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Innovative Database Instruction - Bingo!

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Presented at AABIG, June 10, 2016. Handout available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PFh1_uuO31yiENGNoDXVm1WDVQ6jpNGxvQ1I-8EgTvw/edit?usp=sharing
As instruction librarians, we sometimes find ourselves getting tired of doing the standard database demonstration, and struggling to find ways to teach databases in an interesting way. I developed an interactive game that exposes freshmen students to many of the useful and unique features of academic databases while keeping them actively engaged in a competition. During this session, you are invited to experience the game for yourself, as if you were a student in my class. We will also discuss how this activity can be adapted to different classes and levels of knowledge, as well as techniques to make sure the students are actually learning something through the process.

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Innovative Database Instruction - Bingo!

  1. 1. Amy Gratz, Instructional Services Librarian Mercer University, Jack Tarver Library
  2. 2. Background  Developed as an alternative to database demonstrations for a first-semester freshman course  Competitive game similar to a scavenger hunt, but incorporating some aspects of bingo  Main difference: all playing on the same bingo board  When using in a class, I start with teaching concepts and skills like keyword development and source types  Game design promotes quantity over quality
  3. 3. Research Bingo Activity  Work in Discovery on the topic “stem cell research”  Only one computer per team  After completing each task, send the “runner” up to place a sticky note on the appropriate square(s)  Green tasks are double points and BINGOs are +5 points! There is no additional bonus for getting BINGO using green tasks  Goal is to be the team with the most tasks completed at the end of the time limit  Grand prize for the winning team!  If the class completes all 24 tasks, everyone gets a prize!
  4. 4. RESEARCH BINGO: Search Discovery LIMIT THE SUBJECT TO "ETHICS" OR "BIOETHICS" USING DISCOVERY, FORMAT AN MLA STYLE CITATION FOR AN ARTICLE FIND A "RESEARCH STARTER" FIND A DVD LIMIT YOUR SEARCH BY LANGUAGE (ENGLISH ONLY PLEASE!) FIGURE OUT HOW TO REQUEST A BOOK FROM THE SWILLEY (ATLANTA) LIBRARY FIND A BOOK REVIEW FIND A BOOK IN THE MERCER UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES LIMIT YOUR SEARCH TO THE LIBRARY CATALOG GET LESS THAN 1 THOUSAND SEARCH RESULTS FIND AN EBOOK FIND A PDF FOR A SCHOLARLY ARTICLE FREE SPACE FIND RESOURCES ABOUT A FOREIGN COUNTRY FIND AN IMAGE OR PIECE OF ARTWORK FIND A CURRENT NEWS ARTICLE GET MORE THAN 2 MILLION SEARCH RESULTS FIND A MAGAZINE ARTICLE FIND SOMETHING PUBLISHED IN 2017 EMAIL AN ARTICLE WITH AN MLA CITATION CHECK YOUR SEARCH HISTORY LIMIT YOUR SEARCH TO FULL TEXT ONLY FIND AN ARTICLE USING THE ORANGE "FIND FULL TEXT" BUTTON LIMIT THE PUBLICATION DATE TO THE LAST 5 YEARS FIND AN ARTICLE WITH HTML FULL- TEXT
  5. 5. After the Activity  Review tasks as needed:  Uncompleted  Particularly tricky  I often include a very brief demonstration in another database interface to show how similar tools are often available “I thought this was a very successful instruction session - the bingo activity helped some of my more reticent students engage” - Faculty member feedback
  6. 6. Possible Adaptations  Always adjust topic and tasks for assignment/session goals  Upper-level or subject-specific class  Create a smaller grid if not enough discreet tasks to complete  Can be used with any virtual interface  Library website? LibGuide? Purdue OWL?  Skew towards a scavenger hunt and incorporate physical resources  Would likely need a longer time limit  Create a virtual board and ask students to compete individually, rather than in groups  With a longer time limit (and fewer tasks?), could be adapted to better incorporate higher quality research
  7. 7. Are They Learning?  The high level of engagement strongly suggests students were mentally engaged  Spending a few minutes discussing the tricky tasks (and demonstrating if necessary) really helps  Honestly, any method you’ve used in the past should work here, as well!  What ideas do you have?
  8. 8. Image made available under a creative commons attribution 2.0 license. Credit: Bryson, R. (2011, December 16). Question box. Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/fGyo6Q

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