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Carl Heine of the 21st Century Information Project is putting the finishing touches on a new interactive game. We'd like your help. We'll be publishing this game as part of our Resource Kit project later this month. Would anyone care to test this and offer some feedback? New eyes always see interesting things!

This is a free resource offered to all! ~ Dennis

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Hi Carl,
Did the game. I would suggest including a 2-3 point recap of the non-plagiarism rules above each exercise. I know the rules but I guess I wasn't sure what each exercise was aiming at and therefore got a few wrong. The feeling when getting answers marked wrong when you think you know the answers "turns you off". The exercises themselves are OK.
Reuven, great to hear from you again. Let me see if I understand what you are saying: on each one of the three exercise pages you'd like to see a reminder or short list of the criteria involved in avoiding plagiarism. That can be done, maybe as an optional pop-up.

On what I see as a larger issue, motivation, I'd like to preserve the basic learning feedback loop that's involved here (task explained - player's move - feedback to the move) without making the task too easy by giving the answer away in advance. You experienced feedback as a turn off. Do you think students would? They may not be as confident going in to the activity. Is there another way the feedback can be given to make it easier to accept or be encouraging? I want these micro-games to allow persons to discover what works (a basis for intrinsic motivation) rather than have them involved in a demonstration by making failure too remote.

I'd be interested to hear what you and others think about the role of failure in learning and how to make it a positive experience.
Great feedback Reuven. Intermittent feedback would help teach the content and squelch the bad taste that quizzes often create. The right kind of feedback is essential in self paced work. Let's see what Carl can do with this!

I hope all is well with you. It's good to hear your voice!

Hi Carl,

What I probably liked best was that this game was easy for me, whereas, I struggled more with some of your others (such as the one about the four sets of words from a query--from "effective keywords, as is" to "stop words", etc. On those, I liked the ability to have "do-overs"! :-)

At a high school level, I don't think our students would struggle with getting most of these right, but I'm thinking that might be because in most examples, if you included a citation at the bottom, it was not plagiarized.

The exception was including the citation, but having a direct quote without quotation marks. That's a tough one for our students to remember.

Possibly adding one with a citation that only provides, say, the author's last name and the URL would be a challenge. Also, (and I don't know how you would include this in the game) we find it very difficult to convince students (and sometimes their teachers) to cite their sources in a PowerPoint presentation or other non-traditional format. Somehow, if it's not in a "research paper" format, students don't recognize that they are plagiarizing.

By the way, I really like lots that 21st Century Information Fluency Project is doing! Good stuff!

Sandy, good to hear from you. I had thought about including some poorly crafted citations, but felt they might really mess with people--an example of being too picky, I suppose. A couple years ago we included some items on citation in an online skills assessment and found that just about everyone had trouble identifying a complete and properly formatted citation. We printed three versions of a citation--only one was right--and the web page they referred to. Since everyone got the item wrong, we dropped it from the assessment.

I think I'd have to make an incomplete citation pretty obvious, say, leave out the author's name or the url when it is clearly given on the example Web page. Do you think this would make students think a little harder without making it too challenging?

By the way, what makes Keyword Challenges and live Search Challenges so hard is the 1-in-5 phenomenon. On average, four out of five words we think of will not match the word used in the information we are looking for. That's why we're starting to call this type of searching speculative searching and why do-overs are absolutely necessary in real life (and simulated) searching.
I have created a version of the Plagiarism tutorial that incorporates suggestions from both Reuven and Sandy. There are now Tips available on each exercise page that suggest what to look for--I don't want to make it too obvious what a correct response is. There are also more references included, but some of them are incomplete, which makes it necessary to read them.

Tell me how this affects the tutorial from your perspective.

New Plagiarism III
Hi Carl,
I like the "tips" on each page. I think that the game player will feel that he knows what he is to be looking for while doing the quiz. Now the "ball" is fully in his side of the court.

Now, if you translate this into Hebrew we will definitely use it in our lessons! :-)
I took a couple of quarters of Hebrew in college, but that was a long time ago, and it was biblical Hebrew at that. If you want to provide a translation, I could build the game. You'd have to suggest the best font.
Hi Carl,

Yes, I think you've made it a bit more challenging without going too far. The tips are a good idea, too.

That's interesting, but not really surprising, that everyone had trouble with choosing the correct citation in your earlier assessment. Part of that problem may be the MLA, APA (and other) styles. When I was using APA exclusively for my own grad work, yet helping our student's in the library media center with MLA (which most of our teacher's require), nothing ever looked "right" to me.

I like the term "speculative searching". I may use that, but if I do, I'll be sure to cite the source! :-)
I shared this site with some teachers at my high school in Colorado. I have heard nothing but good things about it. I want to thank you for designing and allowing everyone to use it.
Hi Carl,
Love the games. Thanks for sharing. Since all of the entries are plagiarized in some way, once a player has guessed incorrectly would it be possible to have them go on to guess how or why it's plagiarized?
Mary, I like your suggestion to continue the learning by converting a "wrong answer" into another opportunity to learn. BTW--some of the examples are not plagiarized, so if a player selects those, there wouldn't necessarily need to be a follow up question.


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