Celita DeArmond

Document Type

Changing Needs of Our Users

Publication Date



Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogy that requires critical thinking, problem solving, and information literacy skills. In short, PBL is a perfect partner for library instruction. But what is the best way to coordinate your efforts with those of faculty so that students get the maximum learning benefit? Look for the commonalities - the basic dance steps that everyone can follow.

Both PBL and information literacy share in common the five objectives from the ACRL Information Literacy Standards. These objectives and their specific outcomes point to what students should be able to do: determine the kind and quantity of information needed (what do you know v. what you'd like to find out), access the necessary information, evaluate information, use information to accomplish a purpose (solve a real world problem), and access and use information ethically and legally.

PBL has the potential to increase student retention of subject knowledge and information literacy skills through application by working with faculty on problem creation, determining roles (who leads, who follows), and providing the right level of research support for students.

Activities that highlight "good" PBL problems and basic PBL principles that can be incorporated into one-shot instruction sessions will be demonstrated. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work in small groups on a real world problem.