Teaching serendipity

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Chandos Publishing/Elsevier


Faculty and librarians can collaborate to create academic learning environments where serendipity is more likely to happen and where students see possibilities in the chance encounters that they have. Teaching serendipity includes designing research courses that provide students with disciplinary frameworks through which to recognize, activate, and manage the layers of inquiry. A pedagogy that "courts serendipity" makes room for chance and shows students how to capitalize on the possibility of chaos. In addition, faculty and librarians are called on to talk about research as part of a larger conversation, and a recursive, process, rather than a step-wise march to completion. Teaching serendipity can be incorporated through multiple ways-of-doing within academic situations: those that call for empirical inquiry, problem-solving, and research from sources.

Chapter of

Accidental information discovery: Cultivating serendipity in the digital age


T. M. Race
S. Makri