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Critical Friends: a Way of Enhancing Teaching Quality in Academic Libraries
Uppsala University, University Library.
2013 (English)Conference paper, Poster (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Critical friends, a method for empowerment and quality enhancement within an academic library environment

This poster seeks to describe a developing project with the concept critical friends, at Uppsala University Library, with the aim to enhance the quality of teaching. Academic librarians work in close cooperation with the University’s lecturers and information literacy courses are an integrated part of most subject courses. This places demands on the librarian’s pedagogical skills but there is often little time for teaching librarians to discuss and reflect on pedagogical matters. Methods for continuous improvement of teaching methods as well as evaluation of the teaching librarian´s own efforts have thus become essential.

In December 2011, an introductory seminar was held for teaching librarians on the topic of critical friends. Spring 2012 two preparatory educational workshops were held: one on the theme “pedagogical basic view," and one entitled "critical friends". The workshops were held in cooperation with the Division for Development of Teaching and Learning at Uppsala University. We also visited Stockholm University Library to share their experiences of critical friends. A start-up meeting took place in August 2012.

The model provides opportunities to reflection on teaching practice, to enhance and deepen insights in pedagogical methods. The process improves the quality of teaching and thus eventually contributes to raise the student’s level of information literacy. A critical friend offer new perspectives on teaching and provides tips about what can be improved on the basis of areas agreed on in advance. Additional expected outcomes are enhanced collegial cooperation which may result in several collaborations across library units.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
teaching, pedagogy, critical friends
Keyword [sv]
undervisning, pedagogik, critical friends
National Category
Research subject
Library and Information Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-253142OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-253142DiVA: diva2:813148
International Enhancement Themes Conference, Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education, Glasgow,11-13 June, 2013
Available from: 2015-05-21 Created: 2015-05-21 Last updated: 2015-05-22Bibliographically approved

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Qvarnström, Satu
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