Library Juice Academy

Online Professional Development for Librarians

Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction

Instructor: Andrea Baer

Dates: July 2nd through August 10th, 2018

Credits: 2.25 CEUs or 22.5 PDHs

Price: $250


As librarians look increasingly to integrated models of information literacy (IL) instruction that reach far beyond the one-shot and the mechanics of searching, it is becoming ever more essential that we design instruction that foregrounds learning as an incremental and ongoing process. Backward design – which is an iterative process that begins with considering learning goals, then determining acceptable evidence of learning, and addressing those outcomes through sequenced activities - offers powerful ways to develop IL instruction that fosters critical thinking and habits of mind like inquisitiveness and reflection.

In this 6-week course, participants will focus on three essential pieces of backward design – learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing – and their applications for IL instruction. Throughout the course, students will dissect how these elements of backward design function in various activities and assignments, while simultaneously developing and refining their own activity, assignment, or lesson plan. Through weekly discussions and assignments, participants will reflect on course readings and instruction examples, share teaching experiences and ideas, and exchange constructive feedback on one another’s developing instruction plans. The course itself reflects the process of backward design, as is evident in these weekly themes:

  • Week 1: Introducing the key puzzle pieces: Learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing
  • Week 2: Developing learning outcomes that cultivate higher order thinking
  • Week 3: Identifying evidence of learning and developing tools for authentic assessment
  • Week 4: Sequencing assignments and activities
  • Week 5: Aligning outcomes, assessment, and scaffolding
  • Week 6: Expanding the possibilities for backward design in library instruction services

Course learning outcomes:

  • Articulate the value of backward design and its elements for information literacy instruction.
  • Recognize backward design as an iterative and creative process that ideally involves ongoing reflection and revision.
  • Recognize the connections between learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing.
  • Develop a sequenced learning activity or assignment that applies key elements of backward design (learning outcomes, assessment, and scaffolding).
  • Recognize the connections between learning outcomes, assessment, and sequencing, and apply them to refining the final learning activity or assignment.
  • Identify potential applications of backward design to library instruction services, both within and beyond direct instruction.

This course can be taken as one of the four required courses in our eight-course Certificate in Library Instruction, but can be taken as a stand-alone course as well.

Andrea Baer

Andrea Baer is an Instructional Services Librarian at the University of West Georgia. She was previously the Undergraduate Education Librarian at Indiana University Bloomington. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Washington and a Masters in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee. Andrea’s work in libraries and education is deeply informed by her teaching background in writing and literature and by her interests in critical pedagogy and critical inquiry. CV, Interview with Andrea Baer

Course Structure

This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.

You can register in this course through the first week of instruction (as long as enrollment is not full). The "Register" button above goes to our credit card payment gateway, which may be used with personal or institutional credit cards. (Be sure to use the appropriate billing address). If you want to pay with Paypal, or if your institution wants us to send a billing statement or wants to send us a purchase order, please contact us by email to make arrangements.