Himmelfarb Library Faculty Publications


Engaging students in active learning: Use of a blog and audience response system

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Medical Reference Services Quarterly


Volume 30, Issue 1

Inclusive Pages





Active Learning; Adult Learning; Audience Interaction; Audience Response System (ARS); Blogs; Classroom Performance Systems; Clickers; Electronic Voting System; Formative Assessment; Informatics Training; Interactive Learning; Literature Searching and Evaluation; Medical Education; Medical Libraries; Medical Students; Personal Response Systems; Web 2.0; Web 2.0 Applications


Librarians at the George Washington University Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library provide instruction to medical students as part of a core course in the medical school curriculum. Instruction was provided, in part, through didactic sessions covering professional-level medical information resources, PubMed search skills, psychosocial information, and evidence-based medicine. Librarians redesigned instructional sessions with the goals of increasing student engagement and minimizing the lecture format, maximizing the number of students receiving feedback on their search and evaluation skills, and permitting students to see a variety of possible responses as well as engage in peer- and self-evaluation. Librarians integrated the use of a blog and an audience response system (ARS) into the instruction to help accomplish these goals.