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Resources for SJSU Librarians

Components of an IL Session

A lesson plan is the instructor’s road map of what students will learn and how it will be done effectively during the class time. It provides a structure to a library instruction session. Appropriate learning activities and strategies to obtain feedback on student learning can be designed based on the lesson plan. Additionally, it allows librarians to the enter the classroom with more confidence, and increases students' awareness of what they can learn during the session.  

A successful lesson plan addresses and integrates three key components:

  • Learning Objectives
  • Learning activities
  • Assessment to check for student understanding, and receive student feedback

A lesson plan provides you with a general outline of your teaching goals, learning objectives, and means to accomplish them, and is by no means exhaustive. A productive lesson is not one in which everything goes exactly as planned, but one in which both students and instructor learn from each other. 

An example:

5E Lesson Plan

Instructor:  John Doe

Course:  HSU 3400 – Graduate writing intensive class

Materials: Computer , pen, and paper

Information Literacy Standards/Objectives

Database search strategies – introduction to engineering databases and the various search strategies.

Learning outcome(s):

  • Identify databases designed for the engineering discipline
  • Identify various database search strategies
  • Apply the search strategies to find articles on the topic of interest.

Differentiation strategies to meet diverse learner needs:

  • Formative evaluation using multiple tools, including verbally asking questions.


  • Clearly stating the learning objectives and the agenda for the session.
  • Asking students about the databases they have used and informing them of discipline-specific ones.
  • Asking engaging questions about the strategies they use to search databases and search engines
  • Affirm their responses and identify with them the search strategies that they should know
  • Use Polling Everywhere or zoom polling to ask questions and evaluate their understanding


  • Ask the class to do the following in order to find articles relevant to their topic of interests.

                        -> Explore the research guide

                                    -> Explore the databases

                                    -> Explore the search strategies


  • Ask the class to share difficulties they are facing in searching relevant articles. List all the difficulties on the smartboard to project the list for the whole class to see.


  • Ask students to provide suggestions on how those difficulties can be overcome.
  • Provide suggestions on how to improve their search strategies and the databases they should use for specific topics.


  • Students will search and identify relevant articles.
  • Allocate 3 minutes at the end of the class to administer student outcomes survey to collect feedback from students.


Library Workshop Lesson Plan Template

by Megan Oakleaf

Course Title

Instructor Name

Lesson Title

Librarian Name

Teacher Materials

Examples: handouts, props, dry erase markers, stapler, databases/websites, technology back up

Student Materials

Examples: pen/pencil, assignment sheet, topic, pre-workshop assignment


Examples: send instructor “pre-workshop checklist”, query instructor about assignments and student information abilities and needs, copy handouts, log in computers, practice presentation


What do I want students to be able to do (behavioral), know (cognitive), feel (affective)?

The student will be able to + ACTIVE VERB…


What standards are associated with these outcomes?

Big Picture

Enduring Understandings

What transferable concepts will students learn? 

Essential Questions

What “big picture” questions will students ask and answer?

Knowledge & Skills

What specific knowledge and skills do students need to learn in order to achieve enduring understandings and answer essential questions?


How will I know if students have learned?

What am I looking for (criteria)?

How well do students need to perform (levels)?

How will I communicate these expectations to students?


Welcome students

Introduce self

Outline goals and agenda for session

Give directions

Get attention with a “hook” or “anticipatory set”

Elicit prior knowledge and/or pre-assess student knowledge and skills


Teaching Strategy 1

Instructor = model

Student = listen/practice

Include procedures, steps, important dialogue

Include modifications for disabilities as needed


Comprehension Check

Check effectiveness of Teaching Strategy 1

Give feedback

Emphasize enduring understandings and essential questions

Transition: Articulate link and purpose of next teaching strategy 2



Teaching Strategy 2

Instructor = model/guide

Student = practice/apply to real life task (authentic)

Include procedures, steps, important dialogue

Include modifications for disabilities as needed



Comprehension Check

Check effectiveness of Teaching Strategy 2

Give feedback

Emphasize enduring understandings and essential questions

Transition: Articulate link and purpose of next teaching strategy 3



Teaching Strategy 3

Instructor = guide

Student = apply to real life task/evaluate process or product

Include procedures, steps, important dialogue

Include modifications for disabilities as needed


Comprehension Check

Check effectiveness of Teaching Strategy 3

Give feedback

Emphasize enduring understandings and essential questions



Collect evidence of student learning

Identify “next steps”

Summarize learning; reflect

Refer to “hook” or “anticipatory set”

Thank students

Encourage librarian contact


Wrap Up

Examples: log out computers, complete statistics forms, record evidence of student learning, send follow up email to instructor

Student Learning Assessment

What did students learn?

What do students have left to learn?

Lesson Evaluation

What parts of the lesson worked well?

What will I do differently next time?


© 2008 Megan Oakleaf

Additional Resources: Community of Online Research Assignments (CORA)

Adopted from

Creating Session Learning Objectives (SLOs)

What are learning objectives?

Learning objectives or student learning objectives (SLOs) are sentences that indicate what students should demonstrate as a result of what they learn. SLOs are important because they allow us to design a session around what you want the students to learn. Thinking of the end goal in this way helps us design a session that meets that goal.


How to create student learning objectives?

There's more than one way to write good student learning outcomes.  What's most important is that they are specific, action-oriented, measurable, and therefore assessable.

One formula for writing SLOs:

[Participants] "will be able to" + verb + action phrase + "in order to" + why?  

The more descriptive the phrase, the more specific the student learning outcome, and the more measurable it is.

Bloom's Taxonomy is a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning.  It can be helpful in writing SLOs to use
verbs associated with these levels.

Levels of Learning Further explained Good verbs for SLOs
Remembering Recalling/naming the information define, show, name, list
Understanding Explaining concepts, interpreting identify, locate, select, describe
Applying Using knowledge or information choose, interpret, use, demonstrate
Analyzing Distinguishing between different parts differentiate, compare, distinguish
Evaluating Judging quality, justifying assess, evaluate, judge
Creating Synthesis of info, creating new product/point of view construct, create, develop, design

Example Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to choose appropriate databases in order to search for scholarly articles on their topics.
Students will be able to distinguish between primary and secondary sources in order to use those most appropriate for their assignment. 
Students will be able to construct a keyword search statement in order to find relevant information.

Verbs to avoid:
Verbs like recognize, appreciate, know about, understand, become familiar with, are vague and not observable


Adopted from

Why Assessment?

Assessment is a necessary component of teaching. There are two prongs to assessment: assessment of learning and assessment for learning.

  • Assessment of learning is the ongoing process of gathering, analyzing, and reflecting on the evidence of student learning.
  • Assessment for learning is using the information from assessment to guide instruction and improve student learning. 


Types of Assessment for Library Instruction

Library instruction sessions are typically 60-90 minutes long one-shot classes. Given the time constraints, the one-shot nature of the IL sessions, and the number of IL sessions librarians teach, it is not important that we apply modified assessment methods that includes collecting feedback from both teaching faculty and students.

Formative assessment

The goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning during class to gage whether students are internalizing the concepts shared by the librarians. More specifically, formative assessments help librarians recognize where students are struggling and address problems immediately, before moving onto the next topic. They can also be used to make changes to their instructional techniques in future classes. Example of formative assessment:

  • Create one or two questions that can be asked at the end of each IL topic. Librarians can use various polling tools to create the questions prior to the session, or verbally ask those questions. 
  • Create a short group activity that addresses one or two learning objectives of the session. Provide clear instructions on what the activity is, why students are asked to participate in the activity, what they will be learning, and what the deliverable would look like. Librarians mainly observe the groups. They intervene only when necessary, not with answers, but with thought provoking questions and encouragements. "Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers" (Josef Albers). Finally, conduct a debrief session with the entire class, asking each group to deliver the outcomes of their group activity, and highlighting the major takeaways. 

Student Learning Outcomes Survey

This is a quick way to receive feedback from students on their perceptions of the applicability of what they learned in the IL session. Researchers and educators since John Dewey\'s time have studied and tried to identify those factors that contribute to student motivation. While intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and social opportunities play a part, the thing that motivates most learners is the usefulness of the information. Thus librarians, teaching IL sessions need to receive feedback from students on the relevance and significance of the subject matter.

In a one-shot session, librarians can use a student learning outcomes survey to collect such feedback. Survey questions are based on learning objectives, and can be anonymous. Librarians can allocate 2-3 minutes at the end of IL session to administer the survey. 

Example of converting Learning Objectives into Outcomes Survey question:

Learning objective: Identify databases designed for the XYZ discipline

Outcomes survey question: On a scale of 1-5 (strongly agree to strongly disagree), indicate the extent of your agreement with the statement - I learned about databases that would be helpful for my academic work. 

Pre and Post test Method

The purpose of the pre- and post- assessment surveys is to determine as objectively as possible whether students are learning what the librarians teaching the IL session intended for them to learn. This method is usually implemented in a semester-long library course where there are hands-on practicums requiring students to compile an extensive annotated bibliography on a topic of a choice, generate a research paper, and librarians are involved in determining what students had learned and what they knew. This method is often time consuming, not scalable, and requires course instructor's buy-in, in case of one-shot IL sessions. 

Examples of pre assessment (Emory Libraries assessment)

  • Students are asked to search both an online reference tool and some subject-specific databases before class. Students email their information to both the librarian and the professor who were able to better understand the level of the students’ research skills and then gear the library instruction session accordingly.
  • Prior to the library instruction session, the students watched a video on using a subject-specific database and then answered questions about what they learned. They received 5 course points for completing the activity.
  • The librarian gives a pre-test to first year graduate students that assesses students’ grasp of the nine skills that they need to succeed in grad school. He collects the completed handouts and makes charts to show results; he also shows students how their results compare with those of previous classes.

Examples of post assessment

  • Librarians work with course instructors to evaluate the quality of the resources that students are using for their research projects. The course instructors give librarians access to students’ end of semester portfolios. Librarians analyze the portfolios in collaboration with the course instructors. 
  • For a bibliographic exercise designed by the professor, the librarian distributes two questions and students write a reflective paper on what they think about searching and what they think about scholarship in general. The librarian reports on how well students demonstrate their grasp of the concepts in their reflective papers.
  • For a graduate class, students write a three page proposal/background for their dissertation and include references. The librarian reviews these.

What is LibInsights?

Libinsights is Springshare tool to record synchronous and asynchronous library instruction sessions.

Recording Asynchronous and Synchronous Instructions

  1. Go to LibInsight <>
  2. Click on Record Data à Library Instruction
  3. The window looks like this. Click on the question marks for definitions


  • Enter the Start date/time and End date/time for synchronous IL sessions.
  • For asynchronous IL sessions, contact course instructors to confirm that your recorded IL session will be used for the semester prior to recording it in LibInsight. Enter the Start date/time that is indicative of the day the course is offered. Enter the Course Subject, level, prefix, number, section, and student enrollment.
  • For other instructional tutorials, videos, or other interactive educational module, select ‘Other’ for Course Subject and Course Level, and record the title of the artifact. Select “Not applicable” for Course Prefix, and ‘0’ for Course Number, Course Section, and Number of Students. If you leave Start and End Date/times blank, LibInsight will save the Start and End date/time of the entry.
    • Do not re-record such an artifact every semester
    • Do not record asynchronous presentations that serve informational or marketing purposes. For example, welcome video, handouts for a course.

Finding Course Section and Number of Students

  1. Go one.SJSU <>
  2. Enter “Class Search” in the search bar
  3. Click on Class Search and you will see this window:
  4. Click on “Select Subject” and select your subject
  5. Select Course# and Course Career à Click Search

  1. Click on the Section# to view Enrollment Total to record number of students


Creating Reports

  1. Go to LibInsight <>
  2. Click on Analyze
  3. Select date range and librarian name and click Generate Report

  1. Click on Export Data for a user-friendly report