Library Support for Active Learning

A photograph of a group of students studying together.

Active learning engages students in the learning process through various classroom activities. More than two decades of student performance studies support active learning, and many institutions of higher education promote its use. However, transforming your classroom into an active learning environment can be challenging when you have limited time to become familiar with active learning or to design activities for your course. Your subject librarian at the UNT Libraries can help you with:

  1. preparation for active learning, and
  2. collaboration on active learning in the classroom.

Not sure who your subject librarian is? Locate your college and department on the Subject Librarians list to find out how to contact the librarian assigned to your unit. Remember that most subject librarians serve multiple departments. Consulting with the Libraries while developing the course or during the breaks between semesters is most productive as may be limits to the time and effort the librarian can contribute during the school year.

Preparation for Active Learning

There are several ways that your subject librarian can help you prepare to implement active learning approaches in your classroom:

  • By ordering your choice of books about high-impact educational practices or identifying a group of books from which you can make selections.
  • Reviewing information about an active learning practice that you want to use and providing a summary of how the practice is usually implemented.
  • Assisting you in gathering and integrating content into online courses to support active learning assignments. This is especially true of information literacy content. UNT librarians receive training in the learning management and student response systems currently in use.
  • Supporting a flipped classroom by providing information literacy content to students prior to a class meeting. A platform the UNT librarians frequently use for this purpose is LibGuides, where UNT librarians create customized guides for courses and other special subjects.

Collaboration in Active Learning

Some subject librarians also have experience in designing and implementing active learning approaches to teach information literacy. Ask your subject librarian if s/he can assist you in the following ways:

  • Discussing with you how the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education could be integrated into your course. The Framework was adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2016.
  • Designing or co-designing one or more active learning activities for a course.
  • Implementing active learning practices in one or more class meetings alone or as a team.
  • Co-teaching an entire course.