Yesterday, we moved through the final two game strategy based activities with continued success. Although by the 8th one I think my excitement level had decreased a little. But the students were still moving through the activity well and able to demonstrate most concepts. Overall, I continue to be very impressed with the students’ performances on this activity.
And it appears the students are impressed as well. Between yesterday and today, 5 classes came back for their second instruction session and we had a chance to debrief and discuss the review activity - nothing but positive reviews. When I asked the classes if they felt the activity was valuable I got head nods all around. Myself and another librarian asked each class for feedback on the activity - what worked, what didn’t, suggestions for the future.
Some general positive comments include:
- “It was good to get everybody on the same page.”
- “It helped me figure out a use for encyclopedias.”
- “Definitely a good thing.”
Even one usually disengaged student said in all the casual tone he could muster, “yeah, I’d keep it. It was pretty good.”
Interestingly, there were many students that suggested we do the activity earlier in the semester. Comments like, “I wish we had this earlier.” Make me wonder what the heck they were doing during the other 4 library sessions? The flip side to that question is just as important is – what the heck were we doing? Being able to see the students walk through this process has opened a lot of doors and questions for what and how we teach.
Of the students looking to see the activity earlier, most suggested that, “this would have been nice after the first paper.” A few suggested starting off with it, but most suggested doing it at the start of the second paper as a review. This is a suggestion that we’ll discuss after we finish up this round of instruction.
One important comparison is the complete lack of any neutral or negative comments. Last semester we tried a similar activity, but it was not open ended and included no options for personalization. It was very task specific and structured, but still focused on the aspects of the research process… except we told them what aspects we wanted. The feedback from last semester was mixed. Some thought it was useful, but many didn’t get it or saw it as a waste of time. Sounds like a gaming strategies success story.
We have two more classes tomorrow and should have a little more to talk about tomorrow.