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Information Literacy: Creating Assignments

Planning Assignments

Planning assignments is one of our most important tasks as instructors.  The LRC has provided a few tips and resources to assist faculty members as they plan library and research assignments for their students.

Learning Outcome

We should consider the desired learning outcomes for students as we develop assignments.  Do we want them to be able to identify needed information, locate information, evaluate information, or combine all three skills? Each assignment should be different based on the desired outcome.  For example, an assignment on identifying needed information could be accomplished using a basic KWL chart.


Understanding the purpose of library and information literacy assignments is essential when developing effective tasks and projects.  Assignments should guide a student's learning process through its purpose.  Do you want your students to become familiar with using help options at the library, accessing printed materials, or accessing online resources? A careful analysis of an assignment's purpose can lead to substantive and quality learning assignments for students.


Information literacy and library assignments should be a manageable length for the student.  We do not want to cause "information overload" and lose their interest in utilizing library resources. 


Instructors can accomplish many learning outcomes with several assignments instead of combining the assignments into one large activity.  Scaffolding allows the instructor to continuously adjust and enhance assignments while allowing students to develop a sense of accomplishment.  Scaffold shorter tasks leading to more complicated projects to empower students and set them up for research success.


Creating relevant assignments for students gives them a purpose for practicing research skills.  For example, if the student has a research project or a paper then allow them to practice their finding information skills through an assignment related to their actual topic.



Sample Assignments

Annotated bibliographies

Topic and Keyword Tasks

Evaluating Scholarly Resources

Mini-Scavenger Hunts

Literature Reviews