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Information Literacy: Instruction for Your Classes

Information Literacy: what it is, why it is important to you, and how to incorporate information literacy skills into your assignments.

Designing Effective Research Assignments

Your students want to know how to meet your expectations.  An effective research assignment includes clear instructions that introduce and build on research skills throughout the semester. By breaking down the research process into incremental steps, you can make the process less daunting for your students and create opportunities for you to provide meaningful feedback which will have a huge impact on student learning.

Creating Research Assignments

Creating Research Assignments includes suggestions for effective information literacy assignments & pitfalls to avoid.

Length: Approximately 6-8 minutes

Information Literacy Across the Disciplines

Suggested information literacy concepts that can be incorporated into STEM, Humanities, Fine Arts, or Social Sciences courses.
Choose the concept(s) that works best with your discipline.

1. Defines and articulates the need for information by identifying a research topic for the assigned paper, lab exercise, or other project.


2. Identifies key concepts, keywords, synonyms, and related terms for information needed, and employs an appropriate vocabulary specific to the research discipline.


3. Recognizes the need for and purpose of images within a project (e.g., illustration, evidence, primary source, focus of analysis, critique, commentary, etc.).


4. Determines the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, patent, Geographic Information Systems, 3-D technology, open file report, audio/visual, book, graph, map).


5. Acquires needed information effectively and efficiently; determines whether information provides evidence relevant to the information need or research question, and persists with further research when necessary.


6. Evaluates search results from each resource for relevance, quantity, quality, accuracy, authority, and currency/timeliness; assesses the limitations of the information retrieval systems or investigative methods used, and determines whether alternatives should be pursued and used. 


7. Compares information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias; employs consciously selected criteria to determine whether the information contradicts or verifies information used from other sources.


8. Employs specialized online or in-person services to retrieve the information needed (e.g., librarians, interlibrary loan, document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners).


9. Develops familiarity with concepts and issues of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use as they apply to image content, data sets, and other research information.


10. Demonstrates understanding of research data preservation responsibilities and the importance of retaining information for its intellectual property, research value, or other legally binding reasons.