Skip to main content

Outreach & Education (Woodruff Library): Pedagogy/Types of Instruction

Mission, Policies, Procedures, Guidelines, Tips

Pedagogy & Types of Instruction

The Library offers a variety of instructional modes to meet the diverse demands of faculty and students.  Many faculty request a variety of services for one course. 

Classroom Instruction

Classroom instruction is marketed to faculty by subject and instruction librarians as well as advertised on the library's website. Course that are specifically targeted for instruction include English 101 & 181, 190 seminar courses, and methods courses.  Faculty may request a librarian to work with their class by emailing a subject librarian or filling out an online request form. 

Classroom instruction can take many forms. Examples include: 

  • a librarian working with a professor and students in a seminar/discussion setting, brainstorming research topics, methods, and resources
  • a librarian making a short visit to a classroom to introduce themselves and explain how they can help the students
  • a librarian leading a session in an electronic library classroom for hands-on experience with library resources
  • a librarian going to a large lecture hall and working with the faculty member leading discussion and group exercises
  • a librarian working with a faculty member during the course development phase, helping to plan the course syllabus and research exercises
  • a librarian embedded in the classroom, working regulalry with the students and co-teaching the course
  • a librarian teaches a one-credit directed study library course for Chemisty graduate students.

Librarians are encouraged to develop student learing outcomes for each classroom session.  Student learning outcomes are statements that describe how students will act and think differently as the result of having successfully completed a course. They focus on what the student will be able to do, rather than on the content being covered by the librarian. Well defined learning outcomes specify actions by students that are measureable, observable, and completed by the students themselves.

Library instuctors are encouraged to engage the pedagogical methods that best meet the student learning outcomes that they and the faculty member have set for their students.

Pedagogies that are frequently engaged include:

  • active learning - a process that employs a variety of pedagogical approaches to place the primary responsibility of creating and applying knowledge on the students themselves. It puts the student at the center of the learning process, making him/her a partner in discovery, not a passive receiver of information. Active learning requires students to interact with and integrate course material by reading, writing, discussing, problem-solving, investigating, reflecting, and engaging in higher-order thinking tasks such as analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical thinking.
  • informed learning - brings learning to use information and learning about a subject together. To facilitate informed learning, a teacher would design a learning scenario so that students are asked to learn to use information, such as learning general or disciplinary information practices, while also learning subject content.
  • problem based learning - student-centered pedagogy in which students learn about a subject in the context of complex, multifaceted, and realistic problems. Working in groups, students identify what they already know, what they need to know, and how and where to access new information that may lead to resolution of the problem. The role of the instructor (known as the tutor in PBL) is that of facilitator of learning who provides appropriate scaffolding and support of the process, modelling of the process, and monitoring the learning.
  • peer-led discussions - Learning is enhanced when students have opportunities to talk about their ideas and to respond to the ideas of others
  • small-group work/discussion


Library Workshops

  • The Library sponsors workshops that are open to the Emory community on a variety of subjects. Past workshop topics have included: Zotero, EndNote, Fix Your Facebook, GIS, copyright, Using Goolgle, etc....
  • The workshops are marketed via the library and university events calendars, the library website and blog, e-signs, and subject librarians marketing to their departments.
  • Members of the community can register for courses via an online form and are welcome to drop-in if there is space available
  • Most workshops are offered in the library's electronic classrooms.  However, the library also sponsors "Workshops on the Road". These are marketed by the subject librarians to their academic departments and can be tailored to meet each department's needs. 

Other workshops - librarians also particpate/lead/contribute to other workshops.  Examples include:

  • Academic department workshops, e.g. Teaching with Archives for the US History workshop (in conjunction with GA State Archivists & GSU professors); Using Multimedia in the Classroom (Anthropology Teaching Roundtable)
  • Workshops targeted to a specific audience, e.g. Six-week archival methodology workshop for graduate students, taught in conjunction with MARBL; Laney Graduate School's Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO) workshops; Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows Program.

One-on-One Instruction

Subject Librarians and reference staff view every one-on-one consultation with a patron as a teaching moment.  Librarians and reference staff provide one-on-one instruction in individually scheduled consultations, as well as via email, phone, IM, text and at walk-up interactions at the Library Service Desk.  In addition the library's Graduate Writing Support Service provides individual consultations via email or in person for graduate students and their writing needs and the library's partnership with the Emory Writing Center provides individual meetings with students for writing assistance and insruction.  The library also provides consultations on scholarly communications, copyright, GIS, data and citation management tools .

Online Instruction

Online instruction allows patrons to get help any time they need it from wherever they are.  Currently, the library provides the following online instructional resources and services:

  • Subject research guides 
  • Course guides for use in classroom instruction or as stand-alone research portals
  • Guides on how to use specific tools or technologies (e.g. EndNote, citation management)
  • Instructional videos (e.g how to use the library catalog)
  • Individual on-demand videos emailed to patrons to answer their specific questions
  • Online synchronous instruction using Bridgit software
  • Help pages on the library website
  • Woodruff Library Blog (with tips on how to use resources, etc...)
  • Library information embedded in specific courses in Blackboard
  • Library conference in student conferencing software (i.e. Learnlink)
  • Email, IM, text reference assistance [limited hours]


The Library provides tours and introductions to its resources and services to potential and incoming undergraduates, graduate students and faculty; high school students; and other outside groups.

© Emory University Libraries - 540 Asbury Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322