Teaching with Librarians: Using APA PsycINFO and the PICO Framework in Education Instruction

Document Type


Publication Date



Dimsdale and Carlson discuss how they developed two classroom activities to help students with choosing a topic for working on annotated bibliography and literature review assignments. The first activity involves a unique approach to using the APA Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms within the APA PsycINFO database to identify available topics, and how to narrow down topic searches to obtain a more doable list of results (e.g., using filters). The second classroom activity involves using a modified version of the PICO (Population, Intervention/ Investigation, Comparison, Outcome) framework to guide students for narrowing down their topics of interest even further, thinking of how to group their topics of interest into subtopics. Each was presented with an example and student feedback.


"Teaching with Librarians" is a series of conversations highlighting creative faculty/librarian teaching collaborations. Faculty, graduate student instructors, and library colleagues are invited to attend to learn more about the planning, processes, obstacles, and successes each team has experienced, and to participate in a discussion of lessons learned, techniques developed, and ideas spurred by these presentations. This series is organized by Jill E. Anderson, Humanities Instruction Librarian.