"The...integrative theory of gameification [sic] in learning suggests that students may learn more by completing tests than they do when studying..."1
Edventures by Green Door Labs provided a platform to replace the tour portion of the University Seminar library instruction sessions. Edventure builder can be used by novice librarians. The design interface resembles a blog or LMS, and logic is built in easily with pull down menus.
The pilot took the form of dividing the class into 4 groups and having them do a 20 minute activity using a large interactive whiteboard in the library's open multipurpose space. For the second half of the 50 minute session, students were directed to navigate to the Edventure activity link on their mobile devices.
While interactive, the digital tour did not emphasize the game component that studies suggest is necessary for student motivation. Also, the students tended to move together doing each task as a very large group. There was interaction, but no incentives or reward at the end of the activity.
After doing some research, we realized we needed to make it a game. First-year students are often overwhelmed by the size of the library and too embarrassed to ask questions. Using a game to tour the library is a way to preemptively reduce library anxiety, and gives students an excuse to both explore the library and ask questions without concern for how they'll look to others.
Student feedback via video diary is helpful because it records their comments, impressions, and difficulties using the initial tour based activity. It is also helpful for us to see where in the building they were going.
We assessed the activity in three ways:
We planned to use this information, to work with the Library Assistants who run the instruction session to update the EdVenture activity questions so that they both (a) reflected the most important parts of the tour, and (b) required students to interact with the library's various collections and technologies.
However a review of the literature and the collected feedback from students convinced us that we needed to make the activity less of a tour, and more of a game.