Information Literacy Resources
Ideas for Incorporating Information
Literacy into Course Assignments
Annotated bibliography - Have students locate several sources of information on a topic, then briefly analyze each source for its main ideas, point of view, timeliness, reliability, scope, and whether it is scholarly or popular. This assignment can be combined with a larger research paper or project as a tool to teach research and analysis skills, and also help identify students' problem areas.
Research notebook - This project can also be used in conjunction with another research assignment. Students are asked to document their research process as they are looking for information. As they work, they record the key terms for their topic, the databases they search, the results they find, and any problems they encounter. It is useful for ensuring that students actually use the array of sources available to them, and for identifying problems with their research processes before they get too far into trouble.
Citation style exercise - These exercises can be used to teach students how to construct and read bibliographies. There are several variations, and they can be adapted for in-class discussions or as written assignments.
- Give students a list of correct citations, and ask them to identify the sources. Ask students if it is a book or journal, and have them identify the author, title, journal name, publication date, etc.
- Give students a list of incorrect citations, and ask them to identify the errors.
- Give students a set of sources and ask them to create a bibliography.
Database searching exercise -
Have students locate a five articles on a topic. Ask them to write out
their research topic or question, identify keywords and broader and narrower
terms, then try the search in a database or databases. Have them write
down each search they try, and the number of results from each. This
could be used as the first step in a larger research project, or in conjunction
with an annotated bibliography that asks the students to evaluate what
Internet evaluation exercise - Give students a research assignment and five web sites containing information on the topic. Have them rank the web sites based on their usefulness in completing the assignment or answering the question. This can be done as a group learning exercise by asking each group to rank the sites and present their decisions to the class, then conducting a class discussion on the criteria for evaluating a web site. To use it as an assessment of student learning, hold the discussion and lesson first, then give them a set of sites to rank. (This exercise can also be adapted for print articles to teach the value of scholarly sources vs. encyclopedias and popular magazines.)
Copyright/plagiarism case study - Have students read background material on copyright and fair use before the class. Divide the class into groups, asking each group to analyze a summary of a federal court case and determine if copyright was violated or not, then present their decision to the class. This exercise teaches the concepts of copyright and fair use. There is also an adaptation of this exercise which uses the institution's academic integrity policy and several sample scenarios to teach the concepts of intellectual property, plagiarism, and copyright.
* The library will be happy to assist you in tailoring any of these assignments for your class. We can help develop handouts or worksheets for these and many other lessons, or include these topics in a library instruction session.
Use our online form to Schedule a Library Instruction Session or call for a consultation with one of our librarians. Please call 267-341-3315 (NEP Library) or 267-341-4010 (Newtown LRC). You can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.