• Integrating Library Learning Outcomes into Courses

This article is based on a presentation by Donna Ziegenfuss, PhD, Associate Librarian, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, from the 2104 4th Annual Technology & Teaching Day.


Are you teaching a course requiring library research skills?  Would you like to provide library instruction for your students as part of the course?   Having a librarian to teach students how to use databases for researching topics relevant to the discipline is a common and useful practice.  

Associate Librarian Dr. Donna Ziegenfuss recommends this common approach but encourages instructors to take library instruction to another level by integrating library instruction into their courses.  To learn more about this, and to learn about course design in general, watch the video of Donna Ziegenfuss’ presentation from the 4th Annual Technology & Teaching Day.

Video of Presentation: Integrating Library Learning Outcomes into Courses


Integrating library instruction effectively begins with course design.  The University of Utah supports the Quality Course Framework, which includes L. Dee Fink’s backward design model. This model encourages instructors to start with learning goals and outcomes and work their way in reverse to design assessments and then design related learning activities.  As Dr. Ziegenfuss explains, “Instead of taking your syllabus and saying, 'these are my topics and here they are on my schedule’, think about what you want your students to be able to do at the end of the course, and then go backwards and design what you want in your course.”  

During her presentation, Dr. Ziegenfuss talked about helping a LEAP (Learning Engagement Achievement Progress) Business professor incorporate the course’s learning outcomes with the library literacy outcomes; they used an alignment grid in which the Business LEAP learning outcomes aligned with library research outcomes.  Following the backward design model, the professor was then able to develop assessment outcomes and learning activities based on the aligned learning outcomes.

Feel free to visit Dr. Ziegenfuss’ Canvas resource page containing documents related to her presentation.

Resource Page: Integrating Library Learning Outcomes into Your Course(s)