Backward Design for Information Literacy Instruction
Instructor: Andrea Baer
Dates: Not currently offered
Credits: 2.25 CEUs
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 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
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.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.