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Teaching Tips and Resources for Librarians

What to Cover

Deciding What to Cover

It is impossible to fit every piece of valuable information you would like to communicate to your students into a one shot instruction session. The Understanding by Design Egg Model can help you to prioritize what to cover in class, and what could be explained in a research or course guide. 

Large circle with text, Worth being familiar with; smaller circle inside that one with text, Important to know and do; third circle inside that one with text Big ideas and enduring understandings

Consider these questions when planning your instruction.

  • What do students want to know when they come to your class?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What do they always get stuck on?
  • What is one thing that students need to understand before going on to the next level (i.e. the next course in the discipline)?


Adapted from Megan Oakleaf, "Lessons for the Librarian: 10 Tips for Teaching the One-Shot Instruction Session"                   


Consider the following assignment prompt:

For your final paper you will take a position, informed by scholarly sources, on one of the controversies on the approved topics list. Your argument must be supported by a minimum of 6-8 scholarly sources.

Planning an instructional session based around this assignment, using the UBD egg model, could look something like this:

UBD egg model example: Worth being familiar with is tools, resources, and search tips. Important to know and do is characteristics of a scholarly source, where to find one, and generating keywords and search strategies. Big ideas are different types of information that exist and when and how to choose one.


The main focus of the session would be defining, identifying, and evaluating scholarly sources, with some time spent on search strategies. While the guide would contain additional recommended resources, databases, and search tips, these would not be covered in depth during the class itself.

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