Active Orientations for New Residents Conducted at Dana

Every summer, new residents enter postgraduate medical training programs at the University of Vermont Medical Center. An introduction to the Dana Medical Library is a standard orientation activity for these new residents. In the past, this consisted of a short lecture outlining library resources, services, and policies. Feedback from the residents revealed that they frequently retained little information from these orientations. This was due to the passive nature of the lecture and the fact that they were being overwhelmed with other information at the same time.

This year, the library redesigned and updated its new resident orientation. The old, passive lecture was replaced with an active learning exercise focused on a poster that highlighted essential Dana Medical Library resources and services. Participating residents spent one minute reading through the library poster, were asked to complete a brief poster survey and were encouraged to ask questions.

Nancy Bianchi-Poster

Active Learning Exercise Poster, Created by Nancy Bianchi and Gary Atwood

The results of this new orientation format were quite revealing. The poster prompted many questions and interesting on-the-spot conversations between residents and librarians. In addition, 80% of the new residents returned completed surveys. Most residents liked the format and felt that it was an effective way to introduce the library. Dana librarians will continue to study this passive turned active learning activity, and build on its success with other library presentations.

For more information, contact Library Associate Professor, Nancy Bianchi at or 656-4371.

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