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Information Literacy Interest Group: Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This page is devoted to strengthening pedagogy for librarians by offering tips on determining learning objectives, creating lesson plans, and basic teaching strategies. 

How to Write Learning Objectives

Learning outcomes are statements of what students will learn in a class session. "The statements are focused on student learning (What will students learn today?) rather than instructor teaching (What am I going to teach today?)" (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). It is important to start by identifying your learning outcomes so that you have a clear goal of what information retrieval systems and skills you will cover in your instruction session. If your instruction session was requested by a professor to help his or her students, you will also want to discuss the learning objectives with him or her; this can help ensure that you and the professor are on the same page. Learning outcomes are also integral when it comes time for assessment (see the Assessment tab for more information). 

Active Learning

Bloom's Taxonomy

For more information on Bloom's Taxonomy, refer to the Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University. 

Bloom's Taxonomy with Questions​

Bloom's Taxonomy with Questions

Additional information can be found at CPAHS Virtual Library by C. Costello

How to Write a Lesson Plan

There are a variety of ways to write a lesson plan. You may prefer to do a brief outline, or you may prefer a more formalized lesson plan that includes many details and follows a set template. Whatever format you choose to go with, you should always start by identifying your learning objectives (see box on this page for tips on creating learning objectives.) Below are some sample templates and additional guidelines to help you create your own lesson plans. 

Sample Lesson Plans




Accardi, M. T., Drabinski, E., & Kumbier, A. (2010). Critical library instruction theories and methods.Library Juice Press.

Bravender, P., McClure, H. A., & Schaub, G. (Eds.) (2015). Teaching information literacy threshold concepts: Lesson plans for librarians. ACRL, ISBN: 9780838987711

Brier, D. J., & Lebbin, V. K. (2016). Teaching information literacy through short stories. Rowman & Littlefield.

Buchanan, H. E., & McDonough, B. A. (2014). The one-shot library instruction survival guide. ALA Editions.

Burkhardt, J. M., MacDonald, M. C., & Rathemacher, A. J. (2010). Teaching information literacy: 50 standards-based exercises for college students, 2nd ed. ALA Editions.

Cook, D., & Sittler, R. (2009). Practical pedagogy for library instructors: 17 innovative strategies to improve student learning. ACRL, ISBN: 9780838984581

Heine, C., & O'Connor, D. (2014). Teaching information fluency: How to teach students to be efficient, ethical, and critical information consumers. Scarecrow Press.

Hunter, R. (2004). Madeline Hunter's mastery teaching: Increasing instructional effectiveness in elementary and secondary schools. SAGE Publications. 

Kaplowitz, J. R. (2012). Transforming information literacy instruction using learner-centered teaching. Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc.  

Ragains, P. (Ed.). (2013). Information literacy instruction that works: A guide to teaching by discipline and student population, 2nd ed. American Library Association.

Swanson, T. A. (2015). Not just where to click: Teaching students how to think about information. ACRL, ISBN: 9780838987162

Veldof, J. (2006). Creating the one-shot library workshop: a step-by-step guide. ALA Editions, ISBN: 9780838998472

Walsh, N., & Padma, I. (2010). Active Learning Techniques for Librarians. Chandos, ISBN: 9781843345923

Walsh, A. (2018). Librarians' book on teaching through games and play. Innovative Libraries. 

Wiggins, G. P. and McTighe, J. (2008). Understanding by design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.


Alanna R., & Furno, C. (2011). Active learning in the library instruction environment: An exploratory study. portal: Libraries and the Academy 11(4), 953-970.

Azadbakht, E. S., & Polacek, K. M. (2015) Information literacy instruction with PrimoReference & User Services Quarterly, 54(3), 23-26.

Bean, J. C. and Weimer, M. (2011). Engaging ideas: The professor's guide to integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning in the classroomSan Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. 

Blummer, B. (2007). Utilizing WebQuests for information literacy instruction in distance educationCollege & Undergraduate Libraries, 14(3), 45-62.

Bruehl, M., Pan, D., & Ferrer-Vinent, I. J. (2015). Demystifying the chemistry literature: Building information literacy in first-year chemistry students through student-centered learning and experiment design. Journal of Chemical Education, 92(1), 52–57.

Carroll, A. J., Tchangalova, N., & Harrington, E. G. (2016). Flipping one-shot library instruction: using Canvas and Pecha Kucha for peer teachingJournal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA104(2), 125.

Cooney, M. (2008). Business information literacy instructionJournal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 11(1), 3-25.

Fontno, T. J., & Brown, D. N. (2015). Putting information literacy in the students’ hands: The elementary learning centers approach applied to instruction in higher educationCollege & Research Libraries News, 76(2), 92-97.

Gonzales, B. M. (2014). Online tutorials and effective information literacy instruction for distance learnersJournal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 8(1/2), 45-55.

Khailova, L. (2017). Flipping library information literacy sessions to maximize student active learning: Toward articulating effective design and implementation principlesReference & User Services Quarterly, 56(3), 150-155.

Lundstrom, K., Diekema, A. R., Leary, H., Haderlie, S., and Holliday, W. (2015).Teaching and learning information synthesisCommunications in Information Literacy, 9(1), 60-82.

Montgomery, M. (2015). Pedagogy for practical library instruction. Communications in Information Literacy 9(1), 11-23.

Schiller, N. (2008) Finding a Socratic Method for information literacy instructionCollege & Undergraduate Libraries, 15(1-2), 39-56.

Webb, K. K., and Hoover, J. (2015). Universal design for learning (UDL) in the academic library: A methodology for mapping multiple means of representation in library tutorialsCollege and Research Libraries, 76(4), 537-553.

Williams, S. (2010). New tools for online information literacy instructionThe Reference Librarian, 51(2), 148-162.