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iPods, Games, and English 103: The Basics

The Basics

This page contains basic information about ENGL103, Library and Salisbury University. It is intended to help answer questions about who is involved or impacted by our ENGL103 library instruction, what needs to be covered, how often, and ultimately why the ShoreSearch game was created and how we got and adapted the idea for it.

What Happens During ENGL 103 Library Instruction?

Salisbury University Librarians teach ENGL103 students research skills and introduce them to the myriad resources and services offered through Library. By the end of our program, not only do students successfully complete their ENGL103 research assignment, but their new skills serve as a foundation for research across the entire curriculum.

During the first phase of our program, students complete an online tutorial which introduces them to the concepts that will be covered in our class session. Then students come to the library for hands-on instruction in our computer lab. We want students to be engaged in the session, so we developed an activity that addresses each of our five learning objectives and encourages students to interact with our resources up close and personal using iPod touches.


Every semester (fall and spring), Salisbury University Librarians provide library instruction for 30-40 sections of approximately 22 students within a two week time frame.

Why Was ShoreSearch Created?

Salisbury University Librarians have one 50 or 75 minute session to teach ENGL103 students crucial information literacy skills. This could be the only formal library instruction that students receive throughout their entire course of study at Salisbury University, so crafting a session where students could actively learn and experience the library was desired.

Knowing that the ENGL103 library instruction teaches soley the foundational skills and that further research assistance will more than likely be needed as students continue on their path of study, we wanted to create a positive learning experience that hopefully sticks with the students and keeps them coming back for more.  

Also, as we see so many groups of ENGL103 students throughout two weeks, we needed to have a standardized lesson that could be easily implemented time and time again.

Who Is Involved or Impacted by ENGL 103 Library Instruction?

Salisbury University Librarians have formed a wonderful partnership with the English Faculty to delivery information literacy instruction to students in the core first year composition course, ENGL103. Every semester this partnership involves 30-40 ENGL103 instructors, over 660 students (there is approximately 22 students per section), and just a handful librarians who split up the instructional sessions. This is a significant number given that Salisbury University's total headcount for Fall 2012 was about 8,600.


ENGL103 library instruction takes place in the Library computer lab, which is equipped with twenty-five desktop computers and two projectors that we utilize during instruction. During the ShoreSearch game students are encouraged to explore all of Library to get a sense of the space and, of course, to find the resources that earns them points in the game! Library is part of Salisbury University, which is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  

How Was ShoreSearch Created?

The idea of the ShoreSearch game was sparked by a professional development session we watched:

Lai, A. and Rogers, A. (2012). "Mobile learning, game dynamics: engaging library orientation." Webcast session, Handheld Librarian Online Conference VI, online conference, February 1-2, 2012.

We really liked the idea of using mobile devices, gamification, and a flipped classroom approach and thought through how we could adapt it to best fit our needs at Library and the needs of students at Salisbury University.

For our ENGL103 ShoreSearch game we use eight iPod touches for groups of students to use as a resource and for students to submit answers in the game by sending SMS messages to the instructor's iPad. Read more about the technology via the tab at the top of this page.


We use a customized Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet for the purpose of scoring. Read more and download the spreadsheet via the Supporting Materials tab at the top of this page.


We created ShoreSearch game sheets which directly correlate with our 5 information literacy objectives. We use eight game sheets which vary slightly by task and are to be paired with the corresponding iPod for the purpose of scoring. Read more and download a game sheet via the Supporting Materials tab at the top of this page.


We utilize an English 103 LibGuide as an additional resource for students to consult when competing in the ShoreSearch game. Students are exposed to this resource prior to the hands-on session and are required to complete an online tutorial before coming to class. Students may also consult the LibGuide after their class and continue to use it as a reference.

Subject Guide

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Susan Brazer
Guerrieri Academic Commons

- Salisbury University--

Salisbury, MD