in Gaming, General, Libraries/Info Sci

Gaming in Libraries 2005 – Bibliographic Gaming – Christy Branston

When: Tuesday, December 06 2005 11:00 AM
Where: American Dental Association, Chicago
More Information: www.GamingInLibraries.org
My Role: Attendee
Christy is a government information librarian at the University of Waterloo. The talk’s subtitle is “Game-based learning & library instruction”.

A bit about her background, Christy is someone who gets into and out of gaming as she has time available. I think this is representative of a good chunk of the gaming populace.
-Simcity
-Doom II
-Myst
-Mortal Kombat
-Mah Jong
-Myth
-Tomb Raider
-The list goes on!

Recommended reading: “What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy” James Gee, 2003.
-Video games help children learn actively and critically
-Experience the world in new ways
-Problem solving skills
-Importance of affinity groups as sources of collaboration
-Game-based Learning

At Waterloo: Arts303 – Gaming, Simulation & Learning
-Notable in that it is not offered through Computer Science
-Project-based course
-Games – building the foundation
-Scenarios – Creating Compelling Content
-Strategy – Team, Process, and Community

Bloom & Angelo
-Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation
-Angel’s Teacher’s Dozen: Fourteen general, research-based principles for improving higher learning in our classrooms – info organized in personal, meaningful ways is more likely to be retained and used.

One game created in the class is a choose your own adventure-style mystery.
Another modified Half-Life into Rezlife, modeling an example of residence hall living for prospective students.

Game-Based Learning & Library instruction
-Is it effective?
-Educational Games vs Commercial Games (Educational largely fail)
-Eidenced-based Librarianship
-Experiment on staff!
-Might work in libraries better than traditional classrooms – we’re not testing them on concrete objectives

Approach for training staff
-Different learning styles?
-Set the stage early (about a year of warnings)
-Have a vision, see it through aka a little stubbornness goes a long way (worked from her own learning experience)

Program was a game used for training staff in Government Information resources. But, at the same time it was a course. A criteria of quality was that even if you removed the game elements, the main elements are still worthy teaching objectives.

(I have a copy of these powerpoint slides, which go into more detail)

To entice staff to play the game, low-budget prizes are involved (mysterious to us since the game is still ongoing). To entice staff to actually read the text and not jump to the game portions, ‘easter egg’ words are scattered throughout. Collect them all and input the list at the end!

Staff members are formed into teams, competing against each other.

Areas for improvement
-Learn from the game – instant feedback
-Teach to the level of the learner

Next steps
-“Generally, the aim of an educational game is to provide students with challenges related to the main task…” (Kiili, 15).
-We need to get away from this thinking and just plain make things fun!
-Figure out where we fit in, and where we CAN fit in – is your campus looking at game design courses?

Library instruction doesn’t work unless there is a point of need. Using gaming and peripheral learning flies in the face of this traditional thought.

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