Build the assignment from the ground up.
- Activities by level – Ideas to help your students gain essential research skills.
- Information Seeking Behavior – Process towards research. Focused on all levels of education.
- Research Paper Planner – Create mini assignments to build to the larger paper/project.
- Scaffolding and Sequencing – Nice points to the benefits of scaffolding assignments.
Tips to Creating Assignments
What do you need to know before creating our improving your current assignments so that they contain Information Literacy (IL) skills.
- Concepts to Teach – Nice division of IL skills.
- Research Assignment Design – Ideas to start research projects.
Meet with a Librarian: Before creating your assignment, make an appointment with a librarian and come to the library for a refresher. The Library is always getting new products and services, including electronic resources.
Use library-created guides and course support tools: The library has multiple online journal databases and research guides that can efficiently and effectively help you and your students’ research. Remember that databases such as EBSCOhost and LexisNexis are not “the Internet” so be careful when you limit Internet resources. Many scholarly resources are only available online – so if you create a “paper resources” only assignment – the library might not have that journal in paper anymore.
Create your assignment: Librarians can evaluate your assignment to make sure it will work given our collection strengths and weaknesses. Refreshing assignments is necessary to reflect library changes. Make sure the library has materials to support your topics, or give your students enough time to use interlibrary loan.
Do your assignment: Think about your assignment and how your students will approach it. Do the assignment yourself to see if there are any pitfalls or issues that could confuse your students. To better assist the students, provide copies of class assignments to librarians.
Schedule a library session: A librarian can meet with your class for a library demonstration on how to use the library databases, build search strategies and evaluate sources. Encourage students to visit the library early in their research. Let them know that the librarians are there to help them.
Assume your students have the same level of research skills: Students today are “Internet Savvy” but they are not necessarily experienced with electronic resources. Scaffolding assignments (brainstorming, bibliographies, writing a rewriting, final project) will help determine their skill areas. Librarians can help in evaluating assignment objectives.
Assume the library has everything: While it would be nice, Dunn Library does not have the resources a larger university would have. Limited resources can lead to frustrations for students. We have multiple electronic databases and other resources and can always use interlibrary loan to obtain materials.