Enhancing Library Instruction with Peer Planning

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2005

Publication Title

Reference Services Review





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Purpose – One of the primary goals of the project was to create a supportive environment for experimentation to enhance classroom effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach – A group of librarians, the enhancement team, scheduled brainstorming sessions with instructors interested in making changes in their classroom approaches. At the brainstorming plans for session objectives, activities, timing, roles and desired outcomes were made for a specific upcoming class. Most participating instructors chose to enhance their classes by trying either an active learning activity or a group work activity that was new to them. A member of the enhancement team attended each of the peer-planned sessions to take notes and act as an observer, assistant or team teacher, as requested by the instructor. The instructors who participated also filled out brief assessment forms.

Findings – Although neither the non-library faculty nor the students were formally surveyed, the active learning techniques used in the one-shots received positive feedback. In particular, several teaching faculty told the library instructors at the end of the classes that the immediate hands-on activities and the group activities aided the students’ comprehension of materials. In addition, a majority of the library instructors noted in their follow-up surveys that the students were noticeably more engaged in the learning process during these classes.

Originality/value – The model of peer coaching at the planning stage, combined with team teaching, will be used to introduce new staff to teaching in the UNLV Libraries’ instruction department and continuing staff will be encouraged to open their classrooms to colleagues for ongoing professional development and constructive peer evaluation.


Academic libraries; Active learning; Information literacy – Study and teaching (Higher); Library orientation for college students


Curriculum and Instruction | Library and Information Science




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Publisher Citation

Finley, P., Skarl, S., Cox, J. L., & VanderPol, D. (2005). Enhancing library instruction with peer planning. Reference Services Review, 33, 112-122. doi:10.1108/00907320510581423

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