For ENG 101 Instructors
What do ENG 101 instructors need to know about LOBO?
Before assigning LOBO, you'll want to look over the content it covers and the questions that are integrated throughout the tutorial. The questions are closely tied to the student's individual research. This means that LOBO should be assigned in conjunction with an assignment in your course as very few of the questions can be answered without a research context. It also means that you can use students' answers to LOBO questions to gauge their research progress and identify weaknesses that you can address in class.
There are lots of questions in LOBO, and they require a lot of time to answer. Initially, this seems like a "bummer", but it doesn't have to be. Assign LOBO modules separately, rather than as one long assignment. Do your best to assign specific modules to address specific topics at appropriate times. Below, you'll find recommendations for integrating LOBO into your course. You may also find the suggested LOBO lesson plans helpful!
As always, we are very open to suggestions for improvements to LOBO. We want to keep the tutorial current and make it as relevant and useful for you and your students as possible.
How to Integrate LOBO into an ENG 101 Syllabus
Two outcomes outlined by the Writing Program Administration (WPA) for first-year writing programs are that students "understand a writing assignment as a series of tasks, including finding, evaluating, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources" and "integrate their own ideas with those of others". LOBO strives to meet these outcomes for ENG 101. To be most effective, the research process steps taught in LOBO should be integrated into the writing process steps of students' research-based assignments.
What's the best way to do that? Follow these steps:
- Select a research-based assignment from your syllabus.
- List the steps students should take to complete the assignment successfully. Be specific. Be sure to include steps of the writing process (narrowing topics, creating outlines) as well as steps of the research process (finding support for thesis ideas, crediting sources). Imagine the steps as if you were completing them for the first time.
- Match individual LOBO modules to the questions in step #2 above. Familiarize yourself with LOBO content.
- Plan to include each LOBO module listed in step #3 above in your lessons. Consider the suggestions in the chart at the bottom of this page.
- Decide how to use the questions associated with each LOBO module assigned. Follow up helps ensure that students complete the modules you assign.
The chart below contains specific suggestions for the integration of each LOBO module into the ENG 101 curriculum. In some cases, lesson plans and handouts are also provided for additional support of LOBO concepts.
How to Describe LOBO to ENG 101 Students
Unless students are writing about their personal lives and opinions, writing requires research. Certainly arguments must be based on proof, and usually that proof takes the form of evidence found through research. Of course, research-based assignments like literature reviews are predicated on research. Students often hope to avoid research, usually because of negative past experiences with "research papers". Through LOBO, and the right presentation of LOBO, librarians and instructors can work together to make their first university research experiences positive ones.
Among the most important points to convey to students about LOBO are:
LOBO is not a stand alone, busy-work assignment. LOBO modules exist to support tasks embedded in the ENG 101 curriculum. There is a LOBO module on understanding assignments because many students have difficulty analyzing assignment sheets. There is a module on citing sources because students are required to cite the sources they use in order to avoid plagiarism. If a module is not moving students forward in their ENG 101 assignments, then they should not be required to complete it. Asking students to complete parts of LOBO that have not been carefully integrated into their assignments produces frustration and confusion.
LOBO is not a self contained experience. Throughout LOBO, students may click the "Ask Us" link to contact reference librarians that are eager to help them with their research. They are also not limited to LOBO for research help. They can come to the Reference Desk in D.H. Hill Library, or explore the Library web site at www.lib.ncsu.edu on their own. In addition, LOBO should be incorporated into ENG 101 in-class lessons when appropriate. LOBO is a part of the ENG 101 experience, not an "add-on".
LOBO is only the beginning! Throughout students' academic careers at NCSU, they will encounter a number of classes that require research, and both librarians and instructors are committed to giving them the tools they need to be successful. Librarians will visit their future classes to build on the information literacy skills they learn in LOBO. Students will also be able to use their research skills beyond their academic careers. Many employers want to hire students who know how to find, evaluatee, and effectively use information.
The Research Process - Manage Your Time
Summary: Prompts students to consider setting informal deadlines before assignment due dates.
To Integrate "Manage Your Time": Use this module to introduce students to LOBO. Use this module to discuss the steps of the research process. Emphasize that the process is not linear, but rather iterative and cyclical.
Then move on to the Assignment Calculator page. Have students experiment putting in the date and the deadline of a research assignment in your course (referring to your syllabus). Direct students to type in their answers to the questions about deadlines for each stage of library research. Discuss the need to break up large research tasks and stick to self-imposed deadlines.
Point out the "Ask Us" link at the top right of every LOBO screen before logging out of the session.
Defining Research Needs - Understand Your Assignment
Summary: Elicits information about the assignment description, the intended audience, and required library resources.
To Integrate "Understand Your Assignment": Use this module at the outset of a library research assignment either in class or before class in preparation for class discussion. Supply students with a description of one of your assignments that requires library resources. Ask students to read the assignment description and use it to answer questions in this module. Discuss their answers in class to check their comprehension of the approach, sections, and audience for this assignment.
Defining Research Needs - Differences Between Resource Types
Summary: Includes information about different types of library resources (books, articles, etc.) and the appropriateness of each for a given assignment.
To Integrate "Differences Between Resource Types": Use this module at the outset of a library research assignment either in class or before class in preparation for class discussion. You may also wish to pair this module with the preceding one (Understand Your Assignment). Provide students with the description of a particular assignment requiring library research. Once they understand the requirements of the assignment, direct students to use the questions in this module to begin thinking about the best resources to answer their information need. If you have specific requirements about their use of books, scholarly journal articles, magazine articles, or websites, this module provides a segue into that discussion. This module should be completed before students begin their research.
Developing a Research Strategy - Define Your Topic
Summary: Supplies common topic lists. Provides strategies for narrowing a broad topic.
To Integrate "Define Your Topic": Use this module to help students select or narrow a topic. You may wish to assign this module for students to complete outside of class just before their topic selections are due. This module recommends that students do preliminary research to test the viability of a topic under consideration by checking an encyclopedia or contacting a reference librarian. Remind students to use the "Ask Us" link in LOBO. This module also informs students of the difficulties they may encounter if they choose a current topic, one that is not covered in scholarly literature.
Developing a Research Strategy - Brainstorm Search Terms
Summary: Guides students through dividing a topic into search term concepts and brainstorming for synonyms, alternate spellings, etc.
To Integrate "Build a Keyword Search": Use this module before students search the library catalog for books or databases for articles. Assign this module in or out of class as preparation for class discussion. Explain to students that the catalog and databases can't "think" so they have to type their topics in a particular way if they want good results. Explain that they shouldn't type in their topics as whole sentences or even long phrases. Model how to break down a research topic into concepts, brainstorm for synonyms, and consider alternative forms and endings of those words. Check student answers to the questions in this module and reteach if necessary.
Developing a Research Strategy - Build a Keyword Search
Summary: Explains how to combine search terms using AND, OR, truncation, and phrase searching. Includes an interactive Keyword Builder that helps students construct keyword searches.
To Integrate "Build a Keyword Search": Use this module before students search the library catalog for books or databases for articles. Explain to students that the catalog and databases can't "think" so they have to type their topics in a particular way if they want good results. Warn students that the search terms they brainstormed in the last module must be combined in certain ways to work effectively. Use the Keyword Builder in this module to model the use of AND and OR in searches of the catalog or database. Follow up with a brief discussion of truncation symbols to capture words with multiple endings such as: music* yielding "musical", "musician", "musicians", and "musicality". Check student answers to the questions in this module for comprehension. If you're feeling confident, try some search strings using AND or OR in Academic Search Premier or Google Scholar.
Conducting the Search - Find Articles
Summary: Defines and describes article databases. Demonstrates how to search for articles in Academic Search Premier. Demonstrates and guides students through finding articles in the library catalog using a citation.
To Integrate "Find Articles": Use this module before students begin searching for articles in the library databases. Include the module in class for the most impact. This module includes animations showing how to search the library databases for articles. Students find these animations helpful, but many do not view them unless their instructor shows them in class. Be sure to emphasize that databases are the primary source for finding articles (instead of the library catalog or web search engines). Discuss the difference between general databases and subject specific databases, sharing any personal experiences with the databases that apply. Click on "Show Me an Example" to show students an animated guide to searching using Academic Search Premier. Afterwards, direct students to search Academic Search Premier using their topics and troubleshoot their searches as needed. Feel free to direct complex searching questions to librarians at the Reference Desk or at "Ask Us" online.
Conducting the Search - Find Call Numbers
Summary: Explains how to read a call number and how to use it to locate items in the library.
To Integrate "Find Call Numbers": Use this module in class before students begin searching for books on their topic through the library catalog. Guide students through using the Library of Congress Call Number web site; many will not realize that they can click on the PDF to drill down to the call number range for their topic. Encourage students to use the Call Number Map to find the area of D.H. Hill Library that includes the call number range for their topic. Emphasize the importance of browsing the shelves to find good book materials.
Conducting the Search - Find Web Sites
Summary: Recommends specific search engines and reminds students to use advanced search options.
To Integrate "Find Web Sites": Use this module (in or out of class) before students begin researching their topic on the web. Encourage students to experiment with more than one of the search engines listed. Reinforce the helpful hint in this module to use the advanced interface of search engines for greater control over search results.
Evaluating Resources - Evaluate Books
Summary: Guides students through a series of evaluative questions to assess the research value of a book of their choosing.
To Integrate "Evaluate Books": Use this module (in or out of class) after students have completed the catalog searching portion of a research assignment. Ask students to select one of the books they plan to use as a research source. Direct students to answer the questions in this module based on their book. In a follow up discussion, ask students to explain how they analyzed their book for criteria such as: authority, purpose, content, currency, and point of view or bias. Guide students to use their analysis to decide whether or not the book they selected is a good source for their assignment.
Evaluating Resources - Evaluate Articles
Summary: Describes the differences between scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles.
To Integrate "Evaluate Articles": Use this module in class before students search databases for articles. Provide examples of scholarly journal articles and popular magazine articles to students for comparison. Show this module as a PPT presentation to the class, and guide them to apply the differences between scholarly and popular to the articles in their hands. If you feel confident, consider using this plan in reverse--share scholarly and popular articles with students and have them create charts comparing and contrasting them. Expect to fill in what they miss. If you feel very confident, consider discussing how the world of electronic access removes many of the clues students could use to distinguish scholarly from popular in the past. Be sure to finish by emphasizing the requirements for scholarly and popular sources for the assignment at hand.
Evaluating Resources - Evaluate Web Sites
Summary: Guides students through a series of evaluative questions to assess the research value of a web site of their choosing.
To Integrate "Evaluate Web Sites": Use this module (in or out of class) after students have completed the web searching portion of a research assignment. Ask students to select one of the web sites they plan to use as a research source. Direct students to answer the questions in this module based on their web site. In a follow up discussion, ask students to explain how they analyzed their web site for criteria such as: authority, purpose, content, currency, and point of view or bias. Guide students to use their analysis to decide whether or not their web site is a good source for their assignment.
Using Resources - Understand Plagiarism
Summary: Describes plagiarism and its consequences.
To Integrate "Understand Plagiarism": Use this module before discussing plagiarism in class. Ask students to share their responses to the opinion questions in this module as a starting point for discussion.
Using Resources - Integrate Your Research
Summary: Differentiates quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
To Integrate "Integrate Your Research": Use this module after students have completed their research, but before they begin creating their research product. This module might be assigned as out of class reading.
Using Resources - Cite Your Sources
Summary: Explains in-text and works cited citation formats for MLA and APA styles. Includes an interactive Citation Builder that helps students construct works cited citations.
To Integrate "Cite Your Sources": Use this module before students complete their research product. This module might be assigned as out of class reading, but instructors will want to follow up in class. One recommended strategy is to ask students to describe their previous experiences citing sources. This offers an opportunity to reinforce good behaviors and correct misconceptions. Demonstrate the Citation Builder and check the citations they create for accuracy. Remind students that they must cite each source in at least two places: in the text of their paper or project and at the end. Be sure to tell students your preferred style of citation.