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English 101 Research Game
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English 101 Research Game


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Overview of a trivia game for English 101 information literacy instruction.

Overview of a trivia game for English 101 information literacy instruction.

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  • 1. Library Trivia Game English 101 Lauren Wallis Reference & Instruction Librarian
  • 2. Class: English 101 Assignment: Synthesis Essay about Heart of Darkness and Apocalypse Now Library Instruction: The professor asked that we cover how to find contextual information about historical events, author/film director, and the texts themselves (assignment did not require research).
  • 3. Library Trivia Game Part 1: Five teams rotate through five game stations, where giant board game pieces walk them through using different print/online library resources to find background info. Part 2: Teams compete in trivia game, answering questions about facts they found in the sources and the research methods they used.
  • 4. Student Learning Outcomes: -Recall how to access Credo Reference in order to locate encyclopedia entries on any topic -Recognize how entries from print encyclopedias, the library catalog, and Wikipedia can lead them to additional resources for research
  • 5. Preparation: -Select resources for five stations -Write series of game pieces to guide students through each station -Write trivia questions -Design trivia game on Prezi -Set up stations with board games, books, and Chromebooks -Set up scoreboard -Practice game show hostess persona 
  • 6. Station 1: Print and Digital Encyclopedias about the Vietnam War Station 2: Print and Digital Encyclopedias about the Belgian Congo Station 3: Library Catalog search for books about Vietnam War and Belgian Congo Station 4: Encyclopedia and Wikipedia search for Joseph Conrad and Francis Ford Coppola Station 5: Library Database search for articles about the two texts
  • 7. Good Things: -Students got hands-on experience with a wide variety of library resources. -Most students had a grasp on looking up encyclopedia entries, using Wikipedia, and performing a basic catalog search. The game encouraged them to use these skills and build on them. -Students shared their research strategies with group members (during Part 1) and with the class as a whole (during Part 2). -Students were especially engaged and competitive during the trivia game (Part 2). -During the trivia game I was able to affirm their research strategies and add new tips.
  • 8. Difficulties: -Students with low confidence in their existing research skills were frustrated by the game. -A handful of students in each class resisted and complained about the game. -During the part where groups rotated through stations I didn’t have much to do (maybe this is ok?). -I didn’t produce any official assessment data (although the group note sheets and the trivia game could be used as forms of assessment).
  • 9. Improvements for Next Time: -This session would work well with the “Flipped Classroom” model. Students could watch videos on some of the more advanced research strategies before coming to class. I think this would help students feel more confident moving through the game. -Add a new “lifeline” rule— groups can ask one question of me and one question of their professor during Part 1. -Get a little more swag for the game boards—game pieces for Part 1, buzzers for Part 2. -Get instructor to give extra credit to winning team.