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Resources for Faculty: Assignment Ideas

About Assignments

Librarians have expertise and resources to assist you in designing and testing information fluency assignments suited to your subject area and your students' needs.

Information Literacy Assignments

Librarians can help you design assignments that meet specific information fluency learning outcomes you have established.

Print versions of the documents are available below.

In-class Activities and Exercises

1) Following an in-class discussion of research assignments, students:

  • Develop a topic sentence and search statement for a database that addresses the topic in their paper/project.  The work is turned in before leaving class and returned to the students at the next class or by email with librarian comments and suggestions.
  • Select the best database for each group member's topic and describe why it was the first choice.
  • Use a topic selected by the librarian and see how the search strategies vary from group to group.
  • Evaluate a sample search provided by the librarian, looking at the first 10 articles on the result list.  What is in the result list?  What is missing?  Students then give ideas on how to improve the results or cover different aspects of the topic.
  • Include an analysis of how they incorporated and located multiple perspectives on a topic (as part of a paper).

2) Test/quiz question:

  • Explain some of the criteria you used in evaluating sources for the research papers in this course.

3) Student self-assessment:

  • What are the important parts of this research assignment? How well have I done this? How do I know?
  • Describe the 3-5 most important things you learned about: a) the research process, while doing this assignment; and b) yourself as a researcher, while doing this assignment
  • Briefly describe the assignment.  What was it about? Give 1 or 2 examples of your most successful research techniques or finds.  Explain what made them successful or good.
  • Give 1 or 2 examples, if relevant, of less successful research techniques or sources.  What makes you say they are less successful?  The next time you confront a similar situation, what, if anything, could you do differently to increase your learning, research methods and productivity?
  • Looking at the criteria for information competency, which of these would you say you have accomplished through this assignment?  Briefly explain why and how. 

 

Assignments and Project Ideas

Research Assignments

Classroom Options

Text-based Assignments

Discussions

Writing Assignments

Presentations

Business

Students identify a topic and effectively conduct research in order to write a business plan, a brochure, an industry analysis, grant proposal etc. 

Education

Students submit a topic worksheet and bibliography to the library faculty member. The worksheet documents their vocabulary, topic development and rationale for selecting the resources they did, including why they are scholarly enough to meet the requirements of the assignment. Topic is approved by the course instructor only after approval from the librarian. Worksheet becomes part of the grade for the paper / project / assignment.

English Composition

Require students to create a research journal with guided questions.

Geography

Each student takes one work from the required reading. Who else has built on this core work? What has been done with this idea since the date of publication? What was your strategy on identifying these items?

History

Students writing a paper on World War II are to examine the same concept in a chronology, a specialized encyclopedia and a specialized dictionary and compare / contrast the type of information and access points, and describe how the information was used in development of their paper.

Sciences

Students find one article on a health or immune system topic that would be useful for themselves as professionals, and one on the same topic that would be useful for a patient. Compare and contrast the two sources and explain why they are a good choice for each group.

Performing Arts

Students will identify a topic and effectively conduct research in order to compile and create an artist’s/dramaturge portfolio or theatrical protocol.  

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