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Library Support for Course Design

Crafting a well-designed research assignment is one of the most effective ways to help your students refine their information literacy skills.  Assignments that encourage students to explore and evaluate a wide range of sources prepare students for academic success and help foster the excitement and curiosity of learning. Need help or a fresh set of eyes? We can support you while designing research assignments that challenge your students.

Set up a consultation with Anthony Sigismondi today.

Tips for Designing Assignments

  • Identify the specific information literacy or skills you want students to master and make sure the requirements of the assignment match those skills.
  • For larger research projects, scaffold the assignment to ensure that the steps in the research process are gradually introduced and students are presented the opportunity to receive feedback and revise their process.
  • Structure assignments in a way that requires students to determine the quality of information needed rather than setting specific requirements for them.
  • Design assignments that encourage students to use different types of information and formats.
  • Assess your students’ research skills in advance, especially basic tasks that are essential to the completion of the assignment.
  • Make explicit the rationale for the assignment and tie it to the course learning objectives.
Further Reading
  • Alternative Research Assignments
    Looking for creative alternatives to the traditional research paper? This site, compiled by Indiana University-Purdue University, contains several suggestions that can help guide your students through the research process in more engaging and meaningful ways.
  • Effective Research Assignments
    This site offers guidelines from the University of California, Berkeley, for ways to design effective research assignments. It also includes ideas for designing alternative research projects.
  • Information Literacy Faculty Workshop Materials
    Created by librarians at Santa Clara University, this site provides suggestions for activities that can help students cultivate a variety of information literacy skills.

Individualized Assistance
For help with assignment design, you can contact Anthony Sigismondi.