GLLS2007: Games Students Play: A New Approach to Online Information Literacy Instruction

Games Students Play: A New Approach to Online Information Literacy Instruction

University of North Carolina: Greensboro; Scott Rice & Amy Harris

Focused on trying to get students into the library, about 14,000 FTE

First build an online tutorial in 2000. 2006 knew there needed to be a next step.

They established a need: a desire to reach 1st year students
Collaboration: Scott's concept of making a game & making it open for others
Determining Market: objectives in 1st year instruction lent themselves to gameplay

Board Game Format, it is free online through their blog

  • Wildcard,
  • Choice Your Resource,
  • Cite Your Sources,
  • Searching & Database Use
  • Special spaces with live web links for real time finding and assessing

There is a time clock for each question

The game was created with AJAX software. In order to make it easily scalable, it is as simple as possible. Also wanted it to meet ADA requirements, including both visual and audio cues, both mouse and keyboard short cuts. All the avatar images are from an online comic that opened up their images to creative commons.

  • Fall 2007 (this allowed for more usability testing and prep time)
  • Marketed to first-year instructors
  • Marketed directly to students through Facebook, library site, and Blackboard
  • Contest

The Future of the Game:
  • "Express" version for in-class assessment
  • Targeted versions for upper level classes, targeted to subjects or databases
  • Other versions for non-library or non-higher education
  • Generic Version for easier adaption
  • Versions with different citation styles that fit their discipline

They have not rolled the game out yet, and I am very curious about how the students will react. Stayed tuned to their blog... Scott is also working on reworking the entire tutorial to incorporate more gaming elements and mini games. Here's Scott's initial discussion of these changes.

While the game is intentionally not complex or involving it is a great entry point for librarians looking to get started with games in information literacy. The questions and format are ones that librarians are used to and potentially more comfortable with. The simplicity of the game works for one-shot sessions. This low barrier to entry is a great jumping off point for librarians.

The best thing I can say is go play it... download it for free from their site here
or test it out online