Citation Gaming

Last April I facilitated a workshop as part of the CUNY Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee’s (LILAC) spring program on library and information literacy instruction. My breakout was on using games for library and information literacy instruction, and we played a game I developed called Game On for Information Literacy to brainstorm a game called Citation Challenge! to teach academic citation style to students.

It was a fun and productive workshop, and we were able to come up with a game for teaching citation that should take about 15 minutes to play, along with several variants that can be used if there’s additional time for the game. Check out the full rules, materials needed, and gameplay on the LILAC website. Please feel free to play it with your students if you need a quick activity to cover citation basics. And if you do play it, drop us a line in the comments — my fellow workshop participants and I would be interested to hear how it goes.

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9 thoughts on “Citation Gaming”

  1. That sounds great, Galina, so glad to hear that it went well! I think you should definitely submit a proposal for the conference, there’s a game demos section that sounds like it could be a great fit!

  2. Hi Maura,
    Finally I used this game in one-hour Library Instruction class. The main topic of the instruction was how to use MLA style for the research paper. I introduced students to the elements of books and journal articles citations (in CUNY catalog and in Opposing Viewpoint), then I showed them MLA Style Guide at our Library website.
    Then I distributed the handout describing print book, an electronic journal article, and New York Times article citations elements with examples. Then, divided class into 5 groups (4 students each) and gave them a set of cards (15 cards). I told them that they have to assemble 3 citations. The team, which will be the first to correctly assemble all three, will be the winner.
    And it worked! Two teams finished 3 citations in 5 minutes. The students consulted the handout and were using small clues that I had put on the cards. One card had a note “author of an article from journal in an electronic form,” the other “newspaper article’s title,” and the third “book author.”
    Maura, what do you think – will it be possible to present this game at CUNY Game Festival? Maybe, as an activity in between the sessions?

  3. I think I found solution:

    Each card with author’s name has to have a note: “Book author” or “Electronic journal article author” or “print journal article author”; the card with electronic journal title has to have a not “electronic journal,” the card with print journal title has to have a note “journal in print.” With these notes in place students will have possibility to construct only 3 citations. How long it will take will depend on each team knowledge of MLA rules. Please check the photo attached.

  4. 1. I don’t think that the answer key will work. We are checking MLA rules, not citation itself. With 16 cards there are many possibilities for MLA correct citations.
    2. A game has to have a winner. Our winner will be the team with fewer citations finished in 10 minutes. These citations must be displayed somewhere to enable us to check them.
    3. Still thinking!

  5. Hi Galina, that’s a good question! I wonder if you could prepare an answer key and ask students to self check, or even maybe to switch groups and have one group check anothers’ work? I’ll be interested to hear how the game goes — have fun!

  6. I am planning to use this game for our First Year Seminar Library sessions. I prepared a handout with few citation examples (book by single author, print scholarly article by single author and an electronic article from ASC by single author). After I printed each of these citations in large font and cut them out by elements (according to my handout) I got 16 paper fragments each representing one element of a citation. Now I realized that if I give these 16 paper fragments to my students, they could combine citation elements in any order, i.e. put together an author name with the wring title or with the wrong date, page numbers, etc.
    Do you think it will work? How will we check the accuracy? Yes, we can verify only conformity with MLA style rules. But, in this case each group of students should be checked, and this will take more time than the game itself.
    Any thoughts? Thank you, Galina

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