Creating Effective Internet Assignments
- Make sure your students understand the assignment. Give your assignments in writing (not orally) to reduce confusion.
- Could we please get a written copy of your assignment? It will better help us at the Reference Desk to assist your students.
- Check URLs carefully for any typos.
The Internet is continually changing. Check your assignment regularly so your students are not looking for outdated or no-longer-existing Web pages/sources.
- Do the assignment yourself to see how long it takes before you decide how much time students will need to complete it.
- Remember to consider unexpected technical problems (e.g., servers down, home campus system not available, etc.)
- Allow time for students' inexperience with this new technology.
- Information quality varies considerably on the Internet. Stress the importance of evaluating what they find.
- If the process itself is too overwhelming, students will settle for the first piece of information they find-regardless of its value.
- Students do not learn good research skills from frustrating "no-win" assignments.
- Make sure the information you are requesting actually exists and is available on the Internet.
TRY TO AVOID THIS ASSUMPTION: "Most students already know the basics"
Consider a Library Research Orientation for your entire class.
Remember: Librarians are available to assist you when creating Internet or other research assignments!
(Some ideas for this web page were taken from the California Clearinghouse on Library Instruction- Southern Section's "Guidelines for Effective Library Assignments" and "Characteristics of Effective Assignments" from the Sterling C. Evans Library at Texas A&M University .)