Creating Assignments Quick Tips

Quick Tips from the Library Instructional Services Program

Creating assignments is a time consuming but important task. Here are some quick tips for creating assignments that can be effectively supported by the Library.

  • Use Research Guides and other library resources to improve your students’ research experience. Our subject-specific Research Guides provide resources, research tools, tutorials and more!
  • Be specific about where to go in the library or online for a particular resource or service.
  • Invite a librarian to speak to your class about library resources and other information literacy topics. Contact your library liaison to schedule a class visit.
  • Do not make assumptions about the research knowledge or skill level of your students.   
  • Clarify and state your objectives, to yourself and your students. What do you expect students to learn as a result of this assignment? If students are not meeting stated learning objectives, how can you adjust the assignment?
  • Consider a scaffolded approach to creating research assignments. It might be beneficial for students to write an annotated bibliography prior to writing a paper, for example.
  • Make sure that the library can support the assignment requirements. Do we have the necessary resources on hand? Do students have time to request material through I-Share or Interlibrary Loan? Is there time for the library to acquire what you need?
  • Browsing is not the best approach to most undergraduate research; do not refer students to specific journals or magazines for browsing unless it will serve a specific purpose.
  • Do not give students a partial or faulty reference to an item and expect them to figure it out. If correcting a faulty citation is part of an assignment, make sure students understand this and know what is expected.
  • Check your assignment before re-using it to make sure any required resources are still available. The collection can change from year to year and we might have new resources that are more relevant to your assignment or more current.

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