Karen Markey is a faculty member in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Earlier this year, she received a small grant from the Delmas Foundation to build a prototype online board game that teaches students information-literacy skills. Her game prototype is now fully operational and is being tested and evaluated by a class of 75 undergraduates at the University of Michigan.
They’ve just finished conducting interviews with student game players, but they haven’t had sufficient time to mull over interview data and analyze game play logs. They already recognize that the incentive for playing the game is a critical issue and future games must be intimately connected to a class assignment or project.
Because Karen wants to do something that would scale beyond Michigan, she is looking for research partners at public or academic libraries who are interested in building on her foundation, expanding what they have already done, and testing her approach with their library patrons. Her intent is to find libraries who want to collaborate on an IMLS National Leadership grant to host a unique instance of the game that is customized to achieving their information literacy objectives.
The game is based on the “search strategy” model that Tom Kirk and his Earlham College colleagues devised to teach undergraduates how to do library research. Karen chose the “Black Death” for the prototype game’s topic, and they are learning from their evaluation other topics that college-age students prefer.
Here are some links to learn more about their approach:
- Information on their Storygame Project generally: http://www.si.umich.edu/~ylime/storygame.html
- Playing-the-game video at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u76tW-né-yY
- Manual for playing the game: http://ics.umflint.edu:3904/manual/manual.html
If you’re interested in partnering with Karen, you can contact her at ylime [ at ] umich.edu. I can’t wait to hear more about this project and watch it develop.