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About RIOT

Program for Writing and Rhetoric Information Literacy Instruction

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RIOT v.2 is an updated version of the Research Instruction Online Tutorial created in 2002.


The original tutorial was designed to augment the information literacy component of the PWR first-year writing courses. RIOT v.2 maintains that goal with updated content and design.


The tutorial's main objective is to enhance students' information literacy. In addition RIOT v.2 aims to:


  • Present research as an intellectual process connected to learning and inquiry
  • Anchor Information Literacy concepts in the first-year writing curriculum and student assignments
  • Provide a conceptual overview of the research process as well as CU tool-based instruction.


MODULE 1 Think
Learning Goals:

to recognize assignment requirements
  • to choose a topic
  • to brainstorm
  • to locate background information
  • to determine specific information needs
  • to begin research question formulation
Complementary activities:
  • Brainstorming, mind mapping, free writing (topic)
  • Background research
  • Project statement (question formation)
  • Keywords (focus formulation, listing)
  • Topic selection suggestions
  • Brainstorm components of topic
  • Background research
  • Identify information gaps/ need to knows
  • Examples of research question generation
  • Discipline discussion

Learning Goals:
  • to distinguish between information source types
  • to judge appropriate source type for needs
  • to choose appropriate search strategy and tool

Complementary activities:

  • Identify research questions and sub topics
  • Identify audience
  • Identify voices in the conversation (where)


  • Overview of information types
    • Books
    • Popular articles
    • Peer reviewed articles
    • Web sites
    • People/interviews
  • Overview of tools for discovery
    • Catalog
    • Databases
    • Web search engines
    • Teachers/ friends/ family
  • Search terms
    • Brainstorming
    • Combining
    • Recording
    • Recursive
    • Focus formulation

MODULE 3 Tools
Learning Goals:

  • to become familiar with local tools
  • to actively engage previous module concepts


  • CU Library web page overview
  • Chinook
  • Choosing  a database
  • Common database interface features
  • Help available

MODULE 4 Evaluate

Learning Goals:

  • to understand the need for critical evaluation
  • to explore evaluation criteria

Complementary activities:

  • Annotated bibliography
  • Author background investigation
  • Identify information gaps


  • Why evaluate
  • Questionsto guide evaluation
  • Examples


Learning Goals:

  • to recognize research conversation
  • to understand academic integrity
  • to understand pragmatics of citing

Complementary activities:

  • Drafting
  • Constructing bibliography


  • Discussion of research and its connection to writing and knowledge creation
  • Academic integrity (plagiarism)
  • Pragmatics of citing
  • When to cite: paraphrase, summarize, direct quote
  • How to cite: introduction to styles

RIOT v.2 is available from D2L at: https://learn.colorado.edu/



Contact Us with any questions or comments!



The pdf below describes how students may access the tutorial.
RIOT v.2 is available from D2L at: https://learn.colorado.edu/



The pdf below describes how to access, navigate, and use the tutorial.http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/Instruction/d2linstructorguide.pdf

Or view the brief introductory video.