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ENGL 101: Academic Writing

What is ENGL 101 - Academic Writing?

This course is a rigorous introduction to college level writing, coordinated by the University of Maryland's Academic Writing Program. It teaches undergraduate students how to construct and develop topics, analyze and create arguments, use and represent research sources, and revise and improve their prose. ENGL 101 is a CORE Fundamental Studies course required in order to graduate. [3 credit course. Offered every fall, spring & summer semester]

How do the libraries support ENGL 101?

Library Day is the name given to the information literacy program that the Libraries' have developed for this course. Library Day is a hands-on session that supports the goals of the ENGL 101 curriculum. Library Day introduces first-year students to research resources and search skills so that they may effectively find credible information for their ENGL 101 papers. These sessions take place during a regular ENGL 101 class period, which are either 50 or 75 minutes in length. All Library Day sessions are taught in a McKeldin Library instruction lab. These sessions are taught by librarians and by specially trained graduate students.

How big is the Library Day program?

The Libraries teach approximately 3,500 first-year students in 165 classes per year. This is the Libraries' largest and longest running information literacy program for freshmen.

What are the student learning outcomes for Library Day?

As a result of their time in the library, students will be able to:

  1. Formulate questions for research based on gaps in information or data available and shape them based on currency, scope and disciplinary focus 
  2. Articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of various formats. Identify which formats best meet particular information needs 
  3. Determine what authoritative information means for a particular need. Identify markers of authority across resources 
  4. Analyze and reconcile varied and sometimes conflicting perspectives
  5. Construct a search based on variants of their search question -- from using basic (Boolean and truncation) to creating sophisticated search strategies 
  6. Effectively utilize the core functionality features of any research tool
  7. Identify and search in several different resources in order to find the best results 
  8. Reevaluate needs and next steps throughout the research process
  9. Communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a variety of formats 
  10. Advocate and practice responsible use of information as part of original creation or when incorporating the work of others

This coming Fall, we are piloting an exciting new approach which blends design-thinking elements with online content and this new framework.

Design thinking is a creative process based around the generation and layering of ideas stemming from a concept that is often abstract and messy. Within these steps, problems can be reframed, questions can be asked, more ideas can be created, and the best actions can be chosen. The steps aren't linear; they can occur simultaneously and can be repeated. There is also a strong element of experimentation involved and “failure” is seen as an opportunity to learn rather than something to be avoided. This process allows for a more organic flow of discovery and a shift away from the traditional tool-based approach to Information Literacy. Design thinking is as much about creating the right conditions for learning, as Information Literacy is and answers the same questions about why a certain approach works in a specific context versus another. Design research also emphasizes the need for interventions based on the identification of the problem and a subsequent evaluation of the success of these measures. Image taken from the Design Thinking For Educators Toolkit.

 

Students will  interact with online content before and after we see them in person via Blendspace and receive individualized feedback on targeted homework assignments that are integrated into their existing coursework.

How do we assess student learning?

Students will take an assessment at the end of the semester via an online survey that will ask them to answer questions about their topic selection, resources used and evaluation of information. We will then use a rubric to determine to what extent they are able to master the outcomes listed above and make improvements for the next round of instruction.

Preparing for Library Day

The most effective and meaningful Library Day sessions are the ones where ENGL 101 instructors have prepared students by having them come to the session with concrete topics (or firm ideas) to research.

Would you like to schedule a Library Day session?

Please use this request form.

Need more information?

Do you have questions, comments, or suggestions?

Contact Teaching & Learning Services, Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Reach us by phone at 301-405-925 or by email.