Last Updated: Feb 11, 2014
This site includes a variety of resources to help teachers create effective research assignments and activities for undergraduate students. On this site, you will find:
Before assigning research in your class, consider these 3 questions:
- Will finding, using and learning from outside sources help students be successful in my class or meet my learning objectives?
- What do I want students to be able to do with their research?
- What do I have the capacity to support?
- Assignments that require students to use, locate or manipulate something that their library does not have access to.
- Assignments that require students to do things in an outdated or inefficient way.
- Assignments that are not tied to course learning outcomes, but that serve only a potential future need.
- Assignments that do not meet students "where they are" developmentally.
- Assignments with source requirements that don't make sense for the intended audience or rhetorical purpose.
- Saying "use the library" doesn't make the library useful.
- The best way to encourage students to use a research tool or collection is to design a task that is legitimately easier when one uses that tool.
- The library is not a shortcut. People who use the library can't end-run thinking or evaluating.
- Requiring something is not the same as teaching it.
- Students won't automatically understand the connections between research assignments and course outcomes.
- Research is sometimes uncomfortable and stressful; students will actively try to avoid that stress.