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Building Better Research Assignments


The purpose of this guide is to help Seneca College Faculty create well-designed research assignments to foster a positive student learning experience.

Build better research assignments by:

  • Promoting information literacy skills
  • Building in steps to encourage academic integrity
  • Encouraging students to evaluate the quality of research sources
  • Allowing students to submit research in different formats
  • Giving clear research instructions
  • Using a rubric that assesses the quality of research sources

Contact your librarian for support in finding resources suited to the specific needs of your course and learning outcomes, or to organize an information literacy workshop in support of your students' research assignments. For more Seneca Libraries support visit the Information for Faculty guide.

Research Assignments and the Student Experience

Many students find that the hardest part of a research project is getting started (PIL, 2010). This is often due to unclear instructions, confusion about the assignment expectations, and lack of awareness of where to get help.

How can the library improve the student research experience?

  • Research guides from the library can help students get started on their assignments and help students find the necessary resources (Daniel, 2016).
  • In-person library instruction can improve students' information literacy skills (Miller, 2018).
  • Online library research tutorials will also improve students' information literacy skills (Bordignon, et al., 2016).
  • Students have been found to personally identify the positive impacts in their research abilities following library instruction (McCartin, et. al., 2019).