Professor Phyllis Mentzell Ryder Publishes on “Teaching Serendipity”

September 21, 2016

Professor Phyllis Mentzell Ryder has published a chapter titled “Teaching Serendipity” with Jennifer Nutefall, a University Librarian at Santa Clara University. The essay appears in a new anthology called Accidental Information Discovery: Cultivating Serendipity in the Digital Age, edited by Tammera M. Race and Stephann Makri and published by Chandros Publishing.

The chapter provides hands-on advice to help faculty and librarians design courses, research assignments, and lessons that guide students to serendipitous research encounters. Rather than aiming to "engineer serendipity," the authors work to create academic spaces where serendipity is more likely to happen and where students see possibilities in the chance encounters they have. They define serendipity capaciously as happy encounters that provide unexpected information that helps with a research project.