Questions to Ask When Designing Research Assignments
Does this assignment help to achieve the learning goals of the course?
What core research skill is being addressed in this assignment, and how?
Is this assignment integrated into the course, providing material to be used in other work within the course?
Will this assignment serve to bring in enriching material for the students?
Does this assignment encourage my students to think about the type of information they need (factual, background, evaluative), and the form in which they're most likely to find it?
Does this assignment help my students distinguish among various types of information sources: magazine articles, books, academic or research journals, personal web sites, etc?
Does this assignment include retrieval of information through some major finding tool such as an index, catalog, database or search engine?
Does this assignment provide meaningful practice in using tools in ways that might be helpful in other contexts?
Does this assignment ask students to look at information critically -- to evaluate it, to compare it with other information, to synthesize information from different sources, to identify the most crucial pieces of information available?
Is this assignment designed so that student success is feasible? Are the likely obstacles, however salutary, also surmountable?