Library Dusk... A point & click research adventure

At the end of January, I taught an instruction session for an upper level Communication class where the assignment was relatively straightforward (find scholarly articles/works to write a response paper on), with a few additional requirements.

I wanted to do something different from what the students "felt" they already knew, while still allowing us to focus and pull out some targeted search strategies and higher level information literacy skills... And thus, I created "Library Dusk" which was inspired by the DS game Hotel Dusk: Room 215

The new Nintendo DS game, "Hotel Dusk," is an interactive graphic novel / adventure game. You play as a former police officer trying to solve a murder through the use of clues and investigation. A lot of the progress is depended on what sources of information you follow (people, clues, evidence) and what the quality of those sources are.

Sources of information, quality evaluation...

It sounded like a nice parallel to some information literacy skills. And so I wanted to try something similar as a review/walkthrough on locating sources for the Communication class. Using the Turning Point technology, I created a multiple path, point & click adventure. Or at least, a multiple path, click & vote research process. The diagram shows the paths the students could take. The objective was to find two sources that could be used for the assignment. The 1st choice was between books, articles, or the web. The 2nd choice was a database/website/catalog decision. Choices 3 and 4 were on search terms and narrowing results. Any dead end paths brought the students back to the nearest choice or "fork" in order to choose again.

Every path was hyperlinked within the Power Point slides, so that any decision the students made could be followed seamlessly. We used turning point to vote on each path and choice as a class. Voting on a class level was beneficial since it allowed for more discussion than if voting was done either in groups or individually.

Overall, it was a pretty successful review. Most of the students stayed engaged in voting, reacting to the results, and discussing the choices. In fact, the students even discussed Boolean searching on their own.

I'll post some more thoughts on it later, after more of the evaluations are back. But I'd love to know if anyone is doing something similar and how it's worked out.

Research isn't that different than a traditional adventure game... we've just got to create the adventure to draw them in.

The game photo is from


Kevin said...

Well done! I would've enjoyed something like that in school.