Percolating the Power Of Play

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Published on March 10, 2009

Author: thesheck

Source: slideshare.net

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For Presenation at ACRL, Friday, March 13, 2009: The Champlain College Library asked students from our Electronic Game Design Program and the Emergent Media Center to create a game to complement our Information Literacy (IL) program. Little did we know that this collaboration would lead us to question and re-envision what we mean by information literacy. Through the library-student collaboration, it became clear to the Library that words like authority, credibility, reliability, and currency were being used superficially. Clearly, our information literacy efforts needed to focus more on which factors were needed rather than prescribed. In a more abstract environment, like a game, the focus shifts from filling in the right answer to seeking and using the best information in a non-traditional context, as a demonstration of the game will show. Champlain’s IL program now encourages students to recognize and apply information literacy across multiple contexts. By identifying, discussing, and analyzing the information they use every day, students articulate their expectations and goals for the information they use. Those expectations and goals influence their information seeking in all situations, thereby bringing information literacy into students’ lives, not just their assignments. Game Design students’ reactions and understanding of information literacy have shaped the pedagogical approach to information literacy on our campus. Our information literacy program capitalizes and expands on students’ prepossessed knowledge and asks them to be cognizant of these skills in all situations. In doing so, we have an information literacy program that we think will make a difference in students’ lives.

Percolating the Power of Play Sarah Faye Cohen, Information Literacy Librarian Timothy Miner, Emergent Media Center Lauren Nishikawa, Emergent Media Center Champlain College Burlington, Vermont

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glemak/270320923/in/photostream/ Champlain College— how are we different than most colleges?

The Emergent Media Center  Student Driven, complementing Champlain’s EGD degree.  Project based.  A diversity of relationships.  For more information: www.champlain.edu/ Emergent-Media- Center.html

Information Literacy in Champlain’s Core Curriculum  Inquiry-based information literacy embedded in a four year, incremental, interdisciplinary general education curriculum.  Assessed every semester, all four years, through rubric-based, ePortfolios. http://www.flickr.com/photos/imagemd/827470717/

Why a game?

“Video gaming is pervasive in the lives of American teens— young teens and older teens, girls and boys, and teens from across the socioeconomic spectrum. Opportunities for gaming are everywhere, and teens are playing video games frequently. When asked, half of all teens reported playing a video game “yesterday.” Those who play daily typically play for an hour or more. Fully 97% of teens ages 12-17 play computer, http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracer/2138808109/ web, portable, or console games.” Pew Internet and American Life Project. Teens, Video Games, and Civics.

The Learning Potential of Games within Higher Education Information Literacy How can librarians re-envision what a video game is? James Paul Gee defines a game as “a set of experiences a player participates in from a particular perspective…designed to set up certain goals for players, but often leaves players free to achieve these goals in their own way.” (Gee, 23) http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindcaster-ezzolicious/ 400594096/

Games as petri dish for Info Lit: “Information literacy competency extends learning beyond formal classroom settings…” (ACRL Competency Standards for Higher Education). “By presenting students with real-world situations and allowing them to play a game by applying newly learned library skills, the concept of information literacy loses its abstract, theoretical quality and becomes a relevant part of their lives.” (Ameet Doshi, “How Gaming Could Improve http://www.flickr.com/photos/cornellfungi/1875227806/ Information Literacy”) in/photostream/

Models for Connecting Gaming to Information Literacy

The Hero’s Journey   A familiar model to gamers.   “…the research process is a journey of transformation in which the researcher leaves behind the comfortable world that he or she knows, gains new knowledge, and then returns— changed in some way by his or her learning.” (Holmes, 19) http://www.flickr.com/photos/walkingthedeepfield/   Initially a model for both games 2537561319/

 Kuhlthau shows research to be affective, iterative, recursive, experiential, and strategic.  Enormously helpful for gamers: structure moments to emphasize emotions rather than narrative.

From the models… EPIPHANIES: for librarians in the gaming model; for gamers in the library model. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ejpphoto/2413534372/

The Games

Process Timeline Semester by Semester   Fall 2007:   Pitch idea of a game to EMC.   All student meeting to define IL.   Break into groups based on types of games.   Spring 2008:   Selected two concepts to move forward.   Summer 2008:   Workstudy students creating prototypes & full design documents.   Fall 2008:   Critiques with the Library.   EMC moved to a new space.   Set deadline for Dec. completion.   Spring 2009:   New teams to finish King and clean up Searchlight.

SearchLight   Highlights the need for information literacy in multiple aspects of life.   Presents a broadly- defined goal with player- driven specifics.   World broken down into metaphorical resources.   Free-roaming structure encourages exploration.   Emphasis on information filtering and resource evaluation.

Dustin King in Locked and Literate   Presents increasingly difficult questions for which the player must gather information in order to construct an answer.   Select and present information appropriate to a particular audience.   Evaluate electronic sources such as the Internet and databases, printed materials such as books and notes, and information from peers.   Linear, narrative based game with multiple endings dependent upon player choices.

What is the game good for?  A complement to our information literacy program.  Helping us rethink what information literacy instruction can be. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fishyfish/2376516297/

Fusing Fun into IL Instruction Just one example…   Describing a coke can in as many ways as we can think of.   Connection to generating keywords for a database searching.   Active learning, inquiry based, FUN!   Adapted from Debbi Renfrow’s Developing Keywords Exercise in Empowering Students II: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts with http://www.flickr.com/photos/rschreff/ 677670249/ hands-on and Minds-on Activityies.

Challenges Faced  Information literacy vs. bibliographic instruction;  Student centric rather than library centric;  The challenges of collaborating with student teams. http://www.flickr.com/photos/steffe/2559983505/

To Take Out We are not as different as we might think.  Students give useful and important insight into how IL is understood.  The opportunity for gaming as a tool in higher education libraries is STRONG.  Sharing connections. http://www.flickr.com/photos/n0wak/ 2608496273/

Works Cited   Pew Internet and American Life Project. Teens, Video Games, and Civics. 16 Sept. 2008. 19 February 2009. http://www.pewinternet.org/pdfs/PIP_Teens_Games_and_Civics_Report_FINAL.pdf   quot;Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,quot; American Library Association, September 01, 2006.http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/ informationliteracycompetency.cfm (Accessed February 24, 2009)   James Paul Gee, “Learning and Games,” in The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, ed. Katie Salen, 21-40. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2008.   Ameet Doshi, quot;How Gaming Could Improve Information Literacy,quot; Computers in Libraries 26, no. 5 (2006): 14-17. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed December 19, 2008).   Thomas Holmes, quot;The hero's journey: an inquiry-research model.quot; Teacher Librarian 34, no. 5 (2007): 19-22. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed December 19, 2008).   Carol Collier Kuhlthau, Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services (Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2004).   Debbie Renfrow, “Developing Keywords,” in Empowering Students II: Teaching Information Literacy Concepts with hands-on and Minds-on Activityies. Active Learning Series No. 8. C.A. Germain & D. Bernnard, eds. Pittsburgh, Library Instruction Publications, 2004. Pg. 117.

Thank you. To learn more, please contact Sarah Faye Cohen, cohen@champlain.edu Timothy Miner, timothy.miner@mymail.champlain.edu Lauren Nishikawa, lauren.nishikawa@mymail.champlain.edu

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