Jun 26, 2011 by Information Technology Editorial Board
The Information Literacy game was created for students to learn about and reinforce information literacy concepts. The game allows for individual or several players. They answer questions about information literacy topics in four different categories such as Choose Your Resource, Avoiding Plagiarism, and Search and Using Databases. The game is interactive and very simple to play.
The player(s) can choose an avatar (fairly diverse characters and even a dog). It's a simulated board game. The participants are asked to evaluate either one or two websites and answer a question based on that evaluation. At any point in the game, the users can click on the "ask the librarian" link to connect via chat to a librarian to ask questions. There are also numerous library links and "how to" guides to assist students with their questions.
There are several goals:
Correctly identify the best sources of information on the internet,identify the differences between various sites and the potential for appropriate use, improve internet research skills,distinguish between research paper citation formats (such as APA and MLA), identify and avoid plagiarism, identify good strategies on starting to write a paper, learn about effective database use for research
Target Student Population:
College General Ed, College Lower Division, College Upper Division, Graduate School.
Upper level high schools students could also benefit from this course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An introduction to the following information literacy topics: information resources,plagiarism, web searching, using databases, basic computer skills
basic writing skills
Type of Material:
For individual students or teams of students
(good refresher for anyone who writes or thinks of going back to school)
Evaluation and Observation
Fun, easy to maneuver game, whether the user is alone or is playing in a group.
It's commendable that the library is offering other schools to adopt the game. It's a great tool, fun, interactive, and portable. The questions and the feedback to the responses are very clear.
It would have been helpful to see a demonstration of the game (for example, record the screens with the game in progress). In addition, it would be great if the designers include a "help button" for the players if they get stuck in the middle of the game.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Each question has a clear feedback (correct or incorrect).
The game setting is fun and engaging. It's a great tool to use in a classroom setting or a library workshop as an ice breaker and an introduction to information literacy.
Perhaps the authors could set up game categories (similar to Jeopardy) and offer a pop up (even a PDF version), of a correct example. For instance, "click to see an example of an APA style citation."
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Using a mouse, print results and email results options, fun characters
Great point on considering websites for research:
"Unfortunately, very poorly designed websites may contain very good information- if you can find it."
Another realistic response about the authors who write articles in scholarly journals (professors):
Some of these articles are also written by independent scholars."
Very good, although, brief introduction to Boolean searching in the questions.
Excellent "tie in" to the student's home library (UNC).
For example, if the player responds correctly to where the rare collections are held, the answer includes the location of the collection in the UNC's library.
Other Issues and Comments:
Although some questions definitely seem much easier than others, this game is a very useful tool for students. The graduate students or upper class students are more savvy with using various web resources and scholarly databases, however, that doesn't mean they cannot use a refresher.
It's a nice, interactive tool and highly recommended for users beyond UNC's library.