Instructional Design Project

Mandi Goodsett


Instructional Design Project



For my instructional design project I’ll be teaching students how to effectively use the music online catalog and journal databases to find sources for a 5-7 page paper about one of Beethoven’s string quartets. The setting of the instruction is a fairly large public university with a music library and a strong music department. The university has its own physical music library, and the instructional session would take place in the computer lab of the library, which has between 15 and 20 computers and two printers. The target audience of this instructional session is undergraduate students from a specific musicology class that primarily consists of freshmen and sophomore students. These students will be visiting the music library for one sixty minute class period to get extra help in preparing an assignment from the course that requires research (the 5-7 page paper).

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to …

Navigate the online catalog using search terms, search limits, and subject headings in order to find books and periodicals that support their research.

Search music online article databases using appropriate search terms, search limits and subject terms, and standards for evidence of scholarliness in order to effectively find articles that support their research.

Recognize appropriate sources for their research on the basis of relevancy, authority, currency, and accuracy in order to avoid using inappropriate or weak sources to support their research.

Approach the research tools at the library with familiarity and confidence in order to grow comfortable using them.

Assessment Plan

For this assignment, I will assess the learning outcome “Students will be able to recognize appropriate sources for their research on the basis of relevancy, authority, currency, and accuracy in order to avoid using inappropriate or weak sources to support their research.” To assess this outcome, I will use a handout that will be presented during the session after I’ve explained how to use the online catalog and how to find articles in the online databases. Students will work on their own to complete the handout, but I will be walking around the lab to provide extra help and advice where needed. The main objective of the exercise is to encourage the students to think about how some sources are better suited to the task at hand than others, and to give them some ideas of what clues can be used for this purpose both in the database interface and the articles themselves.

For the assessment activity students will be asked to complete multiple choice questions asking them to identify the best resource in a series of fictional situations. Underneath the question, students are asked to then briefly explain the reasoning behind their answer, allowing them to demonstrate which standards of the four I present them (relevancy, accuracy, currency, and authority) support their answers (or eliminate the other answers). The worksheets won’t be graded, but after the students have completed them we’ll go over answers in class, allowing students to share their explanations for their answer choices. In sharing the process with the group students will be able to self-assess and I will be able to address specific issues that came up in the exercise immediately. Also, if there is dissention between answers students will have a chance to compare and contrast answers and build arguments supporting one answer or another, a great exercise in critical thinking. After the session is finished, I’ll collect the worksheets so I can take a closer look at the responses and assess how much the students are understanding the material and thinking critically.


1. Introduction and Welcome (2 min.)

A. Welcome

-Welcome students to the library and express how glad I am that class could be there

-Briefly poll (by raise of hands) how many of the students feel comfortable using the library and do so fairly regularly

B. Introduce Self

-Introduce myself as the librarian and briefly describe my role at the library

C. Introduce Class Content

-Give a brief overview of the content we’ll learn in the class period and why it’s directly relevant to their class assignment

-Distribute handout to aid with demonstration

2. Class Content

A. Demonstration of Online Catalog (12 min.)

-Before beginning, I’ll encourage students to open up the library homepage on their own computers and follow along (which will help learners with a kinesthetic learning sensitivity)

-Then I’ll show students how to get to the catalog from the library homepage – this will be a “think aloud” kind of demonstration that will allow both visual and aural learners to follow along with the search.

-I’ll demonstrate how to do a keyword search on library catalog by using the example phrase Bach Cantata. To do this, I will point out elements of the search results interface such as limiters by title, format, location, and subject, as well as the ability to sort results by date or relevancy.

-Next I’ll go into a specific record and point out its elements (location, call number, status, ability to request the item). I’ll demonstrate briefly how to use LCSH subject headings to improve search results by pointing out the subject headings, clicking on one, and showing the students the related results that come up.

-If time: I’ll look at examples of book, CD, and score records so the students can see the slight differences in the records based on format.

-Pause for questions

-I’ll give the students a few minutes (whatever time is remaining before I need to move on) to search the catalog for a source that they could use in their assignment. They will be motivated to use their skills because it will help them complete their assignment, but they’ll be able to try out their searching with the librarian nearby to answer questions.

B. Demonstration of Journal Article Databases (12 min)

-First I’ll demonstrate how to find journal article databases from the library homepage.

-I’ll use the handout to briefly describe the strengths and weaknesses of the primary music journal databases (the most important points are bolded on the hand-out).

-Then I’ll do a search on a fairly narrow topic to find appropriate sources and talk about standards for determining good sources in preparation for assessment activity (ex. Duke Ellington Orchestra).

-We’ll do searches in IIMP and Music Index as these are the most commonly used music databases, and we’ll look at features of the interface like limiters and indicators of full text availability. In IIMP I’ll point out the full-text and peer-reviewed check boxes, and in Music Index I’ll show how to use the “Choose Databases” tool to also search RILM at the same time.

-I’ll end by doing a search of an exact title of an article using the Easy Search tool (ex. “The role of trombones in Black, brown and beigeby Kurt Dietrich) and explain when this might be necessary (using bibliographies and footnotes, etc.).

-Pause for questions

-If time: I’ll give students time to look up one source that is relevant to their paper topic and find me if they have any questions.

C. Assessment/Active Learning (26 min – 6 min. explanation + 12 min + 8 min for discussion)

-I’ll hand out the assessment activity and briefly explain why it’s not enough to just know where to find the sources (importance of good sources to research). Then I’ll go through each of the four standards on the sheet and ask the students what they think each means in terms of evaluating sources.

-I’ll allow students to work on the activity, walking around to check progress and answer questions.

-I’ll ask students to finish up and volunteer to share what they chose for the first few questions, as well as their explanations. I’ll ask for other students to share opposing answers and hopefully we can begin discussing how evaluating sources can be complicated (this activity should help build students’ critical thinking skills).

3. Review and Wrap-up (5 min)

A. Reflection

-[If time] Have students find space somewhere on the worksheet to reflect on the class by writing down one thing they learned, one thing they wish they knew more about, and any comments or suggestions for future sessions

B. Contact Information

-Point out contact information on handout and encourage questions

C. Thank them for coming


This instructional design addresses the second ACRL Information Literacy standard “the information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently” by showing students how to access information at the music library and giving them time to practice accessing necessary information while the librarian is present to help them. The third ACRL IL standard, “the information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system,” is addressed in the assessment activity, which asks students to evaluate sources based on four criteria and explain their reasoning for choosing one source over others. Although the students aren’t asked to accomplish a specific purpose in the library session, the information and skills I share with them are meant to help the students complete a specific assignment, so indirectly the instructional design addresses the standard, “the information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.”

The critical thinking aspect of my instructional design is most strongly present in my assessment tool, which asks students to evaluate resources and compare them to one another. However, I tried to provide choices of sources that required them to reason carefully, and I asked them to provide explanations for their choices. Depending on the level of involvement of the class, the discussion I have planned after the assessment activity should also involve critical thinking; students will have to create arguments for their decisions and begin to reason why some sources are more appropriate than others.

I attempted to engage multiple learning styles in my instructional design, especially during my “think-aloud” demonstration of the catalog and journal databases. Because I’m showing what I’m doing on the projector while also describing the process aloud, aural and visual learners should be able to follow the lesson. I also encourage students to follow along on their own computers if it isn’t distracting, which caters to kinesthetic learners. In an attempt to encourage constructivist learning, I use specific examples in my assessment tool; in this way, students will be able to imagine similar experiences in their own lives and build onto their current knowledge. I am also attempting some collaboration in my instructional design, a concept we discussed in class as often being a valuable experience for students, faculty, and librarians. I am doing this by aligning my instruction with a specific assignment for a specific class and making it clear to the students how library resources can help them complete this assignment successfully, which will also provide some extrinsic motivation for students to learn the material. We also talked about creating successful handouts in class and, based on our discussion, I included as many visually interesting elements in my handout as possible such as screen shots, arrows, and lots of bolded and colored text. These visually pleasing elements of my handout are meant to appeal to visual learners and motivate students to use the handout as an aid to their research.

Name: _____________________

Evaluating Resources

When deciding which sources to use to aid your resources, keep in mind that sources should be evaluated based on the following standards:

Relevancy: Is the source content related to your topic? Will it provide evidence for your thesis?

Authority: Who wrote the content? Is the author trustworthy or well-known in the field? Who published the content? If it’s content from a journal, is it a peer-reviewed journal?

Currency: When was the information published? Has the field changed significantly since that time? Is the information still valid?

Accuracy: Is the information based on unbiased research and honest statistics? If it’s content from a journal, is it peer-reviewed? Is the journal known to be neutral?

Multiple Choice

Keeping these standards in mind, answer the following multiple choice questions. Following each question, please write a sentence or two explaining why you chose your answer.

1. You are writing a paper about the first performance of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for a class and your professor has asked that you use peer-reviewed sources to support your research. Which of the following would be the best source for you to use?

a. an article from popular magazine La Scena Musicale

b. a review of a recent performance from a newspaper

c. content from a popular music blog

d. an article from the Journal of the American Musicological Society


2. You are researching music therapy for a short paper and don’t have much time to gather sources. Rank the following resources from most to least helpful.

a. an article from a journal written in the early 1980s

b. a recent article from the American Music Therapy Association website

c. an entry in the Grove Dictionary of Music on music therapy

d. a recent article about therapy for PDST victims from a peer-reviewed health journal


3. Which of the following sources would be best to help you narrow your topic for a paper about Mozart and the Freemasons?

a. an article about Mozart and the Freemasons from a website authored by a Christian organization

b. a dissertation about interpretations of Mozart’s 4th symphony

c. an article about Mozart and his use of symbols in The Magic Flute

d. a book about Mozart’s early life


Using the Music and Performing Arts Library: Music 110

Mandi Goodsett, Reference and Instruction Librarian


Hello and welcome to the Music and Performing Arts Library! This handout is meant to help you use the library’s resources as you complete your paper for Professor Wilson’s Music 110 class. Please read through the handout thoroughly and feel free to use it as a reference as you research for and compose your paper for the class.

Your research will primarily consist of two kinds of searching: searching for books, scores, and CDs on the library catalog; and searching for journals and dissertations in the library’s journal databases.

Searching the Library Catalog

1) Finding the Catalog

Start by finding the library’s homepage at . On this screen, find Catalogs in the panel on the left-hand side. Then click on Library Catalog.

2) Doing a Search

At this point, you are ready to search. However, your search techniques will differ based on the kind of resource you are looking for. When you are looking for a variety of materials about a topic, you may need to narrow down your results. You can do this by using the limiters on the right-hand side of the page. With these tools you can limit your search by:

… As well as by genre, language, geographic area, and title.

When choosing limiters, keep your desired result in mind—if you want only things from the Music and Performing Arts Library, you’ll want to choose that limiter right away. If you’re looking for a CD, you might want to limit to Music Recordings and sort by Date Descending to avoid LPs and cassette tapes.

4) Understanding a Record in the Catalog

Let’s take a closer look at a specific record.

Whether or not it’s checked out or missing

Where on the library shelves

Which library and where in the library, ie. Special Collections


Subject headings


The tabs under the book or CD image can provide you with the following:

More Details: Information such as the ISBN, uniform title (a single title for something that has varying titles, i.e. for Beethoven’s Fifth: Symphonies, no. 5, op. 67, C minor), and a summary or explanatory notes

Location and Availability: Which library has the item and where in the library, the call number (which tells you where it is on the library shelves), and whether or not it’s available to be checked out

Table of Contents: Can be helpful if you’re looking for a particular piece in an anthology of works

User Reviews: Comments left by patrons about the material

Published Reviews: Reviews of this work by critics in the field

Request Item: Allows you to request the item be sent to a particular library on campus, which is especially useful if the item is only available at another Illinois library

Searching the Journal Article Databases

When choosing one or more of the following music-specific databases, keep in mind things like the time period covered, whether or not the database is strong in your subject (contemporary music, for example), and if the database provides abstracts. The following is a list of strengths and insider tips for each of the most often used journal databases by music students at the MPAL. Keep in mind that it’s possible to search all the databases by using the Easy Search tool on the MPAL homepage, and that using more than one database might be necessary.




Insider Tips

International Index to Music Periodicals (IIMP)

Identifies articles and abstracts for international music periodicals

Covers late 1800s to present

+Covers a comprehensive range of subject areas in both scholarly and popular music journals.

+Often better than MI and RILM for contemporary music.

Because many journals include reviews, unless you particularly need review material you should check the “Exclude reviews” box on the search page.

Music Index

Identifies articles on music

Provides abstracts and subject terms

Covers mid-1970s to present

+Slightly better than RILM for non-classical topics

+Includes a broad range of subjects, including past and present personalities, the history of music, forms and types of music, musical instruments from the earliest times to modern electronic instruments, plus computer produced music.

Because Music Index and RILM are both from the same vendor, you can search them at the same time (as well as with other databases from EBSCO) by clicking Choose Databases above the search bar and selecting both databases from the list.

RILM Abstracts of Music Literature

Identifies scholarly articles on all aspects of music

Provides abstracts

Covers 1967 to present

+Provides bibliographic information about books, periodical articles, dissertations and reviews

You can limit your search by language (for example, you might only want material in English, or in French); by year of publication; and by publication type, such as “monograph” (book), or “dissertation”.


Identifies articles on composers, performers, and compositions, and music history from the 19th Century to the mid-20th century

Covers mid-1800s to mid-1900s

+Covers many nineteenth-century music journals

+Good for historical coverage of a topic

RIPM currently indexes the contents of 140 music periodicals including articles, reviews, illustrations, music examples, advertisements, press reviews, and more. Fairly Eurocentric.

As with materials from the catalog, you can narrow your search results by using the limiters on the left or right-hand side of the page. It can often be useful to narrow your results to just include scholarly journals or to exclude reviews. See the Insider tips column for more searching advice.

Getting Full Text

To get the full text of an article found in one of these databases, look for icons like these:

In Proquest databases like IIMP

In EBSCO databases like Music Index and RILM


Will take search for full-text in other databases to which UIUC subscribes


Other Resources

Beyond the journal databases described above, there are other online tools available to you. Some are outlined below, but many more can be found on the MPAL website.

  • Grove Music Online – includes content from three print resources: Grove Music Online, Oxford Companion to Music, and Oxford Dictionary of Music. Can be a useful place to start finding information about a general topic.
  • Classical Music Library and DRAM – tools for listening to music streamed from the internet
  • JSTOR – archive of articles on many topics in the arts and sciences, including full text material from over 80 music journals; however, often does not have most recent issues of journals
  • LexisNexis – provides articles from journals, newspapers and reference books. A comprehensive source for news, business, and legal information.

For more help, feel free to visit the reference desk or schedule an appointment with myself (my contact information is at the top of the handout. In addition, there are many LibGuides available from the library homepage that were created to help you with your research. Feel free to explore these guides, located under Music and Class and Research Guides.


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