LIBR 287-15
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Gamifying Information
Fall 2014 Greensheet

Dr. D. Weissmann
Office location: Online in Blackboard Instant Message (BbIM)
Office Hours: Every other Monday 6:30pm PST, or by appointment

Greensheet Links
Canvas Login and Tutorials
iSchool eBookstore

Canvas Information: This course will be available beginning Aug. 25, 2014. You will be enrolled into the Canvas course site automatically.  There are no mandatory class sessions and all student work can be completed asynchronously.

Course Description

This course is an exploration of information presentations as mini engaging game-like packages. Using the books Everyone Plays at the Library by Nicholson and The Gamification of Learning and Instruction by Kapp as our initial guides we will brainstorm play, assess, and create simple games to teach or reinforce LIS skills and concepts.

Students will create games around their own LIS interests (literacy, research skills, accessing library's resources, outreach programs, readers' advisory, even copyright). Students will assess each other's games as well as games created and played outside of class. Additionally we will explore user populations (mainstream clientele or groups marginalized by language, abilities, interests, or economics), how games can fit into the goals of information institutions (libraries and schools), and we will develop strategies for bringing players to our games. [See Other Relevant Information below.]

Course Requirements

In addition to the weekly readings and discussions, there are 5 types of assignments for this class:

  • Defining and brainstorming exercises
    •  CC K and M
    •  SLO 2, 5 and 6
  • Curriculum outlines of learning content
    •  CC K and M
    •  SLO 2 and 6
  • Playing and assessing games 
    •  CC M and N
    •  SLO 1 and 3
  • Creating simple games embedded with LIS content  
    •  CC K and N
    •  SLO 2, 4, 5, and 6
  • Reflecting on process 
    •  CC M and N
    •  SLO 2, 3,  and 4

Course Calendar

  • Week 1 Introduction to the Class
  • Week 2 Brainstorming and Planning
  • Week 3 Identifying LIS Content
  • Week 4 Scavenger Hunt Games
  • Week 5 Outlining an LIS Curriculum
  • Week 6 Badges Reward Games
  • Week 7 Identifying Institutions and Goals
  • Week 8 Social Games
  • Week 9 Assessments
  • Week 10 Design and Story to Enhance Games
  • Week 11 Path Games
  • Week 12 Developing a Strategy for Game Players
  • Week 13 Game Polishing Strategies
  • Week 14 Putting it all Together
  • Week 15 Reflections

The course calendar is subject to change with fair notice.


  • This is a class that rewards engagement and process over perfection.  Completing the weekly tasks on time will earn full points.
  • As this class depends upon timely completion of work, late work may not be accepted. 

Other Relevant Information:

  • If you are thinking about your weekly schedule, the work of this class occurs with the timely completion of weekly tasks.  There is no end of term research paper or final exam. Rather, assuming all the work is completed over the course of the term, the last two weeks extended into the finals schedule will have the lightest workload.
  • You do not need experience in programming to take this course. In this class we will focus on simple animated games that can be created from Powerpoint, Excel, or game making apps such as Crossword Puzzle Maker, or Bingo Card Maker.  
  • You will be asked to animate your games and you will be asked to try very simple programming tools from Scratch or Kodu.  If you have experience writing code, you are welcome to use your skills to dazzle us with your games.
  • If you are not a game person, there is still much to learn from this class including creating game-like information presentations that will engage people who don't play games.
  • If programming scares you, there is still much to learn from this class including how to help others find beginner programming tools.
  • Class game nights, team play, hangout chats, and other synchronous meetings are encouraged and can be set up in Collaborate upon student request.

Course Workload Expectations

Success in this course is based on the expectation that students will spend, for each unit of credit, a minimum of forty-five hours over the length of the course (normally 3 hours per unit per week with 1 of the hours used for lecture) for instruction or preparation/studying or course related activities including but not limited to internships, labs, clinical practica. Other course structures will have equivalent workload expectations as described in the syllabus.

Instructional time may include but is not limited to:
Working on posted modules or lessons prepared by the instructor; discussion forum interactions with the instructor and/or other students; making presentations and getting feedback from the instructor; attending office hours or other synchronous sessions with the instructor.

Student time outside of class:
In any seven-day period, a student is expected to be academically engaged through submitting an academic assignment; taking an exam or an interactive tutorial, or computer-assisted instruction; building websites, blogs, databases, social media presentations; attending a study group;contributing to an academic online discussion; writing papers; reading articles; conducting research; engaging in small group work.

Course Prerequisites

LIBR 200, Other prerequisites may be added depending on content

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Generate a personal list of favored games (or information presentations) for L&IS topics for specific populations.
  2. Identify and describe specific populations to be reached with specific games (or information presentations).
  3. Evaluate existing games (or information presentations) based on criteria that assess the learning outcomes and technical presentation.
  4. Evaluate information presentations for game-engaging qualities.
  5. Storyboard and create a simple game for a specific population to learn a specific L&IS skill or concept.
  6. Identify and practice ways to introduce a specific population to an L&IS learning game.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

LIBR 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. K Design instructional programs based on learning principles and theories.
  2. M Demonstrate oral and written communication skills necessary for professional collaboration and presentations.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services based on measurable criteria.


No Textbooks For This Course.

Grading Scale

The standard SJSU School of Information Grading Scale is utilized for all iSchool courses:

97 to 100 A
94 to 96 A minus
91 to 93 B plus
88 to 90 B
85 to 87 B minus
82 to 84 C plus
79 to 81 C
76 to 78 C minus
73 to 75 D plus
70 to 72 D
67 to 69 D minus
Below 67 F


In order to provide consistent guidelines for assessment for graduate level work in the School, these terms are applied to letter grades:

  • C represents Adequate work; a grade of "C" counts for credit for the course;
  • B represents Good work; a grade of "B" clearly meets the standards for graduate level work;
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA) — INFO 200, INFO 202, INFO 204 — the iSchool requires that students earn a B in the course. If the grade is less than B (B- or lower) after the first attempt you will be placed on administrative probation.  You must repeat the class the following semester. If -on the second attempt- you do not pass the class with a grade of B or better (not B- but B) you will be disqualified.
  • A represents Exceptional work; a grade of "A" will be assigned for outstanding work only.

Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

General Expectations, Rights and Responsibilities of the Student

As members of the academic community, students accept both the rights and responsibilities incumbent upon all members of the institution. Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with SJSU's policies and practices pertaining to the procedures to follow if and when questions or concerns about a class arises. See University Policy S90-5 at More detailed information on a variety of related topics is available in the SJSU catalog at In general, it is recommended that students begin by seeking clarification or discussing concerns with their instructor. If such conversation is not possible, or if it does not serve to address the issue, it is recommended that the student contact the Department Chair as a next step.

Dropping and Adding

Students are responsible for understanding the policies and procedures about add/drop, grade forgiveness, etc. Refer to the current semester's Catalog Policies section at Add/drop deadlines can be found on the current academic year calendars document on the Academic Calendars webpage at The Late Drop Policy is available at Students should be aware of the current deadlines and penalties for dropping classes.

Information about the latest changes and news is available at the Advising Hub at

Consent for Recording of Class and Public Sharing of Instructor Material

University Policy S12-7,, requires students to obtain instructor's permission to record the course and the following items to be included in the syllabus:

  • "Common courtesy and professional behavior dictate that you notify someone when you are recording him/her. You must obtain the instructor's permission to make audio or video recordings in this class. Such permission allows the recordings to be used for your private, study purposes only. The recordings are the intellectual property of the instructor; you have not been given any rights to reproduce or distribute the material."
    • It is suggested that the syllabus include the instructor's process for granting permission, whether in writing or orally and whether for the whole semester or on a class by class basis.
    • In classes where active participation of students or guests may be on the recording, permission of those students or guests should be obtained as well.
  • "Course material developed by the instructor is the intellectual property of the instructor and cannot be shared publicly without his/her approval. You may not publicly share or upload instructor generated material for this course such as exam questions, lecture notes, or homework solutions without instructor consent."

Academic integrity

Your commitment, as a student, to learning is evidenced by your enrollment at San Jose State University. The University Academic Integrity Policy F15-7 at requires you to be honest in all your academic course work. Faculty members are required to report all infractions to the office of Student Conduct and Ethical Development. The Student Conduct and Ethical Development website is available at

Campus Policy in Compliance with the American Disabilities Act

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, or if you need to make special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible, or see me during office hours. Presidential Directive 97-03 at requires that students with disabilities requesting accommodations must register with the Accessible Education Center (AEC) at to establish a record of their disability.

icon showing link leads to the PDF file viewer known as Acrobat Reader Download Adobe Acrobat Reader to access PDF files.

More accessibility resources.