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Teaching & Learning

Overview of services provided by the Teaching & Learning department with recommended resources and more.


Teaching & Learning staff are here to support your and your students throughout the teaching and research process. We work primarily with lower-division general education and interdisciplinary courses; if you are teaching another type of course, you may want to reach out to your subject liaison librarian.

Below is some general background about our approach to teaching, best practices for incorporating library instruction into your course, ways to get in touch with us, and examples of in-person/synchronous and asynchronous library instruction. If you are teaching a COLA 1500, ENWR, or Engagements course, see the specific page for your course for more details.

Our instruction is based in the information literacy principles outlined in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. We incorporate active learning and encourage critical thinking to help all students develop skills that will provide a foundation for their future coursework and life after UVA. The T&L team works with each individual instructor and course to figure out what kind of support and instruction makes sense for that course. 

The T&L team has developed a set of learning outcomes that guides all the instruction we do:

  • Students will be able to describe and know how to use various library resources, including Virgo and library learning resources.
  • Students will be able to describe what an academic library is, demonstrating a basic understanding of library resources, spaces, and staff, including ways to get help.
  • Students will be able to describe scholarship as a conversation, including the peer-review process and the importance of citation. They will recognize the impact of their own contributions to the scholarly conversation.
  • Students will be able to critically evaluate different types of sources, including recognizing the indicators of disciplinary expertise, and understanding how to use each appropriately for the purpose of their research project.
  • Students will understand that research is an iterative and messy process and be able to apply a range of techniques to begin the research process, including the formation of the research question and identification of search terms.

Best practices for including library instruction in your course:

  • Reach out to us early in your course planning process.
  • Tie instruction to a specific course objective or assignment.
  • Thoughtfully schedule instruction to maximize relevance to your course objective or assignment.
  • Actively participate in the planning and delivery of the instruction.
  • Ask if you have questions or ideas that you don't see discussed here.

In-Person or Synchronous Online Instruction

Historically, library instruction has consisted of a librarian coming into your class and teaching it for one session. We are happy to work with your class in that way, but we are certainly not limited to it. We want to do what makes the most sense to achieve your course objectives within your schedule. Here are some examples of ways that library instruction might be incorporated into your course:

  • One full class session with a librarian
  • Multiple full class sessions with a librarian; for example, content-focused session(s) and workshop session(s)
  • Multiple partial-class sessions with a librarian
  • Full class session(s) with a librarian, followed by individual student meetings with the librarian
  • Full class session(s) with a librarian, accompanied by asynchronous learning resources (see below) or library-related content taught by you
  • Assignments or other course content that uses library resources developed with support from a librarian

You will find examples of lesson plans on the course-specific pages of this guide.

Asynchronous Instruction

In-person or synchronous instruction may not make sense for your class - perhaps your class meets asynchronously, or you have a compressed course schedule that does not allow much time for outside guests. T&L also creates numerous asynchronous online learning resources to help students develop information literacy skills in these contexts. 

See the full list on the Resources page of this guide or on our Learning Resources page. Many of these resources are highly customizable, so please ask if you don't see anything that matches your course objectives. Here are a few examples of how you might incorporate these online learning resources into your class:

  • Use one or more resources as the basis for an online discussion board
  • Build a module in your LMS using one or more resources + a quiz or assignment
  • Assign one or more resources as prework before a class meeting
  • Provide a list of resources to students as they complete a research assignment

T&L staff can help you select the best resources for your class, create new resources for you as needed, and figure out how to incorporate them into your own instruction, but you are also free to use these resources on your own.