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Library Assignments for Critical Thinking and Information Literacy: Library Help

This guide is for faculty looking for inspired ideas for assignments that use library resources to engage student critical thinking skills and information literacy.

Collaboration on Research Assignments

Librarians can:

  • Help you design an assignment.
  • Test the assignment and determine if resources are available.
  • Discuss what databases and reference materials are available.
  • Develop a research strategy for the assignment.
  • Identify the best and/or newest information resources for your course goals.
  • Collaborate on developing a library course guide.
  • Provide course-related library instruction on specific resources and research strategies.
  • Provide individual research consultations for your students.
  • Give feedback about pitfalls or problems encountered after the assignment is finished.

Library staff can:

Collaboration on Research Assignments

Faculty can:

  • Meet with a librarian at the beginning of a semester to go over the syllabus and assignments.
  • Provide copies of assignments to the reference librarians.
  • Talk with a librarian about strategies to avoid plagiarism.
  • Consider putting some materials on Reserve.
  • Work with a librarian on an assessment tool.
  • Break research assignments into manageable pieces with checkpoints along the way.
  • Encourage students to find scholarly material through the article databases available on the library web website and cite them properly.
  • Include the evaluation, analysis, and application of information as part of the research process.
  • Clarify terminology with students (ex: magazine, journal, peer-reviewed) (ex: library database vs. Web).
  • Arrange for a librarian to visit your classroom for a portion of a class (or schedule your class to visit the library) for a specific purpose (ex: demo a specific database; show how to do alerts or rss feeds from library databases; demo how to use an online citation manager; teach APA or MLA citation styles; etc.)