Colleges and libraries are using a new educational video game to teach students what "scholarly research" is all about. A team of researchers lead by Professor Karen Markey and associate Professor Victor Rosenberg at the University of Michigan’s School of Information developed a game that teaches "university-level scholarly research skills."
The game is called BiblioBouts, and is described as an online social activity game that teaches players the skills they need to research academic papers. The game has generated a fair share of enthusiasm among both students and educators for its ease of use and educational value. In 2010, the game earned its creators the University of Michigan Provost’s Innovation in Teaching Award.
The developers are encouraging instructors and librarians to use the game in classes where research and writing projects are at the core of the course at hand.
"BiblioBouts is discipline-, institution-, and class-rank neutral. Even advanced research teams can employ BiblioBouts to quickly identify, rate, and choose the best sources on their object of study," says professor Karen Markey.
The game is played in four "bouts," with each devoted to one aspect of the research process: collecting sources, selecting the best sources, rating and tagging opponents’ sources, and compiling a final bibliography of best sources from a pool of everyone’s source. Students score points to advance through levels ranging from novice to grand master marksman. Player ranks are displayed on the game’s home page. In the fourth and final bout, the entire class builds a bibliography from the top ten sources in the pool. All players finish the game with a bibliography they can use to produce a paper.
A demo of the game is available at bibliobouts.org. A demo email and password are required to play: