Sunday, February 22, 2009

Article Review: Gaming & Learning

Authors: Spiegelman, M. & Glass, R.
Article Title: Gaming and learning: Winning information literacy collaboration
Journal: C&RL News
Year: 2008
Pages: 522-525

I'm a little disappointed in this article, but I'm finding that's usual for articles written on gaming and instruction. I'm finding much better information from books.

This article is all over the place, mixing the value of professor-librarian collaboration, with the value of integrating Web 2.0 tools to enhance classroom learning, with the value of educational game-like activities to learn research skills. The Web 2.0 part includes mostly having students contribute to wikis and blogs. They mention having attended the SUNY Conference on Instructional Technologies, which I'm interseted in looking into.

The games had nothing to do with technology and were active learning techniques with the game aspect being having teams vote for the best results. The games were as follows:
  • The Dead Mathematicians Hall of Fame: Students got in groups and researched a famous person in the field of logic. They had to write an acceptance speach from that person's point of view, which required some research. The class voted on the best.
  • Grateful Dead Scientists Game: The students had to research a famous scientist and create a course that person might have taught. The votes come in the form of registrations for courses the students would like to take.
  • History of the Times Game: Students use the New York Times Historical Backfile to find an interesting story or ad, then vote on best results.

Other things I want to look into are Jenny Levine's "gamer ethos" in her article from Library Technology, and Friedman and Booth's "cultures of play."

Since reading this article, the head of the writing center and I added the voting idea into our activity of discussing four plagiarism scenarios with freshman composition classes. The winning team gets either extra credit points (if the professor is willing) or they each get a $1 gift certificate to the campus cafe. This does add a valuable element to the activity, and while they aren't the only people to suggest voting, this is where I got the idea.

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