Course Instruction

view of Alkek Library

Instruction Model

The University Libraries Instruction Team provides course level instruction according to learner-centered pedagogy. In practice, this means that we leverage digital learning content to meet the just-in-time needs of students. Database demonstrations, information literacy fundamentals, and step-by-step research strategy instruction will be delivered digitally. This enables Librarians to dedicate any classroom time to active learning exercises; topic development feedback for individual students; troubleshooting search queries; making recommendations for databases, result filters, and search operators; and more. As proponents of relationship-rich education, the University Libraries Instruction Team prioritizes meaningful connection over lectures.  


We take a team approach to delivering instruction across locations and departments. Librarians work together in disciplinary teams and receive instructional design support from the Teaching & Learning Department. A member of our team will follow up with you after your request is submitted. 

To ensure a successful learning experience for your students, we highly recommend that you: 

  • Request instruction with a minimum of 3 weeks' notice. 
  • Link the instruction to an assignment. When the information is relevant to students’ immediate needs and concerns, they are more likely to recall and be able to use the resources and strategies taught.  
  • Integrate the instruction into your course schedule strategically; students should be made aware of the requirements of the assignment and have had an opportunity to explore potential research topics prior to the session. Students should be given one week to complete tutorials before flipped classroom sessions. 
  • Consider leveraging Canvas assignments and completion points to incentivize student participation, particularly with asynchronous content.    

Instructors are expected to be present during in-person/synchronous Library workshops. It is crucial that instructors be on hand to answer questions about the research assignment if they arise. In addition, experience has shown that students are more engaged when the instructor participates in the session.  

Digital Literacy

All library instruction is grounded in digital literacy, an umbrella term that includes information literacy. We particularly appreciate the explanation of digital literacies provided by EDUCAUSE:

The concept of digital literacy encompasses a range of skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate, use, and create digital information in various forms. Digital literacies include data literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, and metaliteracy, as well as related capacities for assessing social and ethical issues in our digital world.

Our learning outcomes and curriculum have been designed using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and Virginia Tech’s Digital Literacy Framework 

Coming Soon

Beginning 2024, Peer Research Coaching will provide students with the opportunity to meet one-on-one with peer educator. These Research Coaches will have advanced training in secondary research strategies and will be available for in-person, online, and chat consultations.  

Did you know? University Libraries offer a variety of instructional opportunities, including those focused on archival research, emerging technologies, and programmatic offerings for first year students.

students sitting in lecture hall