Students who live off campus may have different levels of access to library resources, writing support, technology, and quiet study spaces than those who live on campus. In this guide, you'll find ideas for research-based assignments that make it possible for students in every learning environment to thrive. Each assignment breaks down the research process into a discrete, manageable (yet powerful) exercise that can be accomplished in a short period of time with minimal independent research.
The suggestions in this guide offer the added benefit of pushing students to focus on one skill at a time. Foundational information literacy concepts like where to begin, how to develop a question, how to join the scholarly conversation, and how to cite sources, can be overlooked when they’re wrapped up in the process of researching and writing a long paper. Shorter exercises give us a chance to encourage students to hone all of their research-related skills.
Many of these are low-stakes assignments. They could be used as standalone exercises, or as scaffolding for a later assignment. Alternatively, these assignments could be used as a discussion prompt; students could respond to the prompt and to one another, with points awarded simply for participation.
Talk with your librarian and see what might make sense in the context of your class. Your librarian will be able to:
Let us know if you have any suggestions, and check back often because we're adding more ideas all the time!
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