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Successful Library Assignments
- Design an assignment with course objectives in mind. Students will benefit more if the assignment is related to course content.
- Consult a Reference Librarian. The Reference & Instruction Librarian is happy to assist with designing an assignment. It is possible to customize the assignment to specific resources relating to class content. More general research assignments are available (both basic and advanced) that can be used for various topics and resources.
- Make sure the library owns the needed information. It is imperative to check the library holdings for specific materials needed to complete the assignment. Take advantage of Zahnow Library's Course Reserve service. If possible, send a copy of the assignment to the Reference & Instruction Librarian before giving it to your students. Resources and materials will be investigated and suggestions will be made where necessary.
- Avoid scavenger hunts. Assignments which send students on wild goose chases result in frustration and often misplacement or mutilation of library materials. Furthermore, these types of assignments do little for developing a research strategy. Assignments that have a purpose, especially those relating to class content, benefit students more by familiarizing them with a research strategy and the various types of resources available.