GLLS2007: Information Literacy through Unique Education Gaming Application

Information Literacy through Unique Education Gaming Application
Presented by Annie Downey & Kristin Boyett, from the University of North Texas, Denton

Annie and I traded emails this April about her presentation and she stated that:

"What we are presenting on is our planning process. Because quite frankly, that is the stage we are in and I believe after reading some of the stuff going around and talking to other librarians at conferences that the planning process is absolutely essential to making something like this happen. Having one grad student do programming with three librarians giving 10% of their time is far short of the time and effort required according to my tech-savvy colleagues and my research into game development. That is the one thing that is really standing out to me when I look at the work of the schools you mentioned."

The Goal:
"Trying to make them learn, without knowing they are learning"

They started looking planning and designing, but expected the realities that others have learned that it: takes longer than expected & costs more than hoped

3 years to develop and $250,000 planned for develop. They did do a grant proposal for this project (ask for a copy)

Kristin gave a good overview of why we should be involved with gaming, gamers and video games applications in our information literacy programs. She made the point that we "already are involved with these students." We may just not be acknowledging it. Kristin setup a background, which build on all the information from

3 educational elements included in their game planning:
Information Literacy, beyond just library research
Online Education
Educational Gaming

A game requires full participation of the students. It is a student centered experience with inquiry-based learning. The experiential learning:
  • enmeshed in real world contexts
  • active participant
  • experiencing
  • reflecting
  • adapting
Games include the ability to make mistakes.

Design Concept:
  • Character driven
  • requires problem solving
  • 1st person
  • linear
  • modules build on another
  • may be full semester course
ACRL Standards:
Story is driven by the Info Lit standards, with the assessment and evaluation is driven by the standards. Make the goals much larger than traditional library instruction

Storyline: RPG based game, adventure game based Grim Fandago, players investigate a crime or event. Plot based around a conspiracy theory. A random student is wrapped up in a conspiracy theory. Conclusion includes a presentation of evidence to Board or Police that requires solid sources. Poor sources do not create a viable arguement.

Willing to sacrifice some ACRL standards for gameplay
"a user needs to find the game fun or addicting in order for it to be successful"
Lack of choice of a character, no individual avatars. Include modules in the game in order to monitor

Program Requirements:
  • Students logins
  • Ability to save
  • Need to monitor to assist & help
Evaluation Plan:
Groups: student usability testing, student focus groups, game designers from UNT faculty, student evaluations, librarian evaluations
What will be evaluated: design, visuals storyline, challenges

Personal: realize that they need to hire a programmer who will manage program team, include part-time development team

Budget: Yr 1 = $259,271; Yr 2 = $359,365

Game is not library specific. It is information literacy. Very scalable once created.

Questions on how this is even useful, "too much time", students finding answers, collecting stats on use

  • cost
  • sustainability
  • grading
  • system maintenance
  • one-shot game
  • buy-in
  • compelling and interesting
  • copyright
  • tracking use
If there is a federal grant, they will not be able to sell it, make it open shareware? Yes!
They are applying for the grant through the National Education Foundation.