New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Academic librarians have launched multiple efforts to address 21st century information literacy needs of students and faculty, such as the usage of databases. Despite these efforts, undergraduate students remain largely unfamiliar with their usage. Knovel (recently acquired by Elsevier) provides an online library of engineering-focused content, serving more than 700 customers worldwide, including over 400 universities. The Knovel Academic Challenge is a global game designed to highlight key features of the Knovel Academic Collection, which includes 3500 reference items and 90,000 interactive tables, graphs, and equations. In this work, we investigate how online games can be used to promote database literacy. In previous years, challenge questions were comprised of interactive equation references, unit conversions, derivatives, and periodic table lookups. For the Fall 2015 challenge, a committee of students at Drexel University developed a brand new set of questions based on contemporary engineering grand challenges. To generate on campus engagement in the challenge, we organized hackathon-inspired “Knovel marathon” nights in which undergraduate and graduate students solved the challenge, the vast majority of them using Knovel for the first time. We observed high levels of engagement and enthusiasm during the marathon, demonstrating how games can be used to demonstrate key functionalities of databases and library resources, and their application to academic research workflows.
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