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Quality Counts: Developing a Game for Information Literacy Instruction. Maura A. Smale Assistant Professor, Information Literacy Librarian NYC College of Technology, CUNY New England Library Instruction Group Annual Program June 4, 2010. Games: the original educational technology.

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Quality Counts: Developing a Game for Information Literacy Instruction

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Quality Counts:Developing a Game for Information Literacy Instruction

Maura A. Smale

Assistant Professor, Information Literacy Librarian

NYC College of Technology, CUNY

New England Library Instruction Group Annual Program

June 4, 2010

Games:theoriginal educational technology

the important question is not can games be used to support learning, but how

Mission Statement

The CUNY Games Network connects educators from every campus and discipline at CUNY who are interested in games, simulations, and other forms of interactive teaching. Our long-term goals are to facilitate the pedagogical uses of both digital and non-digital games in order to improve student success, and encourage further research and scholarship in the developing field of games-based learning.


Barriers to using games in education

  • Time

    • for instructors to learn

    • for students to learn

  • Access

    • to games (video, board, etc.)

    • to hardware

  • Cost of materials

  • Student interest

  • Support

    • pedagogical

    • technological (if needed) (deFreitas 2006)

ACRL Information Literacy Standard Three

The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

Learning Objectives

After playing the Quality Counts game, students will:

Understand the importance of critically evaluating information used in their coursework.

Identify appropriate criteria for evaluating information sources such as accuracy, expertise, currency, objectivity, and relevance.

Evaluate information sources using appropriate criteria.

Recognize that reference librarians can provide assistance with evaluating information and other research questions.


Whiteboard and markers

Computer classroom with internet access

(Index cards)

Small candies, stickers or other prizes

Gameplay(75 min session)

Introduction: 15 minutes

present rules, select criteria

Student research: 15 minutes

Report back: 40 minutes

Wrap-up: 5 minutes

distribute prizes


  • I will divide you into groups

  • Groups will search for information

  • 1 member of your group will report back to the class


  • Search for information on the internet

  • Find 2 sources on the research topic

  • Sources must meet quality criteria

  • 1 point for each criteria met successfully

  • Write web addresses on index cards

  • Group with the most points WINS!

Candy = good

English Comp Class 1

Research Topic: Location-aware devices

• http://www8.garmin.com/aboutGPS/

• http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/


• http://autos.aol.com/article/vehicle-tracking-device/

• A survey on sensor localization by Wang, Jing; Ghosh, R.; Das, Sajal. Journal of Control Theory and Applications, February 2010, Vol. 8 Issue: Number 1 p2-11 (via EBSCO)

English Comp Class 2

Research Topic: Brooklyn History

• http://www.brooklynhistory.org

• http://www.census.gov

• http://www.thirteen.org/brooklyn/history

• A History of the City of Brooklyn, c. 1867 (via Google Books)

• CUNY+ library catalog

Partial credit

Index cards ≠ poker

Library sources =(???!!!)

Did you enjoy playing the evaluating sources game in class earlier this semester? Why or why not?

n = 25

Do you feel that you gained in skill in evaluating websites and other internet information sources after playing the game in class? Why or why not?

n = 25

Which do you prefer: to learn about course material in a traditional lesson in which the instructor demonstrates and explains to the class, or to learn the material by playing a game like this one? Why?

n = 25

Take the plunge:use games for instruction!



Clyde, J., and Thomas, C. (2008). Building an information literacy first-person shooter. Reference Services Review, 36, 366-380.

Crawford, C. (1982). The art of computer game design. Retrieved from http://www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book/Coverpage.html

deFrietas, S. (2006). Learning in immersive worlds: A review of game-based learning. Retrieved from http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearninginnovation/gamingreport_v3.pdf

Leach, G.J., and Sugarman, T.S. (2006). Play to win! Using games in library instruction to enhance student learning. Research Strategies, 20, 191-203.

Markey, K., Swanson, F., Jenkins., A., Jennings, B.J., St. Jean, B., Rosenberg, V., Yao, X., and R.L. Frost. (2008). Designing and testing a web-based board game for teaching information literacy skills and concepts. Library Hi Tech, 26, 663-681.

Squire, K.D. (2005). Changing the game: What happens when videogames enter the classroom?Innovate, 1(6).

VanLeer, L. (2006). Interactive gaming vs. library tutorials for information literacy: A resource guide. Indiana Libraries, 25(4), 52-55.

Waelchli, P. (2008). Leveling up: Increasing information literacy through videogame strategies. In A. Harris and S.E. Rice (Eds.), Gaming in academic libraries (pp. 212-228). Chicago: Association of College & Research Libraries.

Walker, B.E. (2008). This is jeopardy! An exciting approach to learning in library instruction. Reference Services Review, 36, 381-388.

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