Designing an Effective Assignment
The following list highlights a handful of things to think
about when developing research assignments:
- Don't assume your students know how to use the library, particularly a
complex academic library system like UNC's. Even if they tell you they've
had library instruction, realize that it may not translate into the skills
or knowledge they need to complete your assignment. You can use simple exercises
such as providing your students with a citation and asking them how they would
find the actual material to guage at what point they may be. Even if you don't
have a full-fledged library instruction session, you can invite a librarian
to visit your class to update them on changes that may effect their research
and to review basic skills or new resources.
- Be sure to explain the assignment clearly, preferably in writing.
- Be sure your assignment matches your instructional objectives. If you want
students to know how to find scholarly journal articles on a topic, sending
them on a scavenger hunt for interesting but obscure facts won't give them
those skills. Students learn best when they have a specific assignment for
which to apply library resources and skills. We are happy to help you design
a "hands-on" activity that matches your instructional objectives.
Don't hesitate to contact us.
Be sure the libraries have the resources your students
will need to successfully complete the assignment.
Try not to place arbitrary restrictions on the
information resources your students can use. If you want
them to learn how to use print or microfilm sources,
construct an assignment that gives them a legitimate
reason for using those formats.
- Review what your students learned in the library session in subsequent
Email: Emily King
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This page was last updated Monday, August 09, 2010.