Grade students on their information fluency and research skills.
State clearly that part of their grade will be determined by the quality of their cited sources, and/or by how well they met the research-related learning objectives for the assignment (for example, proper citation of sources, integration of sources to support claims, appropriate use of current and scholarly sources, or use of primary source materials). Students are more likely to pay attention to these research-related assignment components if it affects their grade, and awarding points for them also shows students that you value these skills as an important part of student learning.
Set research-related learning objectives and make them clear to students.
Clear objectives help students focus on the information fluency or research skills they should demonstrate in order to complete the assignment, and reinforce the importance of these skills.
Teach research strategies.
Breaking down the assignment into steps will help students accomplish your stated objectives. The following might be an appropriate research strategy:
Define your topic using print and online reference materials for background information.
Develop a list of relevant keywords and phrases to use in searching.
Use the library catalogs to find books and ebooks on your topic.
Use online databases and Full Text Finder to find information in scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Use internet directories and search engines to locate authoritative, high-quality web sources.
Research is a personal process that requires practice. Students benefit from opportunities to reflect on their research strategies and think critically about what they are doing.
Incorporate LibGuides and tutorial videos into your assignment.
Include a link to one or more of the library’s LibGuides in the assignment description, to help direct students toward the best resources for their research. In Canvas, you can include the link right in the body of the assignment prompt. If you can’t find a guide that meets the needs of your particular assignment, contact your academic school’s liaison librarian.
Librarians are available to come to your class and conduct instructional sessions that will help prepare your students for their research assignment. To schedule an in-class information fluency session, please contact your academic school’s liaison librarian. All Composition & Culture classes should be scheduled through Kelly Clever at firstname.lastname@example.org or (724) 830-1174.
Feel free to consult with a librarian about appropriate strategies and resources that would help students meet the assignment’s objectives.