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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Discover STEM Librarians: Advancing Your Instructional Portfolio

AAAS Annual Meeting Austin, TX 2018- Career Development Workshop

Workshop Welcome


Instructors are often discouraged by the time and resources needed to initiate active learning in classrooms, despite its known value in STEM education. This workshop reveals STEM librarians as partners who can help transform a classroom into an engaged learning environment. Two STEM librarians will elucidate the resources and skills librarians offer to support those who seek to sharpen teaching skills and enliven classrooms. Participants will leave the workshop ready to ask STEM librarians for the resources they need to become notable teachers. Squarecap, an online polling application, will be integrated into the workshop to demonstrate engaged learning.


This workshop will assist faculty, high school teachers, and graduate students who are interested in building their instructional portfolios. These various instructors care about of the quality of their teaching and would like to advance to active learning strategies, which are known to improve student learning. Yet, they face numerous obstacles while transitioning to new teaching strategies, in particular the significant commitment of time and resources. We want to encourage the utilization of academic librarians in building an interactive teaching environment that promotes student success. Participants will gain an awareness of the vital contributions STEM librarians can make to implementation of active learning strategies and improvement of instructional skills.


The presentation will detail the numerous ways in which STEM librarians can help attendees excel in teaching over time. The means of support for teaching development are:


1) purchase of books and journals to support instructional development,

2) investigation of particular teaching strategies leading to recommendations for instructors,

3) selection of reading materials and learning objects for active learning activities,

4) flipping of courses by adding content to learning management systems and other platforms,

5) adoption of interactive learning technologies,

6) co-teaching lessons with faculty, and

7) training instructors in active learning strategies.


This workshop will be an interactive and collaborative learning space between librarians and participants. Through the use of Squarecap, an online educational technology for classroom polling, attendees will participate in a variety of facilitated discussions and active learning strategies. Additionally, participants will be given the opportunity to share their ideas for collaborating with librarians and to discuss where they currently encounter difficulties applying active learning strategies in their own classrooms.

Erin O'Toole, Co-Facilitator

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