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How to Illuminate your Classroom with Interactive Learning Techniques. Eleonora Dubicki Jacqui Weetman DaCosta. 2009 LOEX Conference Blazing Trails: On the Path to Information Literacy May 2, 2009. Eyes down for. LIBRARY BINGO. Engagement through Active Learning.

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how to illuminate your classroom with interactive learning techniques
How to Illuminate your Classroom with Interactive Learning Techniques

Eleonora Dubicki

Jacqui Weetman DaCosta

2009 LOEX Conference

Blazing Trails: On the Path to Information Literacy

May 2, 2009

eyes down for
Eyes down for


engagement through active learning
Engagement through Active Learning

Active learning techniques shift library instruction from lecturing to guiding/ coaching students.

  • Engage students in the learning process
  • Elicit student discovery
  • Capture their attention
  • Address multiple learning styles
  • Create an experience they can relate to and replicate
  • Receive immediate feedback as an instructor

Confucius says:

“I hear and I forget.

I see and I remember.

I do and I understand. “

Chinese philosopher & reformer (551 BC - 479 BC)

active learning requires more prep
Active Learning Requires More Prep
  • Collaboration with faculty
  • Powerpoint slides
    • learning objectives, assignment, popular vs scholarly chart, suggested topics, links to OPAC/databases/tour
  • Handout for students
    • Contact info, chart for popular vs scholarly, databases, websites on one side and exercises
  • One minute evaluation sheet
    • 4 open-ended questions provide feedback on session
active learning tools
Active learning tools





Small Group Discussions

library bingo one option
Library Bingo – one option
  • Cards can be given out with keywords or phrases printed on them
    • Requires more advance planning
    • Is a speedier option if you are not able to communicate with participants in advance
    • Need to be confident with the terminology that you use
  • Cards ‘marked’ off and prizes given
library bingo another option
Library Bingo – another option

Participants can be sent ‘bingo cards’ in advance to record their expectations of, and questions for, the library session

Or participants can complete ‘bingo cards’ as they enter, if there is time

Cards checked off as something is mentioned

First with a ‘full house’ wins a prize

library bingo what it achieves
Library Bingo – what it achieves
  • Marking off the cards is the less important activity – reflection
  • Participants’ questions are already prepared and in front of them
  • Can collect cards in at the end
    • Could respond to other questions by email
    • Helps with planning of future sessions
    • Assess whether you are briefing faculty well enough!
whatever turns you on
Whatever turns you on

Students and faculty have reacted well to Library Bingo

Works well with smaller groups

Used for Freshman bibliographic instruction at TCNJ, and orientation elsewhere

Perhaps start with a class with whom you are comfortable and/or know the instructor well

in the words of another british import
In the words of another British import

“And now for something completely different!”

what is the cephalonian method
What is the Cephalonian Method?
  • A fusion of color, images, humor and music!
  • A way to involve participants in the session and to encourage questions
  • An attempt to relieve the boredom for all involved!
how does this work
How does this work?
  • There are 8 colored cards around the room – each with a question or a statement
  • Colors are assigned to different types or categories of relevant topics
  • Related topics are grouped and assigned a color
  • Be prepared to address any question from the colored topic set and number your PowerPoint slides!

how the cephalonian method started
How the Cephalonian Method started
  • Cardiff University librarian on holiday
  • Developed by Linda Davies and Nigel Morgan
  • Used initially for large group orientation and to replace tours
popularity of the cephalonian method
Popularity of the Cephalonian Method
  • Revealed to the unsuspecting British librarian public in 2004!
  • Been used
    • For large groups and small groups
    • At different types of institutions
    • With undergraduates and graduates
    • For orientation and other teaching sessions
my mom s e mailed me a picture of miguel my pet iguana where can i print him out
My Mom’s e-mailed me a picture of Miguel, my pet iguana. Where can I print him out?

2PC rooms (24 hour access)

Microsoft applications

Subject databases

Internet & email access

Network printing accounts

Laser printing

what really irritates us
What really irritates us?

Eating & drinking

Excessive noise


Cell phones !

Cell phones !!

Cell phones !!!

reactions to the cephalonian method
Reactions to the Cephalonian Method?


  • They seem to like it – it’s something different
  • They laugh with you and are keen to see what is coming next


  • “Wonderful”
  • “Superb”
  • They like the style
what can go wrong
What can go wrong?
  • Need a contingency plan for the technology to let you down!
  • You are inviting a moderate amount of chaos into your classroom
  • You can’t audition the students
    • Shyness
    • Audibility
    • Color blindness
benefits of the cephalonian method
Benefits of the Cephalonian Method
  • A good icebreaker
  • Adaptable for different audiences
  • It can make the students look forward to their next library session!
  • Achieves certain active learning objectives
    • Interaction
    • Discussion and questions
mixing it up
Mixing it Up
  • Games – Word games
  • Tutorials – Virtual library tour
  • Exercises – think-pair-share , hands-on learning, and demos
get them talking
Get Them Talking
  • Word Games
    • Ice-breaker
    • Guessing game
    • Intro to keywords

“Guess-the-Google game was fun and at the same time informational”

keyword exercise
Keyword Exercise
  • Pick a topic and identify keywords
    • Brainstorming
    • Think-Pair-Share
    • Small group discussions
    • Demonstrations
    • Write down your Research Topic, underline key concepts:
    • Global warming is threatening the habitat of polar bears.
  • Identify Key Concepts
  • Global warming habitat polar bears
  • Environment home
use creative research topics
  • New marketing strategies for video games increase sales.
  • Somali pirates threaten safety of ships.
  • Presidential candidates use of YouTube.
  • Sports scandals raise questions of fair play.
  • Obesity among children can be reduced with more exercise.
  • Hip hop lyrics express individuality.
collaborative learning
Collaborative Learning
  • Think-Pair-Share
    • Students think about a topic
    • Pair up with another student to discuss
    • Share findings with class
database searching exercise
Database Searching Exercise
  • Find a scholarly article
    • Use topic and keywords from keyword exercise
    • Select database(s) for search
    • Refining search strategies
    • How do you know it is scholarly?
    • Accessing full text of article
  • Have students demo search
  • Highlight additional facts about database as they demo
  • Ask students for other suggestions or how they did the search differently
what do students think
What do students think?
  • “I think more discussion is good”
  • ”letting the students follow along makes remembering the steps easy”
  • “the exercises were helpful, fun and informative”
  • “kept my attention and taught me a lot”
  • “liked video before class”
the fun of learning
The fun of learning


  • Reflection
  • Collaborative learning
  • Social interaction
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Receive feedback


  • Hands-on
  • Trial and error
  • Teach others
  • Practical applications
the fun of learning1
The fun of learning

Library Bingo

  • Social interaction
  • Encourages questioning
  • Requires cognitive activity
  • Reflective learning

Cephalonian Method

  • Social interaction
  • Revolves around questioning
  • Engagement through challenge and involvement
  • Provides incidental learning

Cooperstein & Kocevar-Weidinger (2004), Bicknell-Holmes & Hoffman (2000)

final thoughts
Not for everyone



Preparation time

Can’t just “pick it up and run”

Can reap benefits

Minimal technology

Low cost option

Students are more engaged and less inclined to dash away

Final thoughts