Libraries Offers Highly-Praised Workshop, “Reimagining the Research Assignment” – OHIO University Libraries

Libraries Offers Highly-Praised Workshop, “Reimagining the Research Assignment”

Authored by Sherri Saines

“I definitely saw more motivation [applied] to their papers, and being much more conscientious in terms of the kind of sources they’re using, and the kind of evidence they are pulling in.” Bayyinah Jeffries, assistant professor of African American Studies

It really is both easier—and harder—than ever to find good information and use it well. Getting students to choose, understand and synthesize information for college-level work is a challenge that librarians understand, and national studies show this experience is normal.

To aid faculty in navigating this perpetually shifting reality, OHIO librarians are offering their highly-praised workshop series, “Reimagining the Research Assignment,” again this spring.  Applications are now open with a Feb. 2, 2018 deadline.

There are two sets of workshop dates. Participants choose one set of dates to attend. All sessions will be held in Alden Library 251. Light refreshments will be served.

  • Series 1: Tuesday and Thursday, April 3 and 5, from 10:30-11:50 AM
  • Series 2: Monday and Wednesday, April 9 and 11, from 2:00-3:20 PM
(From left) Loran Marsan, lecturer of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; David Bell, associate professor of linguistics; and Sherri Saines, subject librarian of social sciences, discuss classroom assignments.

One vital piece from these workshops is the close collaboration with a librarian research expert in the participant’s field of study.  The creative meeting of minds can create something new that works better for students and increases their success in the course and on the assignment.

Librarians are enthusiastic, academically-minded partners who are also in the quest to get the best from every student.  And once in while they are offered the chance to sit down and think over faculty’s toughest problems.

“It’s actually fun to have the time to sit and think together, try to solve these ongoing problems, and then see, on the other end, the real student successes because we [faculty and librarians] collaborated.  Suddenly it makes sense to 18-year-olds,” says lorraine wochna, performing arts librarian.  “It’s very rewarding. Plus I just enjoy getting to know my faculty better. “

This is the fourth year of this collaborative project. Watch this video to see what past participants have said.

“Now I’m more convinced than ever [assigning a research project is] worth it.”  Aimee Edmondson, associate professor of journalism.


Need more clarity? Read Frequently Asked Questions below:

Who should come? Any instructor at Ohio University is welcome to apply. All faculty groups, teaching assistants (TAs) and teaching graduate assistants (GAs) are welcome. This cohort is limited to 30 participants.

What happens in these workshops that makes so much difference? Faculty learn how students do research, what information literacy concepts apply to the work they are demanding, and what their students can be expected to handle.  These group discussions give cross-field perspectives, and librarian expertise offers a raft of alternatives and suggestions.

When are the workshops? Choose either:

  • Series 1: Tuesday and Thursday, April 3 and 5, from 10:30-11:50 AM (or)
  • Series 2: Monday and Wednesday, April 9 and 11, from 2:00-3:20 PM

Where’s that application form again? Applicants will be asked to upload the assignment or syllabus they want to revise.  Please be mindful that there will be readings and homework between the two workshops, and plan accordingly.

What should I workshop? Any assignment or classwork that uses information from critical reading of a single text to a 30-page research project.

When will I know if my application is accepted? Participants will be notified by March 2. All workshops will take place in Alden Library 251, and include snacks.

Who do I contact if I have more questions? Sherri Saines

All photos by John Michael Simpson/Ohio University Libraries