README: Learning Objectives

Do you begin your library instruction by creating a few key learning objectives? Most instructors find that they are able to focus more easily on instruction activities with clear learning goals. Even for a one-off library instruction session, learning objectives can help you focus your attention on what students really need to know.

If you’re new to the idea of learning objectives, these brief guides can help you get started.

Writing Learning Objectives (PDF logo PDF file)
A Teaching Resource Document from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Academic Support
Prepared by Raoul A. Arreola, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Health Science Center

Writing Quality Learning Objectives
Park University’s “Faculty Resources Quick Tips” section focused on writing learning objectives.

Writing learning outcomes for the Core Curriculum
Alan Jenkins (Oxford Brookes University, England) and Dave Unwin (Birkbeck College, London, England) outline “some ‘how to do it’ guidelines” for writing learning outcomes.

Learning Objectives
From the Teaching and Learning Laboratory at MIT this page provides an excellent overview of what learning objectives are and how to write learning objectives, as well as provides examples of objectives and measurable outcomes.


Volunteers needed! Design and staff a Library table @ Teaching & Learning Symposium November 28

At this year’s Teaching and Learning Symposium on November 28, U of T Libraries has been invited to organize and staff a display area for teaching and learning-related materials for symposium attendees.

This would be a great way to connect with instructors who are known to be interested in teaching improvement and share ideas.

Want to help? Contact Rita Vine.




Information literacy without librarians? My experience at the ICEL

This past June I presented a poster at the ICEL (International Conference on E-Learning) 2011 conference in Kelowna, BC. As you can expect the crowd was international, from various disciplines and levels of academia: professors, directors, instructors, course administrators, Education PhDs, etc. If you look the website the presenters focused on different aspects of education, some hot topics were student engagement in the classroom, course evaluations, online course management systems (Blackboard, WebCT, etc.), social media in online learning and much more.

Information literacy was discussed many times as a key issue in higher education. There was a lot of talk about teaching students not to over rely on Google, teaching how not to plagiarize, and building life long learning information literacy skills. What I found interesting is that they (educators, academics?) didn’t discuss librarians as being able to help with information literacy. In fact, there was no talk about libraries and librarians at all. When I mentioned that I was a librarian, some even asked why I was there! Most people I spoke to have no idea that we do instruction or even care about information literacy (including 4 Canadian scholars whom I chatted with, one was a Microbiologist from Alberta, another an Assistant Professor in Education from BC, a CompEng Prof from Vic U, and a manager of instructional design from UofT’s Faculty of Medicine). I tried my best to spread the word about our efforts in information literacy, but let me tell you, it was news to them 🙂 Some of you may have already experienced this, but it was kinda of a shocker for me.

In my 3.5 years in the profession, I’ve developed this fantastical image of librarians as ‘information illiteracy’ slayers. This is not how members of other departments and disciplines view us. Needless to say, I learned that we still have a lot of work to do in spreading the word about how we can help with information literacy. I’m not sure how to do this correctly, I don’t think advocacy is the answer. Perhaps collaborating and making connections outside of the library field is a start…I think.

On a lighter note, I had a wonderful time. Kelowna is beautiful and I felt really lucky to be in a place were others had similar interests: to improve the learning experience of students and more importantly, to give them the proper tools for future research.


Loex May 1-5 2012 Columbus Ohio

The 2012 LOEX conference is in Columbus Ohio (a day’s drive from Toronto) May 3-5 2012

Update September 21 2011:  conference date change and Call for Proposals
Energize! Accelerate! Transform!
40th Annual LOEX Conference
May 3 – 5, 2012
Columbus, Ohio
Proposals due: Friday, November 18, 2011


WILU 2012 May 23-25 2012

WILU 2012 will be in Edmonton, Alberta, May 23-25 2012, hosted by Grant MacEwan University. Contact for more information.

“We must never lose sight of the values of the past, vigour, thrift, self-resourcefulness, upon which the individual and the nations of the world will stand or fall.”
~ Grant MacEwan (Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, 1966-1974)
Inspired by the words of our namesake, this year the conference theme of “Vigour, Thrift, and Resourcefulness” builds upon Grant MacEwan’s legacy and encourages participants to reflect on how we might ensure sustainable, accountable information literacy programs that build on past successes while embracing growth and change.


Fall Info-Lit related seminars from ACRL

Fall Info Lit Learning Opportunities from ACRL:
Service Learning and Information Literacy: Models for Engagement (Webcast: October 4, 2011): The service learning (SL) and civic engagement movement is growing rapidly in higher education yet its connection to libraries and librarians is infrequently discussed. This webcast will define and promote SL collaborations between librarians, faculty, students and community partners.

Embedded Librarians: Integrating Information Literacy Instruction at the Point of Need(Webcast: October 25, 2011): More and more libraries are adopting embedded librarianship as an approach to creating an integrated and sustained library instruction presence in classes across the curriculum. In this webcast, practicing embedded librarians will describe examples of successful projects across the range of academic levels and departments, including both online and on-campus instruction.

Creating a “Social Life” for Information Literacy Instruction in Libraries (Online Seminar: October 31 – November 18, 2011): This course will explore new ways that instruction librarians can retool their instructional approaches to actively engage students in the process of information retrieval and knowledge creation.

Complete details are available on the ACRL e-Learning Web site.