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This Is Auburn Auburn University Libraries LibGuides

Information Literacy Instruction: Best Practices

Auburn University Libraries' Information Literacy Program

Developing Research Assignments

Consult with your librarian when creating research assignments. Librarians keep up with trends in research and publishing which can affect students' access to information.

Tips for creating effective research assignments... 

  • make space for instruction of the entire research process, not just searching for resources
  • require students to think critically about information
  • Provide to students in writing the types of sources they should use
  • Focus on the content of information, not the format in which it's delivered; for example, a print source isn't necessarily more credible than an online source
  • Ensure that sources you ask students to locate in the library are owned by the library
  • Use reserves if all students will be asked to use the same source
  • Refer to databases by their individual names, not by their vendor names; for example, "Academic Search Premier" is the name of a database, while EBSCO is the vendor name

Things to avoid when creating research assignments...

  • Treasure or scavenger hunts; these types of assignments focus on discrete answers and do not require students to work with information in a meaningful or relevant way
  • Relying on tours of the library; this will not teach students all they need to know about the library and research