17/30 – One-shot library instruction

I’ve been reading about different strategies and approaches used by academic teaching librarians to help students maximise the learning they receive in a one-shot library class.  One approach I’ve read about, and also gleaned from a colleague and used within my own classes, is an interactive low-tech approach to explain boolean operators. Getting the class involved helps with understanding the logic.  To demonstrate the OR, ask:

  • All students wearing denim jeans to stand = eg: 8 students
  • All students wearing a white shirt to stand = eg: 2 students

At this point, I usually write the ‘results’ (number of students standing) on the whiteboard for each category I’ve used and compare it to using OR within their database search.  While the students are still standing, to demonstrate the AND, I would ask the students to remain standing if:

  • They are wearing denim jeans AND a white shirt

The results (students standing) lessens with each ‘AND’ you add so the point gets across really well, plus its a lot of fun to do as it can involve the whole class.  My colleague finds this strategy particularly useful in rooms that provide no technology for the students (eg: lecture theatre or auditorium) and that seems to align to the literature I’m reading on this particular approach.

If you provide one-shot library instruction what strategies do you use to help you engage with students and reinforce their learning?



3 thoughts on “17/30 – One-shot library instruction

  1. I’ve used the same strategy in teacher ed IL classes (usually quite musical):
    – stand up if you can play the piano
    – stand up if you can play the guitar
    – stand up if you can play the guitar OR the piano
    – stand up if you can play the guitar AND the piano

    Gets the idea accross really well and a bit of fun and interaction at the same time!

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