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Faculty and the Library Toolbox: Assignment Collaboration

How to integrate library resources into your course

Assignment Collaboration: Updating Your Syllabus and Team Teaching

ACC Faculty Librarians can partner with you to design an assignment that matches the outcomes of your course.

We also can help you develop alternative ideas if you don’t want a formal research paper.

Contact your subject librarian to get started.

Advantages of Teaching Faculty - Faculty Librarian Collaboration:

Student Benefits

  • Assignments are more meaningful and better planned
  • Information literacy is integrated into the curriculum
  • Information becomes more relevant to their lives
  • The student learns about intellectual property
  • The student develops critical thinking skills needed to evaluate resources
  • The student becomes an independent learner and develops intellectual curiosity
  • Students do better work and learning expectations are raised

Teaching Faculty Benefits

  • Faculty evaluate resources before designing an assignment, which in turn leads to better student products
  • Taking advantage of a librarian's expertise makes sense and saves time
  • Faculty develop confidence in sending students to the library
  • A better library collection in the faculty member's subject area results from increased communication
  • Library services can be a recruiting tool for potential faculty and students
  • Faculty member gets expert advice and assistance in designing assignments that involve library resources and information literacy concepts
  • Library instruction can break the monotony of the class schedule
  • Faculty member gets personalized reference and research assistance from the librarian
  • Simplifies the faculty member's interactions with the library
  • Facilitates the selection of Library resources for new courses and new programs


Scaffolding Information Literacy into your Course

How does it work?


1. Provide links in your syllabus to ACC Library Subject Guide for your course.

2. Require students to view Choosing a Topic tutorial and take the quiz before turning in their topics for their assignment.

3. Schedule a Library Instruction Session the week before the students turn in their bibliography to you.

4. Require students to view the  Finding Background Information tutorial after the instruction session.

Assignment Review For Resource Scaffolding

If you have an assignment that includes research, your campus librarian can review it for you. After reviewing the assignment, the librarian will identify resources (usually in the form of URLs that you can scaffold right into the assignment for your consideration. We look for resources that will support your students' success. We can also offer you language that will encourage resource use.

We have thousands of resources, both online and in print, in our collections. We can help steer your students away from simply relying on web pages and toward higher quality sources.

Contact your subject librarian or one of your campus librarians to get started.

Tips for Effective Library Research Assignments

Appropriate Resources & Using the Internet

Students often come to the reference desk and tell us their instructor said they can't use the Internet. Many of our important library subscriptions and resources are available online. There's a big difference between subscription databases and free Internet sites. Make sure you explain these differences to your students. If you need assistance, let us know.


Don't assume that your students have had prior experience using libraries or performing library research. The majority of students have never been presented with the number of information choices they find in a college library.


Choosing a topic is often difficult for students - that's why ACC Library Services offers a great tutorial on Choosing a Topic

If you wish your students to find a topic of current interest you might suggest that they use a database such as the  Opposing Viewpoints or the CQ Researcher database. These databases provide weekly comprehensive reports exploring current and controversial issues with summaries, a history and overview of the topic, future outlook, opposing viewpoints and bibliographies. 


As at most academic libraries, resources change from semester to semester so it's always a good idea to review an assignment before assigning it to your class. Print resources can change physical locations or may be updated or even discarded. Electronic resources may switch vendors and take on a different interface, or they may expand or delete their holdings without any notification. Check your assignments regularly so that you're not asking your students to use something incorrectly or direct them to something that's no longer available.

Don't hesitate to contact your campus librarian for assistance! We are happy to help you!



Top Picks for Students - Background Information Databases

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