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LibQuest: A Problem Based Learning Approach to Information Literacy

By Priyanka Sharma and Yuyun W. Ishak


Problem Based Learning (PBL) appears to be the way forward. Gen Z students seem to prefer discovery and a self-paced learning environment (often using a variety of gadgets) rather than a more structured instruction module in a classroom setting. Kenney (2008) found that PBL provides the theoretical framework for a learner centered, active instructional experience that relies on collaboration, critical thinking and hands-on interaction with resources. Pelikan (2004) developed and delivered course-related library instruction using PBL over a period of two years in Penn State School of Information Sciences and Technology and concluded that PBL is a worth pursuing approach to library instruction. Kim (2012) found that game dynamics can raise library users’ level of engagement with library resources, programs and services. They can help library users to solve problems more effectively and quickly by making the process fun. Furthering this idea, research librarians at the Li Ka Shing library at Singapore Management University designed an information literacy (IL) programme in the form of a scavenger hunt. The programme enabled the students to experience the thrill and excitement they commonly associate with a gaming environment. The hunt led them to myriad twists and turns – and each of these contained within them embedded IL learning outcomes – the same outcomes that have guided our previous IL programmes that utilized the more traditional hands-on classroom based learning model. In our presentation, we will provide the details of our scavenger hunt model which involves working in pairs, is friendly to gadget use, and combines the learning outcomes of both a traditional IL programme as well as a library tour in one engaging, exciting, fun filled activity. The process of creating LibQuest began with identifying 6 learning outcomes that needed to be met. The learning outcomes were intended to introduce students to the library, and included elements such a locating different library materials, becoming acquainted with the library’s communication channels – including social media, being able to identify subject specialist research librarians, and getting to know the physical space of the Library. LibQuest also necessitated students approaching library staff for help – an important component that sets the tone of the relationship library staff hope to nurture with students. We will also present the results of a survey conducted with the participants, which shows overwhelming appreciation and support for LibQuest. Finally, we will discuss enhancements to the programme

Topics: Problem-Based Learning, Information Literacy, Academic Libraries, Singapore, Singapore Management University, Curriculum and Instruction, Information Literacy
Publisher: Institutional Knowledge at Singapore Management University
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:ink.library.smu.edu.sg:library_research-1035
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