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  • Tips for Creating Effective Information Literacy Assignments

    • Define the learning outcomes. Make sure your students understand why they are doing the assignment and how they’ll benefit.

    • Base outcomes on one or more of the information literacy competencies. These can easily be adapted to projects in most disciplines.

    • Consider faceted or scaffolded assignments. Break assignments into parts, submitted in sequence.  Students will only do well if they build on what they’ve learned and take into account instructor feedback.

    • Be creative. Consider assignments outside the traditional research paper. This can also help reduce plagiarism.

    • Write clear directions.  Communicate your expectations. Consider creating a rubric.

    • Collaborate with a librarian. We can help find resources to support your assignment and can you keep you up to date on changes that may affect your assignments.

    • Send us a copy of your assignment; we use these assignments as a "heads up" for the librarians working at our research help desk.

    • Test and retest the assignment.  Is it doable? Can you complete the assignment with resources/time available to students? Is it up to date? Does it still meet your objectives? 

    A Few Don'ts

    • Don’t overestimate your students’ research skills. Dissect the assignment and analyze skills needed to complete it. Consider working with a  librarian to design instruction, tutorials, etc.

    • Don’t set limitations that are unclear or inappropriate to the assignment.  For example:

      • Requiring scholarly journal articles for non-scholarly topics.

      • Banning the use of “Internet” or “Online” resources.  A large portion of our library’s resources is online and this terminology confuses students.

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