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Active learning is a student-centered and effective pedagogical approach, but there are practical barriers that can make it difficult to employ. As instructors and facilitators in Dartmouth’s Librarians Active Learning Institute, we’ve experienced and heard about the challenges librarians face when trying to incorporate active learning in their teaching, including faculty expectations, time constraints, class sizes, space constraints, and virtual learning environments.

In this session, we will share strategies for helping librarians to overcome these challenges and incorporate active learning pedagogy into their teaching practice. We will present approaches for communicating with faculty about our roles as teachers and partnering with faculty to design student-centered instruction. Fully embracing and adopting a sustained practice of active learning takes ongoing effort and can necessitate cultural change. We will discuss approaches to changing a library’s teaching culture, including through the development of communities of practice. This participant-focused session will help librarians to overcome obstacles and successfully employ active learning in their teaching.


This presentation was given at the WILU 2021 annual conference, Visions of the Possible.