Assessment: June 2011 Archives

Here are some notes from the following session (I will post slides and recording when they are posted):

Video Game Design as a Model For Professional Development and Creating New Staff Trainings Paul Zenke, Kate Peterson, and Tony Ihrig

In fall 2010, the University of Minnesota Libraries' hired an instructional designer to boost its instructional efforts. At the same time, the Libraries' Reinventing Reference Collaborative began work on developing a reference training program based on a set of eleven core competencies they had identified as essential skills for all reference services staff.

One specific competency--the reference interview--offered a unique opportunity for a new digital training tool. Using video game design principles, the group began the process of creating branching narratives based on the libraries' core users and types of reference interactions (email, chat, face-to-face, and phone). In addition to the training deliverable, the group has used the video game design process as an opportunity for reflecting and experimenting with instructional practice. University of Minnesota collaborators Tony Ihrig, Kate Peterson, and Paul Zenke will describe the origins of the project and their progress to date.

Kate's random notes...


  • With new models of reference and new people on our desks...need for systematic reference competencies through RRC 
  • Developed 11 core competencies 
  • stripped out subject specific tools and focus on overarching skills all staff needed
  • Reference interview was challenging to teach via traditional ways (e.g. screen cast, webpage, quiz, etc.)
  • Reference interview usually taught by shadowing and by example--not scalable--fewer reference question so hard to see breadth and also many modes (chat, email, phone, etc.)
  • What would the people do and how can we assess performance?
  • Useful model is branching narrative--choose your own adventure (aka familiar with librarians)-interactive story with different endings
  • Identified 4 patron groups and 4 modalities (ways we interact with groups)
  • Identify working examples to use and model work on--helpful when you are working with something new --connect with haji kamal
  • How can games help us learn? Situated context very powerful, allows you to create a performance based task (not information based task) and includes the role of feedback (e.g. character falls in pit and dies--you need to change strategies)
  • Design Model they laid out (modeling, story building, prototyping, production, implementation, evaluation)
  • Modeling: identify competencies, gather experts, collect anecdotes (common examples), expert/partly/novice reactions (task analysis of reference interview)
  • Partly helps us think about what happens in practice and improve practice
  • Story building: each story needed a intro, goal, and characters
  • Scripting: situation (text and prompt), assistant't text, choices, feedback
  • Assistants give advice (two different perspectives on choices)--adds important element to give information to help them make the decisions (takes away the guess element of traditional multiple choice)
  • Have them learn through the process of assessing -2 or 3 choices per situations (and possible outcomes e.g. good, acceptable, poor, fail)--hence can be repayable for future learning
  • Mapping scripts and branches with Google Docs
  • Prototyping--using powerpoint, using linking features---tools aren't that important--
  • Production--translate PPT to captivate (using SCORM--backend reporting system--to have it talk to Moodle and record decisions made by users to have a conversation about practice as part of training program)
  • Did the modeling without an example situation--so it was focused on best practice not on a specific situation
  • How going to assess? Embed, debrief, survey, --player is making decisions, starting off conversation with supervisor, survey to see overtime if desk services improves
  • Vital to think on how can we meet learning objectives--can spend too much time focusing on tool and miss the point of the whole thing
  • Also added benefit was professional development --hard to build and model practice and spent many weeks shaping competencies which help build practice for all
  • DEMO--combination of images, cartoon style, audio, not trying to be a "you gotcha" and instead make it more subtle
  • Working to codify this work to share with other groups/institution
  • Building capacity important
  • In certain situations Lee (the character) does walk out with a smile on but fails--which is why we are different than basic customer service (and why other training don't necessarily work for us on this competencies)
  • Partly right is challenging to write but also useful for the learning conversation

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Assessment category from June 2011.

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