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Elements of Effective Research Assignments

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Research assignments are most effective when they:

  • clearly state goals and objectives
  • are directly related to course content
  • are closely tied to learning outcomes for the course
  • produce tangible & meaningful output
  • teach lasting or transferrable skills
  • provide clear, specific instructions
  • indicate criteria or standards by which assignment will be evaluated
  • are communicated in writing and discussed in class

Keep in mind:

  • students often know less about research than you (and they) think
  • student often have difficulty defining the appropriate scope of topics
  • students may lack knowledge of:
    • the scholarly communication process
    • the concept of peer review
    • relevant journals
    • cornerstone monographs
    • important authors/researchers
    • appropriate places to search for scholarly information
    • how to critically evaluate search results and sources
Last updated:
September 19, 2013