LOEX Conference Proceedings 2010

Document Type

Expansion: Utilizing Nontraditional Instruction Methods

Publication Date



Researchers at the School of Information of the University of Michigan are designing, developing, and evaluating BiblioBouts, an online game that helps students learn academic research skills. Players practice using online library research tools while they work on an in-class assignment and produce a high-quality bibliography, at the same time as they are competing against each other to win the game!

While librarians are experts at helping students who want to learn about academic research, most students are reluctant participants because they want just-in-time personal assistance that is tailored to their unique information needs, and faculty are reluctant to cede class time. The BiblioBouts project enlists games to teach undergraduate students information literacy skills and concepts in the classroom.

Social gaming reinforces principles of good learning, including getting results by trial and error, self-discovery, following hunches and reinforcement through repetition. BiblioBouts also incorporates collaborative problem solving and participation in a community of learning. The project aims to explore how games can be utilized to achieve information literacy goals and to yield open-source game software that libraries could use immediately to enhance their information literacy programs.

The LOEX presentation will incorporate a live interactive demo of the game, as well as videos demonstrating gameplay. We will discuss challenges in situating the game into the classroom and integrating it into existing course syllabi. The presentation will describe how we have adapted the game in response to feedback from students and instructors during the pilot process.