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Leading Students to Quality Sources in the Information Age: For Your Students

To accompany the CETL presentation by the same name, September 25, 2017

Guides of Interest

Librarians create customized webpages with specific sources, research strategies, and more, often in conjunction with an in-class library instruction session. Guides usually have a short "friendly" URL & faculty may link to them in eLearning. Browse all guides here. Request a course or topical guide by contacting your liaison librarian.

Assignment Best Practices

  • Invite a librarian to review your research assignments. We can provide suggestions and also ensure all desk staff members (including student assistants) are aware what assignments are coming up and how to effectively help students.
  • Invite a librarian to meet with your class for a customized session focused on research tools/strategies for a particular assignment. They can also create "research guides". See Guides of Interest box to the left.
  • Define terminology clearly. For example, students may not know that peer-reviewed journal and scholarly journal are typically synonymous. They may not know that journal articles accessed online are acceptable even if "Googled" sources are not for a particular assignment.
  • Specify type and number of sources.
  • Test your own assignments frequently. Library resources change on a regular basis.
  • Consider scaffolding larger assignments so smaller components are due in stages (ie. topic proposal, annotated bibliography, outline, paper drafts, final draft).
  • Model using complete citations in assignment instructions, syllabi, etc.
  • Encourage students to meet with librarians for assistance. Don't require consultations with a librarian unless you discuss this in advance.
  • Provide examples of successfully-completed assignments.

    Some suggestions modified from: Parker-Gibson, N. (2001). Library assignments: Challenges that students face and how to help. College Teaching, 49(2), 65-70.

Required Readings/Texts

If multiple students or an entire class need a resource (include required/recommended readings), please work with library staff to place it on physical reserve or electronic reserve. We can use library or personal copies.

Rod Library provides information and support for faculty to reduce course material costs to students by choosing Open Educational Resources, including Open Textbooks. UNI is a member of the Open Textbook Network. In 2016-17, UNI students saved at least $129,715 in textbook costs last year due to open textbook adoptions!

Research Paper Alternatives

Let's brainstorm! What research-based assignments could you create/modify that are not a traditional research paper?

Contact Your Librarian

Each department/subject area has a liaison librarian and a collection strategist librarian. Find your liaison & strategist here. What do they do?

Liaison Librarians are faculty who:

  • Partner with faculty to teach students research skills, including the ability to find, evaluate, and use information in various forms.
  • Provide research support for faculty and students through individual and group consultations.
  • Support scholarly communication trends such as Open Access publishing, data management, measuring research impact, and using UNI ScholarWorks.

Collection Strategist Librarians are faculty who:

  • Build, assess, and maintain the library's print and online collections with faculty input.
  • Provide input on library purchasing and budgetary decisions.
  • Prepare department and accreditation review documents related to library support of the curriculum.