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Consensus without all the meetings: using the Delphi method to determine course content for library instruction

Philip C. Howze (Social Sciences Librarian, Information Services, Delyte W. Morris Library, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, USA)
Connie Dalrymple (Life and Health Sciences Librarian, Ablah Library, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



Encourages the use of Delphi for librarians in search of a research methodology. Describes one of many applications of the method, as an example of how the method can be employed in a library‐related problem solving process. The Delphi method is an effective means of consensus building, without all the meetings. Includes a description of one such consensus building process, used at an academic library a number of years ago, to determine standardized course content for a formal course in library instruction, a component of the university's general education initiative. A 134‐item checklist of learning objectives was distributed to participants, with the aim of refining the list based on an environmental scan of faculty librarians as experts. High consensus learning objectives were included in the manual, and low consensus objectives were not used. Discusses the viability of applying the Delphi technique to library science and librarianship.



Howze, P.C. and Dalrymple, C. (2004), "Consensus without all the meetings: using the Delphi method to determine course content for library instruction", Reference Services Review, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 174-184.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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