Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


STEM Education & Professional Studies


Instructional Design and Technology

Committee Director

Tian Luo

Committee Member

John Baaki

Committee Member

Elizabeth Burns


Academic librarians have long been responsible for teaching information literacy competencies on college campuses, even as many are hesitant to accept the title of teacher. With inadequate instructional design preparation and one-shot sessions serving as a popular, if limited, instructional medium, librarians’ design processes are often developed on the job and infrequently explored in the literature. Previous research has examined specific design models and instructional strategies, but no studies were found that determined how academic librarians select and implement these design decisions within the unique context of a one-shot.

The purpose of this study was to describe academic librarians’ design processes in an effort to develop practical takeaways for training and design of one-shot sessions using the Delphi technique. This study was guided by three research questions: (a) How does previous professional training experiences regarding instruction prepare academic librarians for instructional responsibilities in designing one-shots, (b) What are academic librarians’ preferred strategies and models for designing one-shot instructional sessions, and (c) How do academic librarians make design decisions when selecting strategies and models for one-shot instructional sessions? The questions were addressed through three rounds of surveys that led to a consensus among participants.

The results of this study indicated that academic librarians do find the master’s education lacking in instructional preparation as consistent with the literature, and participants preferred professional development that allowed for observation and direct experience. While participants described selecting instructional strategies based on the ability to engage students in a short period of time, consensus on specific strategies did not emerge outside of a reliance on demonstration. A significant consensus developed around the importance of objectives in making design decisions, and participants frequently relied on a backward design model for its ease of use, flexibility, and emphasis on objectives. Participants described a number of barriers inherent to the one-shot that impacted their design processes and led to modifications in their teaching.