Library Gazette

Building IL skills with ENG 107 students (co-authored by Giz Womack and Bobbie Collins)

Friday, July 22, 2011 11:38 am

This summer Giz Womack and Bobbie Collins have coordinated several information literacy (IL) classes for faculty. Last week we organized IL activities for high school students participating in the LENS program, and this week we provided library instruction for Dr. Collin Craig’s ENG 107 class (Foundations in Academic Research and Writing).

Before our initial class meeting with the students, we met with Dr. Craig and discussed the research projects for the class. This summer students in ENG 107 are examining the life of a student athlete and reflecting on the meanings of literacy at a liberal arts college. One of the student assignments is to compose an argument essay. For this assignment, students are to locate at least five sources to support their thesis.

On the morning of July 19, we met to look over the LibGuide for the class and to review the instructional plan for the class. Everything appeared to be in order. After Dr. Craig opened up the Writing Center, we started plugging in a new T420s Thinkpad so that we could project. The T420s refused to cooperate. So as not to waste any more instructional time, the instructors made a decision to proceed without projecting. We later discovered we had stumbled across an issue with the new ThinkPad and that particular model project in the writing center. The IS multimedia team is diligently working to resolve the issue (which fortunately does not occur with the projector in room 476.)

From a student’s viewpoint, it was probably a little nerve wracking at first not being able to actually see the demonstration of the electronic resources on the screen. To overcome this problem, the instructors quickly developed a plan to deal with the situation. While one instructor talked the students through the steps in finding the link to the LIBGuide and the other electronic resources which were covered in the class, the other instructor moved around the classroom and kept everyone on task. While we do not recommend this as a standard teaching practice, it worked in this particular setting.

The session on July 20 focused on Zotero. For this class, a portable LCD projector was secured from the Bridge (Thanks Barry!) making it easier for students to follow along on their Thinkpads. After a brief brainstorming session on identifying keywords for their topic, students used ProQuest to locate an article. Instructions were given on how to add books and journal articles to Zorero and how to insert citations and a bibliography into a Word document.

During the planning phase for the ENG 107 class, the instructors discussed this question: What should students be able to do at the end of each class? Using the information that Lauren Pressley shared with LIB 100/200 instructors, we developed learning outcomes for our classes. One of the learning outcomes for July 19 was for students to locate an article for their upcoming research paper and email it to themselves. To assess this learning outcome, the instructors checked each student’s email to determine if they had found an article. All 13 students successfully completed the task.Learning outcomes for the class on July 20 included: (1) Successfully installing Zotero; (2) Successfully creating a Zotero Library; and (3) Successfully citing sources and creating a bibliography in MS Word with Zotero. Again all 13 students were able to complete the assignment.

Giz will be meeting with the students on August 1 to present information on Plagiarism, Copyright and Intellectual Property. Molly Keener and Giz worked together to come up with some create ways to address these issues ranging from a discussion of websites that sell papers to a discussion of generic drugs, all in an effort to better inform the students on these issues. Our learning outcome for this session will be for each student to articulate a definition of Plagiarism, Copyright or Intellectual Property and email that definition to Giz.

We have enjoyed partnering with Collin this summer and look forward to working with him in the future.


2 Responses to “Building IL skills with ENG 107 students (co-authored by Giz Womack and Bobbie Collins)”

  1. It sounds like you created and delivered excellent instruction that helped these new WFU students learn skills they will need. And, if technology is going to fail, it is best done when Giz is on hand to cope with the issues :-)

  2. I agree with Susan. You are the best lemonade maker I know when life hands you lemons! Great story!

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