Maximizing Your Instruction Session

Reference and instruction librarians are happy to work with your classes that do research. Below are some tips for maximizing the productivity of your assignments and library session.

Creating effective research assignments:

  • If focusing on print materials, assign individual or small group projects on a variety of topics so that students are not competing for the same materials. Place appropriate materials on reserve if necessary.
  • Verify the accuracy of references given to students and make sure that the library owns the cited materials.
  • Remind students that the Ask Us! service is a great resource either online or in person.

The reference librarians are glad to consult with you about designing successful library assignments. We will suggest appropriate library sources, compile course guides, and/or teach your class about research strategies and sources.

Scheduling a session:

  • The ideal time for a library instruction session is after students receive an assignment and know their topics. For most typical research papers, a good time would be about two weeks before the first draft is due.
  • Try to contact the librarian before the semester begins, particularly in the Fall Semester. The lab and the librarians book up quickly, especially during the busy times of the semester.
  • Attend the session with your students. Your presence is vital to the success of the session. Often, questions about the assignment will come up in the course of a session, and your presence is tremendously helpful. Also, your attendance and engagement in the session shows your students that this is an important part of the course.