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Designing Research Assignments: Welcome


Welcome to the Designing Research Assignment guide, intended for instructors and faculty of Columbia College. This guide goes over some of the challenges students face when completing research papers, and provides you with tips and assignment ideas to build students' research and information literacy skills. 

What is Information Literacy?

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy (IL) as:

"the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning." -- ACRL, 2016


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Joe Haigh
Contact: 604-683-8360 ext. 254


This guide is modified from Queen's University's Designing Research Assignments guide.

Portions of this guide were modified from Hunter College Libraries' Faculty Guide, Modesto Junior College Library & Learning Center's Designing Research Assignments guide, and from Lehigh University Libraries'  Information Literacy in ENG2: An Instructor Guide

The Need to Develop Student Research Abilities

Students new to college, particularly international students, often find writing research papers challenging, and assignment requirements confusing. 

Most students entering college only have experience using open web resources, such as Google and Wikipedia, to find information for assignments. While knowing how to use Google and Wikipedia may have been enough to get good grades in high school, this approach does not work in Canadian postsecondary institutions.

According to large-scale research studies by Project Information Literacy (PIL), students at all levels experience significant information-related challenges. View the PIL video below summarizing their research on the search behaviours of today's post-secondary students

Project Information Literacy: Infographic