Expanding the reference vocabulary: A methodology for applying Bloom's taxonomy to increase instruction in the reference interview

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to examine potential instructional benefits from, and methods for, incorporating concepts from Bloom's taxonomy into reference interactions. Design/methodology/approach: The paper analyzes chat transcripts and assigns each question asked by a librarian to one of the six levels of Bloom's taxonomy, and also codes it as open (divergent) or closed (convergent). Findings: Three of the six levels of Bloom's hierarchy consistently matched observed questions from the transcripts. Bloom's taxonomy provided a rich vocabulary and methodology for expanding delivery of information literacy instruction in reference. Practical implications: Questioning is a key part of standard reference training, and the findings suggest ways to enhance questions, to direct patrons towards instructional goals such as the ACRL Standards for Information Literacy. Originality/value: The research expands the traditional open and closed questioning vocabulary of the RUSA Behavioral Guidelines and provides librarians with a new methodology for understanding and choosing which questions to ask based on specific instructional outcomes. The results particularly benefit those looking to integrate their reference and instructional missions, and expand the instructional role of reference services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalReference Services Review
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011

Keywords

  • Academic libraries
  • Library instruction
  • Reference services
  • Teaching aids
  • Teaching methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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