Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ask The Masses: Credit Instruction

Julius Asks:

Does anyone else have a credit library course? I'm very interested in learning how many of these courses each librarian is able to teach. We've been discussing how many credit courses are too many for a librarian. I have dreams of growing my program to have several 8-week, 1-credit courses each term. The terms are 16 weeks, so I should be able to squeeze them into the schedule.

Alternatively, how many one-shots does each librarian teach at your school?


  1. We only have credit-bearing courses in our seminary & one Master's program. Both are taught by our library director.

    We have 5 librarians and teach approximately 500 IL sessions (some 1-shot but most pretty integrated) each academic year. It's not equally divided among us though since 4 of us teach in the Core & we also each teach in our liaison areas.

    In terms of "load" issues, we are constantly evaluating this to make sure people don't burn out. We must divide & conquer to make our model sustainable. If I recall, there has been some discussion on ILI-l over the years about how much librarians should teach, with widely varying responses. My bottom line as an instructor coordinator is that our primary job is to teach, so it makes sense that we spend most of our time doing so! And thankfully, my staff is awesome and on board with a pretty big program.

    1. Sorry for my delay to responding. I think 500 sessions makes a pretty robust IL program! You're almost doubling my best. Even with counting some of my courses which are not directly tied to the library, I only top out at about 60 per semester. I feel I could increase that a bit more without harming other aspects of my workload.

  2. I loved your post on this subject, Julius. Great work.

    Our instruction program has become much more embedded into specific classes throughout the curriculum. We have a big focus on our freshman course Core Seminar I. However, we also embed with other upper-level courses to teach more advanced IL skills.

    I teach a course that I designed called Computer & Information Literacy twice a semester. It's a 3 credit course at the 200 level. The concepts are similar to the ones you listed in your post from a few days ago, but with more technology involved.

    As far as one-shots, we do far less of those now that we embed more carefully. But in a given fall semester, I teach about 10-12 one shots (Nursing, Psychology, Biology, Theology, Health & Wellness, etc.) Cara would have a similar load. Her and I do most of the one-shots and the non-freshman embedded courses. Our other two librarians just do freshman embedded and one or two other embeds.