods are capable of delivering not only improved student engagement and participation, but also increased learning outcomes in some cases. The results of these experiences shed light on the potential impact that implementation of interactive technologies with a shift in pedagogy can have on student engagement and learning of information literacy concepts.


information literacy; instructional design; active learning; instructional technology; academic libraries; learning outcomes; assessment

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