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Fall 2017 (September to December)
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Library Instruction

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Assignments to Test for Information Literacy Skills


Below is a suggested list of assignments that you can design and incorporate into your classroom work.

Annotated Bibliography

Annotated bibliographies can be used as part of a large research project, a long research paper, or an independent assignment.  An annotated bibliography encourages students to reflect upon the results of their research.  To ensure that your students are researching effectively, also ask that they reflect upon the process whereby they found their resources.

Recording Research

Create a list of research questions or statements, or require the students to create their own, and use the Recording Your Research Strategy handout to record the search strategies that they use for research their topic.  By encouraging the students to identify the key concepts of their research question and generate keywords, the students will learn how to use the iterative search strategy used in modern online resources like library databases.

Journaling or Blogging

As part of your course’s curriculum, assign marks to a journal or blog that the students must use to record their use of the library and its resources throughout the semester.  Require that your students describe the steps they took to conduct research, their success and failures, and any lessons that they learned to encourage them to be lifelong evaluators of information.

Website Evaluation

Create a list of noteworthy and not so noteworthy websites and ask them to evaluate the websites for their reliability and usefulness for academic research.  By having the students take the time to evaluate websites, you will encourage them to think critically in the future about the online resources they are using for their research. Suggest the students use the Evaluating Sources of Information handout to guide them through the process of evaluating the websites.

Searching for Articles by Citation

Create a list of noteworthy articles and distribute one citation per student.  This is a good exercise as often great resources can be found in bibliographies.  Suggest the students use the How to Find Resources from Citations handout to take them through the process of retrieving articles by their citation.

Following Research Trends

Have your students examine the same issue of the same journal from several years to compare the evolving research trends within a particular discipline.  Or, assign them a particular topic which they must find at least one article from one year over an assigned time period to find articles and then compare the articles’ treatment of the topic.  Suggest the students note the change in terminology over time and how this change would affect their research strategies.



Information on Library Instruction

Give your students the tools for successful outside-the-classroom schoolwork!



Information Literacy (InfoLit) has been defined as the ability to find, evaluate, and use information in an effective, academic manner. Students who are taught how to seek out academic information effectively and appropriately evaluate online information, consistently complete better assignments to greater academic success.

The Library’s InfoLit program is a special service that has been designed to develop Information Literacy skills in students. For further information, please contact Aline (Ali) Gonçalves, the Information Literacy/Reference Librarian.  She can be reached at 867.668.8727, by email or she can be booked for classes through the Library Instruction Request Form online. 

Keys to Success:

  1. Instructor attendance.
    Unless absolutely unavoidable, Library Staff require Instructor attendance.  It has been observed that Instructors not attending sessions sends a message to the students that the session is not worthwhile and Librarians are not deserving of respect.
  2. Prior booking of the InfoLit session.
    Any teaching requires adequate preparation time to be successful. While we strive to do our best to accommodate your needs, we cannot do this successfully without your help. Please try to book your session at least 1 week advance.
  3. Making it worthwhile.
    Assigning marks, requiring the completion of an assignment, or taking attendance have all been proven to increase the success rate of classes. If you have a particular assignment (or several assignments) that you want to use for your class, please discuss this ahead of time with the Librarian.
  4. Appropriate timing.
    Schedule your InfoLit session to match when students are required to complete major research assignments and you will improve the success rate of your students.
  5. Help the Librarian to prepare.
    Providing the Librarian with a syllabus, example list of research topics, a description of the class assignments, and meeting prior to the session helps the Librarian prepare an excellent class that is perfectly suited to your students’ needs.
  6. Consider using one of the computer labs.
    It has been found that students are more successful if the ratio of students to computers is low. Since the Library has only 8 research computers, Library Staff are happy to accommodate an Instructor’s request to teach in a computer lab, especially if the class is larger than 16 students.  Please book a computer lab with Computing Services as per their departmental policy on the date that you have agreed upon with the Librarian.     [Hide]
Types of Instruction

  • Basic Walkabout = This is a quick (maximum 15 minutes) tour/walkabout/orientation to the library offered by any member of the Library Staff regarding simple information about the library.
  • General InfoLit Skills = Library Instruction focuses on a broad range of Information Literacy Skills as outlined in the DACUM as best suits the level of study for the course (attach course syllabus below).
  • Course-specific = Library Instruction focuses on library resources (both in print and online) for a specific discipline or subject area (attach course syllabus below).
  • Assignment-specific = Library Instruction focuses on resources, skills and concepts necessary to complete a research assignment (attach research assignment below).
  • Independent Student Research = No prepared instruction is delivered by Library Staff. Instead, students work independently within the library working on a research assignment while the Course Instructor provides assistance to students and assistance is occasionally provided by Library Staff (attach research assignment below).     [Hide]
Workshop on the Information Search Process for Research (WISPR)

Most of our library instruction sessions are based on the Workshop on the Information Search Process for Research (WISPR).

WISPR is specially designed to introduce students to the scientific research process, with focus on strategies to write a good thesis/research question and ways to effectively find and evaluate information.

Check the WISPR website to see how this workshop can be used in your class. .          [Hide]