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Teaching Information Literacy at UCBA

Faculty guide for information literacy content and resources for any UCBA course.

Talk with Librarians

What We Can Do:
We collaborate with faculty in designing research assignments that reinforce critical thinking and effective research abilities. Based on our experiences in supporting students in the research process, we can also recommend methods and suggest ideas and approaches to crafting an effective and meaningful research assignment and/or learning activity.

Get Started:
Share your research assignments (including due date) with your library faculty liaison. Having advance notice about assignments helps us provide appropriate support when students have research questions. 

Testing Assignments:
Testing your assignment can identify potential stumbling blocks to conducting research (e.g. resource no longer available). Contact us as we can offer options to help ensure student access to resources.

Assignment Considerations

1. Learning Outcomes
Consider what learning outcome(s) relate to the research process for the assignment:

  • What research abilities would you like students to develop through the assignment?
  • How will the learning outcomes and their importance be communicated in the assignment?

2. Scaffold Assignment
Breaking a research assignment into a sequence of smaller, more manageable tasks, scaffolding can:

  • Helps students stay on track
  • Avoid last-minute plagiarism
  • Provides opportunities for feedback
  • Models how to approach a research question and manage time effectively

3. Communicate Expectations
Students may have little or no experience in doing college-level research. Providing a written assignment helps students understand the assignment and the expectations. It's also useful for librarians who may help your students with the research process. 
Important Note: dedicate time to talk about the assignment so students can ask questions.

Consider including:

  • Assignment purpose
  • Guidance on topics (e.g. topic approval or provide list of pre-researched topics)
  • Purpose of research and sources for assignment
  • Suggested starting points for locating relevant and high-quality sources
  • Citing practices
  • Defining terms that may be unclear (e.g. scholarly, database)
  • Length of assignment and other requirements (e.g. due date)
  • Writing support links (e.g. UCBA Writing & Study Skills Center)

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