The gamification of information literacy?

As I mentioned in my previous post, I teach in a program that has an information literacy component. Information literacy is taught in connection with academic essay writing and referencing skills. For the last ten years, it has involved students attending sessions in the campus library computer labs and working their way through a paper information literacy guide. As their writing teacher I attend their information literacy so I can connect these sessions with our writing tutorials. I have spent many a boring hour in the library, watching students update their Facebook status while the librarian stands at the front of the room and shows them how to use the catalogue, or a database, or the ABS on a projector screen. Needless to say, most of the students are not engaged. Neither are they participating. As a result, their information literacy skills at the end of the sessions are usually still quite poor which is frustrating when they then have to research information to write an end of term essay. Usually, I end up “re-teaching” the infolit in class. After watching the “games” take place this week and seeing how it motivated me (and lots of others) to participate in the learning environment, I have started to wonder how the information literacy might be incorporated into our teaching in a more interesting way. I had already started making a list of grand plans about incorporating screencasts, vlogs and other things into my teaching practice but games hadn’t really entered my mind. Now, I’ve started wondering how could I incorporate gaming strategies as a way of engaging our students with information literacy? Food for thought for the future!

11 thoughts on “The gamification of information literacy?

  1. Hi Wendy, gaming provide us with an opportunity option to learn new knowledge in a fun, engaging and interesting way. Sad to know from your reflection that most of the students are not engaging in the library.

    I guess maybe by introducing a crowd type of gaming activity where everyone can participate, play and learn together such as video game (dancing, role play) will be one of the gaming strategies to bring people together especially for the children. They will begin to take advantage of everything else the libraries have to offer. 🙂

  2. Thanks for commenting Vincent. Yes I think it’s time we moved into the brave new world of the participatory library so our students can make the most of what is available to them. I do like the idea of dancing in the library!

    • We do dance in my library, though more for our amusement rather than the patrons. I’d be interested in seeing how you would implement the participatory library in terms of gaming for information literacy. I think games have a great potential to engage students, and by making them competitive (see our leadership board), it could do away with that projector and lecture format. Good luck with your grand ideas 🙂

  3. Hi Wendy,

    We’ve a “Homework Help” program at Logan Central Library which started at the beginning of this current school semester and it was one that initially had to restrict students from thinking that they could just utilise this time set on the allocated PCs for social networking (Facebook/youTube).

    The program is doing very well now and the students that venture to this library are utilising this program for their benefit and are achieving higher results at school because of it.
    YourTutor is another service we provide at all libraries (online and subscription based) which has been brilliant for all kids ranging from primary to high school that are having issues with homework.

    With this module (INN333) and what we’ve learned from Kate, you’ve a smorgasboard at your fingertips on where you will be able to enhance the teaching methods you use or create new ones that will engage them.

    Gamification definitely comes into mind for this.


  4. Incorporating gaming strategies into structured learning experiences is certainly worth investigating. I was reading an article (via a link in Aloysius’ blog) that said 60% of consumers play a video online game at least once a week. I am certainly not in this category. However, we do need to think of the possibilities of using gamification in creative ways to tap into users’ needs and experiences.

  5. Thanks Helen. Like you I am not an active player of games but I can see so many ppl are they have a lot to offer. I think we have your tutor available Fiona …. I must find out how many ppl use it on campus. Its good to hear of new programs thatbare working. Makes the future seem promising!

  6. I’m definitely not in that category either, Helen! I am far more likely to play a game on my brother’s playstation than online, though I only ever like the adventure games. When I was a teenager we would spend a lot of time playing those Age of Empire games – you know, where you choose a particular civilisation and then you have to build them up from a Stone Age tribe through to an Iron Age civilisation? It taught you about problem solving and thinking strategically, and also about various aspects of history. There is definitely a future in games like that when it comes to learning experiences.

  7. Wendy, we get statistics sent to us monthly from YourTutor. Check with your Library IT (?) people. Some of the comments from the kids definately show their appreciation when they’ve been assisted in a stumbling block.

    The future is always promising as long as the sun shines and the moon beams… 🙂

  8. I think you have set yourself a worthy, if difficult, goal! But hey, anything to help people learn. And once they’re in the library (maybe drawn by something fun) they might avail themselves of other programs and resources too!

  9. Hi all. Has anyone tried Bibliobouts? Also, we had tremendous success creating a “quest” based on The Find the Future game that NYPL hosted last May. With permission we adapted the quest to fit our school. Next, I want to tweak it to use for some one shot library visits. Whatever you decide, Wendy, please reach out to your librarian to create something together. We want to support you and your students in the best way possible. Also, just a thought about reteaching skills–that often occurs when students are not yet engaged in their research topics when they come to the library. Teachers sometimes insist on bringing students before the research project begins rather thanwhen they are fully invested in their topic. Patti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s