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Information Literacy

About Good Library Assignments

Good library assignments increase students' understanding of the course's subject matter, teach research skills, and introduces them to the varied array of information sources available to them on the open internet and through the UTEP Library. 

Library assignments are more effective when they relate to specific class assignments. Planning and testing library assignments ahead of time can make a huge difference in how they're received by students. Positive experiences with research exercises and assignments can enhance the comfort and capability with which students approach research in their future-- a benefit in both academic and professional careers. 

This page offers suggestions and recommendations for creating your own library assignments, as well as downloadable library assignments you can use in your own classes.

The services and assistance of UTEP's Instruction Librarians are available if you need more than what this page provides; Contact the UTEP Library's Information Literacy team at infoliteracy@utep.edu to get started.

Ideas for Library Assignments

Suggestions for library assignments:

  • Create an annotated bibliography with evaluative annotations 
  • Prepare an interview with a librarian about finding recommended sources for an assignment or project
  • Compare and contrast primary and secondary sources
  • Compare and contrast popular versus scholarly sources
  • Compare and contrast articles about the same topic/even/issue that are from different points of view
  • Evaluate a web site based on specific criteria (accuracy, authority, currency etc.)
  • Prepare a literature review on a particular topic for a specific time frame
  • Find a source referred to in an online article/ web page, determine whether the source confirms or contradicts the assertions in the article/ web page

Recommendations from Instruction Librarians

Recommendations when creating library assignments:

  • Assign a variety of topics so that students are not competing for the same resources. If necessary allocate materials in the library's course reserves.
  • Give clear written instructions to students. 
  • Provide a list of suggested resources to help get  students started (for ex.: specific journals, encyclopedias, books, or databases).
  • Avoid scavenger hunt assignments, as most students get frustrated and end up copying other students. Scavenger hunts do not teach research skills, in any case.
  • Send a copy of your assignment to an instruction librarian as a sort of heads up; this will enable librarians to prepare and anticipate your students' needs ahead of time.
  • Consult with an instruction librarian to design a library assignment or modify your current assignment to better fit your goals for your students.

 

Free Library Assignments

Below are general library-type assignments designed by Instruction Librarians.

  • Download and print, or distribute to your students online.
  • Feel free to modify the documents to suite time, class, or other circumstances you'd like the assignment to address.
  • Would you like a different assignment that the ones offered here? UTEP's instruction librarians are creative and can work with you to create on tailored to your students and your goals. Contact the UTEP Library's Information Literacy team at infoliteracy@utep.edu to get started.

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