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Library Instruction

Tips for Creating Effective Research Assignments

Here are some tips to remember when developing information literacy, introduction to the library, or research assignments for your students in which they will utilize resources from the CSU Library.

Effective assignments... 

  • require students to find, evaluate, and use information in a meaningful, relevant way.
  • include a library instruction session
  • define the task and identify the sources students can and cannot use. Be aware that electronic sources may be more appropriate and readily available than print sources.
  • have been tested and it is known that the library has the resources that you require your students to use.
  • focus on information content.
  • take advantage of reserves if students will be asked to all use the same resource.
  • give students enough time to complete; research takes time.
  • encourage students to stop by the reference desk if they need assistance.

Ineffective assignments...

  • include treasure or scavenger hunts.
  • expect that a walk-through tour of the library will teach students all they need to know about the library and research.
  • have not been tested and may not work.
  • ask a whole class to retrieve the same exact print source.
  • require a source that the library does not own.
  • refer student to information sources with incomplete or inaccurate name or to which the library no longer subscribes.

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