- require students to find, evaluate and use information in a meaningful, relevant way.
- include a course-related library instruction session and/or a discussion about the assignment with your library subject specialist.
- define the task and identify the sources students can and cannot use.
- have been tested. Make sure that the library has the resources that you require your students to use
- focus on information content, not container. Be aware that electronic sources may be more appropriate and readily available than print sources.
- be shared with students, including a list of resources you would like for them to consult.
- take advantage of reserves if students will be asked to use the same resource.
- give students enough time to complete the assignment successfully. Remind students that, even under the best circumstances, research takes time.
- encourage students to stop by the reference desk if they need assistance.
- include treasure or scavenger hunts. These types of assignments focus on discrete answers and do not develop research and information literacy skills in a meaningful or relevant way.
- 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. For example, a generic assignment out of a handbook or textbook that requires students to use sources that the library doesn't own.
- ask a class to retrieve the same exact print source; students may have difficulty accessing it.
- require a source that the library does not own
- use incomplete or inaccurate names when referring to a resource. For example, EBSCO is a database vendor; Academic Search Premier is the name of a general database.