The Cephalonian Method for Information Literacy

May, 2015

Back in 2002 librarians at Cardiff University developed the Cephalonian Method as a teaching technique used in library instruction. Some background information on the Cephalonian Method can be found on the ACRLog http://acrlog.org/2013/02/20/revising-the-cephalonian-method/ .

To implement this technique all you need are some index cards. Before your class prepare the index cards with questions relating to the material you plan to cover in your session (e.g., how do I find course reserves?; where do I search for articles?). Colour code or number each index card. As students arrive, pass out the index cards to the class. During your presentation, use the cards as a way of generating student participation. At the appropriate time in your presentation, call out a number or colour and have the student holding that card read the question aloud. Use the student’s question as an opportunity to discuss the library’s services and resources or to cover simple information literacy concepts. The Cephalonian Method promotes student participation as it prompts students to ask pertinent questions instead of just passively listening to the instructor. Think of it as a way initiating a Socratic type of dialogue between students and instructor and you will have your class understanding concepts that might otherwise have been all Greek to them.

For other Teaching Tips and more Teaching Resources see:

LINC Toolkit – Teaching Resources

Thank you,

The Library Instruction Committee

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