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Games and activities used in our teaching: Background

Our teaching and learning principles

We keep the following principles in mind when designing library workshops:

  • Librarians teach 3-5 times too much: Consider what will have the greatest impact.
  • Librarians should not try and clone their own expertise: Rather than demonstrating how to use resources, encourage self exploration  and develop transferable information literacy skills.
  • Discussion is powerful:  Learn and discover together. We can learn a lot about students' understanding from the question they ask.
  • Learning by doing is empowering: Encourage active participation through a variety of activities e.g. trying things out, getting feedback, solving problems, peer discussion and reflecting on mistakes.
  • Students should be the learners, not the taught: The Librarians' role is to support and facilitate.

What we cover in workshops

These four capabilities form the basis of all workshops from Foundation through to Post Graduate level.

  • Thinking about the value of resources especially in academic work.
  • Constructing keywords (search terms) for effective searching.
  • Self exploration of resources.
  • Evaluation of information found.

A game or activity has been designed for each capability at each level.

Our inspiration

Our use of games was inspired by Susan Boyle's (Librarian at University College Dublin) presentation at LILAC 2011  'Using games to enhance information literacy sessions' .

Our teaching and learning principles were inspired by Sharon Markless (Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Kings College London), in particular her workshop 'Teaching information literacy in HE: What? Where? How?' presented at CILIP Dec 2010.

Other people have also inspired and influenced us including library colleagues at Middlesex University, Phil Bradley (Information Specialist and Internet Consultant), Amanda Clossen (Librarian: Penn State University) and Alan Turner (Librarian: Arts University Bournemouth).