Information Literacy Assignments
Well-designed course-related library assignments are an effective way to introduce students to research and emphasize the importance of information sources. The following guidelines will help to insure students a positive library experience and reinforce library use as a means of learning.
Talk to a Reference Librarian before making the assignment
Sending a copy of the assignment to the coordinator of reference at the library will ensure that the staff is ready to help your students when needed.
Assume minimal library knowledge
Although many students may be familiar with using some library tools, few really understand the intricacies of subject headings or keyword searching and many have never used research journals.
Explain the assignment clearly, preferably in writing
Give students a clear idea of what the assignment involves, suggesting types of sources to be used. Give complete, accurate citations for specific works.
Always be sure the library holds the needed information
There are few experiences more frustrating than looking for what does not exist or has been checked out. Use the Library's reserve service for materials that many students need to use.
Avoid the mob scene
Dozens of students using just one book, article, or index, or looking for the same information usually leads to misplacement, loss, or mutilation of materials. Give students a variety of topics and sources. Use the reserve service as needed; use photocopies of "classic" articles if you can conform to fair-use practices.
Avoid scavenger hunts
Searching for obscure facts frustrates students, can cause chaos in the library stacks, and teaches students little about research. If planning a library exercise, talk to your a librarian about designing one appropriate to the class.
Teach research strategy
Include a list of steps involved in the research assigned
Reading and Comprehension 1
Reading and Comprehension 2
Reading, Comprehension and Critical Thinking
Worksheet: APA STYLE
Introduction to Periodicals
Researching your Paper
Evaluating Information Resources
Biographies and Autobiographies