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Librarian Toolkit for Instruction Teams: Emerging Teaching & Learning Practices

This LibGuide is a professional development resource for librarians at BGSU with instruction responsibilities. It contains theoretical and practical information related to competencies and proficiencies essential for instruction librarians.

About this page

The information on this page focuses on emerging issues in teaching & learning.  Check out Teaching & Learning Activities for additional strategies.

Integrated Learning

The term "integrated learning" signifies the ability to connect in-class and out-of-class expereiences as well as the ability to connect knowledge from one context to another. Proponents of this movement insist that it is essential to educate the whole person and that higher education must be more than acquisition of information in isolation.

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL)

`IBL´ describes a cluster of strongly student-centred approaches to learning and teaching that are driven by inquiry or research. Students conduct small or large-scale inquiries that enable them to engage actively with the concepts and questions of their discipline, often in collaboration with each other. Learning takes place through an emergent process of exploration and discovery. Guided by subject specialists and those with specialist roles in learning support, students use the scholarly and research practices of their disciplines to move towards autonomy in creating and sharing knowledge. (From What is IBL?, Sheffield University)

Problem-based Learning

In problem-based learning (PBL), students work together in small groups to solve real-world problems. PBL is an active and iterative process that engages students to identify what they know, and more importantly, what they don't know. Their motivation to solve a problem becomes their motivation to find and apply knowledge. PBL can be combined with lecture to form a hybrid model of teaching, and it can be implemented in virtually all courses and subjects. (From Why PBL?, University of Delaware)

Service Learning

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. (From What is Service Learning?, the National Service Learning Clearinghouse)

Learning Communities & Communities of Practice

Learning often takes place in a social contect. Communities of practice, including learning communities, provide students and practitioners an opportunity to learn from each other as well as from people with more or different expertise.

Learning Portfolios

An emerging trend in higher education is the use of learning portfolios so that students are able to make connections among in-class and out-of-class learning. Unlike showcase portfolios that highlight students' best work for potential employers or graduate schools, learning portfolios (also known as developmental portfolios) provide a means for students and institutions to gauge their progress.


Essential to students and practitioners at all levels, reflection encourages deep learning, transfer of knowledge, and connections among existing knowledge. It is a key element in effective student e-portfolios.