Incorporate at least one of the major ACRL information literacy standards into your learning outcome(s) of the assignment.
Focus on building information literacy skills but keep it relevant to the subject matter of the course.
Make students aware of the variety of sources and formats available.
Match the research level of the students, taking into account the level of the students, amount of information literacy instruction they have had, etc
Promote academic integrity by discussing plaigiarism and requiring proper source citations.
Sending a large group of students to the library who are all looking for the same resource or researching the same topic at the same time.
Overestimating students’ research skills: Dissect the assignment and analyze the skills needed to complete it. Do your students have these skills? If not, work with a librarian to design needed instruction. Note: Students often overestimate their own research skills.
Making an assignment for which the library has no resources. Consult with a librarian in advance to ensure that resources are available and appropriately set up for maximum usage.
When in doubt (or even not in doubt)
Consult and work your librarian when designing the assignment.
Provide a copy of the assignment to the library. We will be better prepared to help your students when we know about the assignment.
If the ACRL Standards seem difficult to apply to the specifics of your courses and the needs and interests of your students, take a look at the list of competencies developed by librarians at the Cal State Universities. They have used the ACRL Standards to create a list of well-defined, very specific competencies that their students need to achieve at the lower and upper division levels. You might want to use one or two on their list to guide your design of an assignment.
are many types of assignments that help students learn
and practice information skills. Consider assignments that provide
practice in a specific information skill rather than the whole gamut
that is required by a research paper. Here are a few suggestions, followed by a link to the ACRL Standard fulfilled by each assignment: