Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gamification, searching, and Writing 150

Some of my colleagues designed a card game for students to learn how to construct a search query out of a research questions/statements with randomly-drawn keywords, Boolean connectors AND/OR, and wildcards. I modified it a bit in the section of Writing 150 I worked with, so that students collaborated in groups but groups competed with each other for points (which I forgot to keep track of, but I also asked for the rest of the class to both judge and help the group at the front making their query, so the points became irrevelant). The class session felt chaotic to me, as there was a lot of confusion and many questions. At the end of the class session, I had the groups talk me through demonstrating on the computer what those search queries would look like in the "Summon" / "Find articles, books, & more" box, Google, and advanced search in a database or catalog.

I went to the computer lab for this section a week later to find that both the instructor and the students felt that the game had been very effective. More than 3/4 of the students had found their 5 scholarly sources after that game session. Only a few students with very complex topics had difficulty, and I was happy to work with them individually.


Pixie the dog said...

Ooh, chaotic is right up my alley, so this card game sounds fun. Good for you for going outside your comfort zone!

Kim Ranger said...

Thank you, Pixie. How I've missed you! Speaking of going outside one's comfort zone - have you tried chewing on the oranges in the backyard instead of pinecones yet?

Pixie the dog said...

Yes! They are too sour. I only eat pine cones and acorns.