thing 14: One-Shots & IL Courses

In this thing, focus on either one-shot instruction sessions (single instruction sessions) OR information literacy courses (often for-credit, semester-long courses taught by librarians).  Choose whichever you feel most applies to your instruction.



Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Appendix 1: Implementing the Framework.

Farkas, M. (2016). The mindful instruction librarian and the “one-shot” [Slides].

License: CC Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Kelly, S. (2015). Promoting critical dispositions: Incorporating the IL Framework in one-shot library instruction. Mississippi Libraries, 78(4), 8-9.

Optional Reading – This is the Burgess article that Kelly refers to:

Burgess, C. (2015). Teaching students, not Standards: Threshold crossings for students and instructors alike. Partnership: The Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research, 10(1), 1-6.


The one-shot.  60- to 90-minutes to “cover” all six Frames?!?!  You don’t need to know much math to see the impossibility of that.  The ACRL explains,

It is important for librarians and teaching faculty to understand that the Framework is not designed to be implemented in a single information literacy session in a student’s academic career; it is intended to be developmentally and systematically integrated into the student’s academic program at a variety of levels. (Appendix 1)

It is not the intention of the Framework to fit its entire contents into one session, but to build a curriculum that will reach students throughout their academic experience.  Several of the other “things” speak to methods and steps to take to build this curriculum, specifically, Thing 12 – Working with Faculty and a few upcoming “things” on Curriculum-Mapping and Outreach.

Not all Frames can be taught in depth in a one-shot session.  So, what can be done?

  • Kelly and Burgess provide some ideas. Kelly builds on Burgess’ notion that the Framework positions students and instructors as lifelong learners; thus, we, the instructor-librarians, are continuing to learn about information as well as our students.  Kelly and Burgess suggest that we model the dispositions described in the Framework in our one-shots and don’t play the role of the “all knowing” librarians that can z-z-zip through research tasks.  Through disposition modeling it seems as though most Frames can be touched upon through your “intellectual stance” toward issues with information.
  • Ask the instructor for a syllabus and the assignment your instruction will be supporting. Use the syllabus and assignment to determine the course/assignment goals and look for overlap with the Framework.  Build your student learning outcomes from there.
  • Extend learning beyond the session. Work with the instructor to develop or modify a pre- or post-assignment that will prepare students for/build on the skills and concepts taught.
  • Build library support for course designers. Do your instructors often assign research assignments?  Create a guide on the best practices of building research assignments and suggest places where IL instruction is appropriate.  See slide 43 from the amazing Meredith Farkas above.
  • Advocate for more instruction beyond the one-shot. This is much easier said than done but can be worked on at different levels.  At the instructor and program levels, show faculty who request one-shots how more instruction can help students achieve the course goals.  See Thing 12 for more information on working with faculty.  Though a bit beyond this “thing,” at the administrator level, use institutional goals, assessments, and accreditation standards to show the value of IL instruction and how a more developed IL program can benefit institutional outcomes.  Use your work from Thing 3 to help you identify where IL fits in your institution and the avenues that can be tapped into to expand your instructional reach.

Please answer the following questions:

What issues have you run into (or foresee running into) implementing a one-shot session with the Framework?  How have you, or could you, overcome these obstacles?  Feel free to use some of the suggestions listed above. 🙂

While not all Frames can be taught in depth in a 60-minute session, Kelly and Burgess show that many of them can be touched on. How do you model the attitudes of an experienced researcher when teaching?  How can you go further?

Information Literacy Course


Frank, E.P. & MacDonald, A.B. (2016). Eyes toward the future: Framing for-credit information literacy instruction. Codex: the Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL, 4(4), 9-22.

Carncross, M. (2015). Redeveloping a course with the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: From skills to process. College & Research Libraries News, 76(5), 248-250, 273.

The sample assignments mentioned in Carncross’ article can be found starting on page 14 of the second draft of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education.  According to page 2,  “[The Assignments] will be added to a future online sandbox, rather than reside within the Framework proper, as they may change over time.”  ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox


Those teaching information literacy courses may be daunted by the prospect of having to update their entire course curriculum with the filing of the Framework.  However, a complete overhaul does not need to occur as it did in the Frank and MacDonald article.  In the Carncross reading, the author reworked her existing course curriculum to include concepts of the Framework.  This required several changes but left many existing course components intact.

Please answer the following questions:

If your institution is planning to implement the Framework, is a complete overhaul of your IL course required or is a reworking of some parts more applicable?  How will you go about making these changes?

 If you’ve already updated your IL course, what changes have you noticed in student engagement and their IL development from the course?  What advice would you give those who are embarking on updating their courses?  If willing, please share your syllabus!

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