Library Assignments for Blended Synchronous Learning
Librarians are happy to consult with faculty on library research assignments designed for blended synchronous learning. Librarians will work with faculty to create assignments and activities using the Library's rich digital collections, introducing students to important research skills for their academic success. Below are a few examples of programs.
Digital Map Collections Assignment
Students were asked to review the Early Modern Maps of the Americas Collection, examining the maps and associated metadata to answer the following questions.
- Who made each map?
- When and where were they created?
- How do the maps differ?
- Why would the cartographers choose to include or exclude particular geographies, labels, or other elements?
The assignment was designed to help students learn how to read maps, understand metadata and its role in research, and evaluate primary sources.
Literature Search Assignment
Students were asked to answer a pre-defined clinical research question by searching the PubMed database. They were asked to answer the question, providing details about their search strategy, including how to:
- Identify main concepts in clinical question
- Identify appropriate subject headings and keywords
- Develop search strategy to locate relevant articles
- Select appropriate articles to answer the question
The literature search assignment can be an effective way to introduce scholarly communication, controlled vocabulary, and designing research questions.
Dataset and Article Evaluation Assignment
Social Sciences Inquiry III students watched a series of short videos on source evaluation, data literacy concepts, and using ICPSR, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, a large social sciences data repository. Students selected a dataset and completed a worksheet developed by the librarian. Tasks included:
- Selecting an article database, conducting an initial search, and modifying the search to increase the relevancy of the results.
- Investigating an article by examining the methods, language used, and fact checking claims.
- Investigating a dataset by evaluating the producer, variables/indicators, and documentation.