Understanding the Learner Experience: Threshold Concepts and Curriculum Mapping

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In order to programmatically improve our efforts at library instruction and outreach, we need to develop a richer understanding of the holistic learning and teaching experience that comprises our institutions. Threshold concepts are core ideas in a particular area or discipline that, once understood, transform perceptions of that subject. Curriculum mapping is a method of visualizing insight into the steps, requirements, and communities a learner negotiates as they engage with a particular learning experience or degree path. When understood and applied in tandem, these strategies provide a powerful means of developing actionable insight into the learner and faculty perspective and highlight pivotal points at which to provide library instruction, resources, and research support. This paper will explore theoretical and applied applications of threshold concepts and curriculum mapping as key to teaching and learning in libraries.

pedagogy, learning, threshold concepts, curriculum mapping