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Instruction & Research Coordinator
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Overview: A Process for Designing Creative Research Assignments
- Start with Outcomes:
- What exactly is it that you want your students to be able to do? How can they demonstrate that to you with observable actions?
- Example Info Lit Outcomes:
- Construct a search strategy using a library search tool [observable action] in order to efficiently generate viable secondary sources which fit the requirements of a given assignment [purpose].
- Explore primary source collections [observable action] in order to find documents which extend common historical assumptions [purpose].
- Describe the authority of a scholarly article [observable action] in order to determine its relevance to a given research project [purpose].
- Consult with Your Librarian Liaison: Your librarian can suggest
- assignments which match your discipline and learning outcomes;
- resources to facilitate student research processes;
- instruction and consultations related to student learning related to research; and
- assessment and feedback strategies for describing student performance.
- Plan for any Tech Needs: Ask yourself what technologies will students need to complete this assignment, and what instruction and access might they need to use that technology. Consult with your librarian liaison and, possibly, Media Services to answer these questions.
- Phase the Assignment: Break term projects into steps, so that students can get feedback on each phase in the research process. For example, consider
- Research proposals to give feedback on research design and topic development.
- Annotated bibliographies to give feedback on accessing, searching, and collecting relevant literature.
- Research journals to give feedback on managing complex research projects.
- Embracing Change: Alternatives To Traditional Research Writing Assignments (ACRL, 2022). This book profiles creative research assignments in both analog- and technology-driven modes. Examples include zines, infographics, museum exhibits, digital maps, and podcasts.
- The ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2016). This resource lists 6 frames for information learning and lists related knowledge practices and dispositions for novice and advanced learners. This will be useful for writing precise research-related learing outcomes.
- Information Literacy Sandbox.This database of information literacy materials includes lesson plans, activities, and rubrics for information literacy assignments, searchable by the relevant frame (see above), discipline, and format.
- Bloom's Taxonomy (Revised). This is now a standard tool for instructional design, useful for writing outcomes for different types and levels of learning.