25 May 2007

The Information Literacy Game

I was asked to source some engaging resources for teaching HSC All My Own Work after a recent assault on our Year 11s. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. Your ideas welcome.

The Information Literacy Game is a bright idea you can try online courtesy of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, but better still they offer it for download with tips for customising to your own library or school.

Topics covered include plagiarism, referencing systems, choosing resource formats, search skills and specific local information, like library hours and services. Although the game uses all the same dry information as your typical info lit overview it injects some fun, competition and immediate reinforcement. You can play alone or in a group and actually learn as you go.

This type of material also has potential as a board game, a la trivial pursuit, and The Fletcher Library at the University of Arizona has developed such a game as a precursor to a computer game. Can’t access the game itself but check out this presentation Game On! Developing a Game for Library Instruction (PPT) Even more powerful would be if it was the students who wrote the questions and designed the game. (Although it could be a great one day project for a group of TLs and/or teachers.)

For another excellent resource which concentrates on plagiarism try What is Plagiarism at Indiana University? In spite of the title this is a very portable resource. It is described as a brief quiz and concept lesson by Ted Frick and uses specific examples with source and student work side by side. A great learning tool which reinforces concepts as it goes with immediate feedback. Not fancy but very clear.

Lastly, but in no way a lesser resource, is Alan November's page of resources: Grammar of the Internet. The eight resources here include a short quiz, detailed answers and specific activities which take the quiz items in more depth. It is addressed to teachers and includes specific web resources of interest in learning to evaluate - like hoax pages and those which intentionally mislead. Great material for teacher PD and then selectively for students as appropriate to your audience.

The next step is to road test some of these ideas on our kids (and teachers?) Who’s game?

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