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EBD Best Practices for Librarians

A guide created for dental librarians by dental librarians.

Teaching Methods

Librarians may take a variety of approaches in their EBD instruction in many settings, such as orientations, course integrated instructional sessions, or small group and individual consultations.

Didactic Lecture

For course integrated instruction, librarians may be asked to teach a didactic lecture. This may include presentation of the EBD process and resources offered by the library and librarian to support EBD.

One method to engage more with the audience is to add active learning elements such as quick polls or ask a specific question. This approach can act as an ice breaker, may divide the lecture content, engage the students, and give the librarian an idea of what the student may already know. Asking a question such as "Where do you search to find information?" can provide a context that the librarian may build on in the lecture or demonstration.

Blended, Online, and Distance Learning

In other instances the librarian may utilize a online learning objects. Examples include: quick videos created by the librarian, annotated PowerPoint presentations, or more interactive tutorials. These may be used in blended learning or distance education/online courses.

In a blended learning approach some content is provided online to supplement content provided in face-to-face instruction. The goal is to have both the in person lecture and online content complement one another, creating a robust learning environment for the student.

For distance education or online courses, the librarian may provide more instruction with online learning objects and then schedule individual or group web consultations to meet with the students. There are several web conferencing tools available and it is always a good idea to check with the course instructor or your institution to see what is available for you to use. 

Flipped Learning

Flipped learning is when the lecture material is delivered prior to class-time as pre-work, leaving the class time available for activities that may have traditionally been considered homework. The theory is that this format allows for group activities with students teaching students and greater concept engagement.

EBD Assignments

Finally, librarians may be asked to create an assignment about a specific element of the EBD process for a course integrated session. This is an excellent opportunity to assess how well the students understood the librarian’s instruction as well as an aspect of the EBD process.

Examples of assignments may include exercises in creating a clinical question, identifying relevant database, performing the search, or assessing results and study quality. The librarian will need to work closely with the course instructor on the assignment to ensure that it matches the learning outcomes for the course. The instructor or institution may have a preferred delivery method for the assignment or the librarian may need to identify one on their own.

Formats for librarian created assignment may include paper assignments or the creation of an online form for students to submit their answers. No matter the format of the assignment it is important to be aware of, or have access to, the grading rubric that will be used.