Playing for keeps: Game design and implementation for long-term learning - Catherine Fahey & Marcela I Isuster
KEEPSG A M E D E S I G N A N D I M P L E M E N T A T I O N F O R L O N G - T E R M L E A R N I N G
C A T H E R I N E F A H E Y , M L I S
S A L E M S T A T E U N I V E R S I T Y
M A R C E L A Y . I S U S T E R , M L I S
M C G I L L U N I V E R S I T Y
GAMES AND INFORMATION LITERACY
Learning through games
Games that teach mechanics or test knowledge
(scavenger hunts, library Jeopardy)
THE GREAT INFORMATION LITERACY
GAME AT SSU
• Designed for Summer Bridge Academy 2015
○ Program for Students on Conditional Acceptance (6 weeks)
○ Information Literacy Course (1.15 hs a week x 5 weeks) taught by librarians.
• No class prep between classes
• Teams investigate a topic or “mystery” in depth, gaining access to research tools as
they advance levels.
CHOOSING YOUR AUDIENCE
• Who is your audience?
• What kind of skills do
• What is their attention
• What are their needs?
SETTING LEARNING OBJECTIVES
• What is the overarching goal?
• What do you expect
participants to learn?
Keep it simple and realistic
THE NEW ACRL FRAMEWORK
• Authority Is Constructed and Contextual
• Information Creation as a Process
• Information Has Value
• Research as Inquiry
• Scholarship as Conversation
• Searching as Strategic Exploration
• Vehicle for learning skills
• Makes the game interesting
• Stay current
• Look for links with your
institution and/or audience
WRITING THE RULES
• Inspiration from casual games (Angry
Birds, Solitaire, Candy Crush)
• Mechanics to reinforce learning, not to
learn game mechanics
o Level based
o Collaborative/Co-operative (player
with player, not player vs. player)
o Harry Potter House Cup Rules for
DEVISING A SCORING SYSTEM
Inspiration from existing source evaluation
models: CRAAP, SMELL
CHOOSING YOUR MEDIA AND
• Public domain images
o Google Images - Usage Rights filter
o Flickr - Creative Commons filter
o Wikimedia Commons
• MS Publisher is your friend
• Google Docs is also your friend
• Stationery stores
• Using a rubric, students rank sources
o Good sources get more points
• Scoring done by other teams
o Peer assessment
o Student-led learning
o Flipped classroom
• Teams had to be able to justify why their scoring
o Knowledge of materials
• DO NOT make it all about the
• They do not need to be
• The next level is the reward
• Game was implemented by three other
• Game can be easily used in subsequent
years (just change the themes)
• High levels of student engagement
• Ownership over learning
• Serendipitous learning led to valuable
• Covered the entire curriculum
• Immediate assessment
Oh, I get why
we are doing
I can't use my
cellphone, I'm in
the library class!
• Playtest. Playtest. Playtest.
• Describe the mystery scenarios more fully
• More focused themes
• Monitor time carefully
• Coordinate rules and prizes with other
CREATE YOUR OWN GAME
• Who are your players?
• What do you want to accomplish?
– What is Winning?
– What are they Learning?
• How much time do you have?
– One-shot class vs. semester?
• No Trivia Games
• Playable with pencil & paper (and library computer)
CLASSIC LIBRARY GAMES
• Scavenger hunts – e.g. Library Amazing Race
• MLA Jeopardy
• The Library Game (gamification of library usage and services)
GAMIFICATION IN LIBRARIES
• Designing Gamification in the Right Way. (2015). Library Technology
Reports, 51(2), 29-35.
• Gamification in Education and Libraries. (2015). Library Technology Reports,
• Walsh, A.(2014). The potential for using gamification in academic libraries
in order to increase student engagement and achievement. Nordic Journal
of Information Literacy in Higher Education 6(1): 39-51.
GAMES IN EDUCATION
• Faiella, F., & Ricciardi, M. (2015). Gamification and learning A review of
issues and research. Journal Of E-Learning & Knowledge Society, 11(3), 13-
• Holmes, J. B., & Gee, E. R. (2016). A framework for understanding game-
based teaching and learning. On The Horizon, 24(1), 1-16.
C A T H E R I N E F A H E Y
C F A H E Y @ S A L E M S T A T E . E D U
M A R C E L A Y . I S U S T E R
M A R C E L A . I S U S T E R @ M C G I L L . C A