Embracing Change: Alternatives to Traditional Research Writing Assignments

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The pedagogical value and real-life applicability of traditional research writing assignments has been investigated since at least the 1990s, and the increase in adoption of alternative assignments could be an indication that students are questioning their long-term benefits. Traditional research writing assignments do not always align with the goals and outcomes that students set for their education.

Embracing Change: Alternatives to Traditional Research Writing Assignments collects existing alternative assignments from librarians and classroom instructors and examines their benefits and drawbacks, impact on various student populations, and the support needed to make them successful. In two parts—Analog-Driven Assignments and Technology-Driven Assignments—authors offer a wealth of insight into the theory and practice of utilizing alternative assignments. Case studies detail the development of assignments, their implementation, lessons learned, and assessment, and provide examples and reference materials for incorporating or refining your own alternative assignments. Projects covered include:

  • how students engage with writing gray literature
  • producing a local voting guide
  • creating museum-level exhibit labels
  • composing and printing original poems using a letterpress
  • developing finding aids
  • writing a children’s book
  • creating infographics and lightning talk videos
  • learning digital literacy using podcasts
  • a variety of digital humanities projects 

Embracing Change is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, highlights the value of alternative assignments, and provides librarians and educators with practical guidance for creating, implementing, and supporting alternatives to research writing assignments.

Published: 2022
Publisher: ACRL
Pages: 330
Sku: 9780838937662

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