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The Game Is Afoot: Information Literacy for First-Year Students​


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Gina O. Petrie | Catawba College

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The Game Is Afoot: Information Literacy for First-Year Students​

  1. 1. “The Game Is Afoot”: Information Literacy for First-Year Students Gina O. Petrie, Head of Reference and Information Literacy Object To determine whether incorporating games into instruction for first- year composition students influences the quality of their research. Will students with games-based instruction learn more, retain more, and cite more relevant, more substantive sources in their papers? Using a mixed methods approach, the researcher compared the results of the traditional lecture-style method with a newer, more creative classroom games technique. Students’ final papers and their citations were examined to determine how appropriate, thorough, and accurate they are. This research builds upon research conducted in 2015-16, as a part of the ACRL Assessment in Action Program. Number of Players • 2 sections (26 students) of English 1103 (first-year composition) • 1 section taught with lecture-based method; 1 section taught with games-based method. • 8 students submitted papers to be rated. Papers Submitted Focus Groups Unfortunately, no one registered for the focus groups, despite the offer of free pizza. So only the results from the papers are reported. Equipment Amazing Race modified for local use Kahoot! created for the class Candy for the winners! Preparation/Setup Obtain Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval Obtain permission from course professor Professor collects papers from students choosing to participate Create rubric to evaluate papers’ works cited lists Advertise focus group sessions Game Play Scoring The librarian used the following rubric to score the works cited list. Selected Literature Review Games Burgert, L. (2016). Revitalizing instruction through active learning and assessment. Presentation at the Catholic Library Association, 2016 Conference in San Diego, CA. Core 201 - Amazing Race LibGuide. McConnell Library. Radford University. (2017, 31 March) Dating Divas, The. (2013, 16 Sept.). The ultimate amazing race group date. amazing-race-group-date-night/. Markey, K., Leeder, C., & C. L. Taylor. (2012). Playing games to improve the quality of the sources students cite in their papers. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 52, 123-135. Rock the Library. Amazing race library edition. (2015, 8 Aug.). edition/. Assessment Belanger, J., Zou, N., Mills, J. R., Holmes, C., & Oakleaf, M. (2015). Project RAILS: Lessons learned about rubric assessment of information literacy skills. portal: Libraries and the Academy, 4, 623-644. Tagge, N., Booth, c., Chappell, A., Lowe, M. S., & Stone, S. M. (2013). Choose your own adventure: Integrating an information literacy rubric into seven (very) different colleges. Library Staff Publications and Research, Paper 17. Whitlock, B. & Ebrahimi, N. (2016). Beyond the library: Using multiple, mixed measures simultaneously in a college-wide assessment of information literacy. College & Research Libraries, 77, 236-262. Special thanks to Corriher-Linn-Black Library colleague Constance Grant and to Prof. Margaret Garrison, Catawba College English Department. Papers submitted for assessment, 23% Papers not submitted for assessment, 77% Lecture-based classes Papers submitted for assessment, 38% Papers not submitted for assessment, 62% Games-based classes The same librarian taught both sections. For one class she used a traditional lecture-style format and for one class she incorporated a local version of the Amazing Race. For the Amazing Race, students worked in teams to complete a number of library-related challenges. The winning team received candy. Unintended Consequences and Unexpected Outcomes • Many more papers were submitted for the games-based class than for the lecture class. Why? • Focus groups could provide useful information. How to convince students to participate? • Select participating faculty carefully. Communicate with them clearly to avoid last minute misunderstandings.