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Information Literacy Program

III. Developing Assignments

Develop an information literacy assignment and corresponding library activity*:

1. Questions to ask yourself about the activity:

a. Does this activity help students learn?

b. How is student learning being measured?

c. How is students' level of competence determined in this activity?  Example: a rubric of four levels of competency, the students would be at "unsatisfactory, emerging, developing, and proficient" or alternatively, "emerging, developing, proficient and exemplary".

(see "IV. Developing Assessment" for examples of rubrics that can be used)

2. Guidelines for developing an effective information literacy assignment:

a. Make sure to think about student capabilities and resources when developing assignments.

b. Incorporate critical thinking in the assignment.

c. Allow students to choose from a wide range of topics and sources for information.

d. Be specific about the types of sources for information students should use.  Aid them in distinguishing between different types of sources which may be ambiguous.  Example: The difference between free web sources found through Google and online library databases.

e. Assignments that require students to evaluate, analyze, compare, question, or synthesize information translates into a more effective learning experience and builds skills that are transferable to other research projects.

f. Develop assignments with target due dates throughout the semester to monitor student progress and feedback.  Include components to the assignment such as outlines, student questions and an annotated bibliography. 

g. Have the students turn in their research process from the library session to the librarian or professor at the end of class.  This prevents students from working on their assignment at the last minute.

h. Grade the bibliography and quality of sources for information.  Have the bibliography's score affect the final grade for the paper.

* Guidelines Adapted from the Otterbein College Courtright Memorial Library

Additional Resources on Creating Assignments

Useful websites on effective information literacy assignments:

St. John’s University Library: Downloadable assignments covering evaluation of web resources, etc.,

Utah State University: Ideas for general education course assignments organized by subject discipline

University of Maryland Library: Sample assignments  organized by skill level

University of Maryland BC Library: Research logs-assignment info for creating a research log

James Madison University Library: Creating effective assignments

Memorial University Libraries: Sample broad assignments by skill

Information Literacy Assignment Checklist