Assignment Design

A librarian can provide expert insights to ensure your assignments appropriately assess your students’ abilities to use research resources. Work with your subject librarian to create effective assignments and assessments. Our Research Assignment Design Guide has tips for creating assignments that prioritize your learning outcomes, focus on the research and writing process, and scaffold learning. 

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) for research assignments are based on the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. You will work with your librarian to decide which outcomes match best with your assignment goals.

Students evaluate information with an understanding of context.

  • Identify different kinds of authority
  • Recognize indicators of authority within the discipline
  • Identify when authority might be challenged
  • Evaluate how personal bias may impact source evaluation

Students understand how and why information is produced.

  • Identify various types of disciplinary information, how they are produced, and why they are valued
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources
  • Consider the advantages or disadvantages of different methods of publication 
  • Match information needs to appropriate types of information
  • Recognize differing genre conventions when applying critical reading skills

Students recognize that information has value and use and manage information ethically.

  • Give credit to others’ work through proper citation
  • Compare quality of information in free and proprietary sources
  • Recognize issues around lack of access to information
  • Determine how groups may be underrepresented or marginalized in information systems
  • Identify concepts related to copyright and fair use
  • Analyze issues of information privacy and commodification of information

Students approach research with open-minded inquiry.

  • Formulate questions for research based on information gaps
  • Break down complex questions to researchable units
  • Identify multiple perspectives as possible avenues for research
  • Recognize valuable and relevant sources

Students understand that knowledge is developed through sustained discourse and competing perspectives.

  • Compare authoritative sources that do not agree
  • Evaluate and synthesize competing perspectives
  • Track the evolution of understanding on a topic
  • Analyze how sources combine to substantiate claims

Students apply critical thinking, perseverance, and knowledge of information systems to search.

  • Identify the functionality of information tools
  • Match information needs to appropriate search tools
  • Develop and refine search strategies and terminology appropriate to the tool

Research Assignment Stipend

You may choose to apply for a Research Assignment Stipend when developing an assignment with a librarian. Winning faculty members are awarded a $1000 stipend upon completion of a report on the impact on learning in the course.