Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

DIY Scavenger Hunt in Library


Anne Burke, Undergraduate Instruction & Outreach Librarian at NCSU Libraries writes for ACRL’s TechConnect blog about “Demystifying the Library with Game-Based Mobile Learning”. It is a great case study of how the NCSU Libraries created a mobile scavenger hunt to engage students while teaching them about the library’s space and services.

Without budget for the out-of-the-box scavenger hunt solutions such as SCVNGR and Scavenger Hunt With Friends,  they came up with something themselves that would allow students to submit answers to scavenger hunt questions “mobilely”, automatically calculate scores or allow them to score student answers rapidly, and also display results and provide feedback at the end of the 50 minute activity. The eventual solution made use of traditional approaches to scavenger hunts, in the form of paper maps and clue sheets, alongside novel cloud-based technologies such as Evernote and Google Docs.

Beginning and results:

If we could develop a scavenger hunt that relied on mobile technology, such as iPod Touches, and which didn’t rely on students finding paper clues throughout the library, we might be able to sustain and scale it…

The scavenger hunt has been very popular with both students and faculty. In the two semesters we have been offering the hunt (Fall 2011 and Spring 2012), we have facilitated over 90 hunts and reached over 1,600 students. 91% of surveyed students considered the activity fun and enjoyable, 93% said they learned something new about the library, and 95% indicated that they felt comfortable asking a staff member for help after having completed the activity. Instructors find the activity worthwhile as well. One ENG 101 faculty member wrote that the “activity engaged students… on a level that led to increased understanding, deeper learning, and almost complete recall of important library functions.”

The detail of class design was explained in this post: Demystifying the Library with Game-Based Mobile LearningMore details about implementing the NCSU Libraries Mobile Scavenger Hunt are available on the NCSU Libraries’ website.

mobile learning
photo credit: Marcus Hansson via photo pin cc

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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