INFO 287-11
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Gamifying Information
Spring 2017 Greensheet

Dr. D. Weissmann
Office location: Online via Collaborate
Office Hours: By Request

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning January 26th, 6 am PT unless you are taking an intensive or a one unit or two unit class that starts on a different day. In that case the class will open on the first day that the class meets.

You will be enrolled into the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

What is a game? How can games support Information Institutions? We explore these questions as we play, assess and create simple games that teach or reinforce the skills and concepts within the field of Information Science.

In creating and assessing our games we will focus on user populations, both mainstream clientele or groups marginalized by language, abilities, interests, or economics.  We will consider diverse information environments such as libraries, schools, archives, museums, hospitals, businesses and government offices. And we will devise strategies for sharing our games with Information Institutions and bringing players to our games. 

You are asked to bring to this course your own interest in the field of Information Science as you will supply the informational content for your games. You are welcome to use any IS topic to embed in your games. Examples of topics gamifyed by students in previous sessions have included literacy, research skills, accessing library's resources, outreach programs, readers' advisory, archive administration, finding aids, preservation practices, medical records administration and copyright.  

In our 15 weeks together you can anticipate spending about 1/3 of your time creating simple games; 1/3 of your time creating focused assessments tools; and 1/3 of your time exploring the theoretical constructs of the gamifying as well as interacting with your classmates and assessing their games. Students who have taken this course in the past have let me know that it takes a lot of time to stay current each week and also that it is very rewarding with many of the concepts of the course immediately applicable at work and at home. 

Course Requirements

This class is set up to model game-like elements. The weekly readings and discussions are woven into an iterative leveling-up progression of Plan-Do-Reflect.



  • Make simple information-embedded games - CLO 1


  • Create a portfolio showcasing a polished game embedded with IS content, a polished assessment for your game, a theoretical framework supporting your game, a bibliography supporting your embedded IS content and theoretical framework. The portfolio will also include a version of each game made in the course and a reflection on your process - CLO 2CLO 3CLO 4CLO 5
  • Weekly reflections on process - CLO 1CLO 2CLO 3CLO 4CLO 5 

Course Calendar
The Course Calendar has been designed to build-up skills in an iterative progression of Plan/Explore-Do-Reflect.

  • Week 1 Introductions
  • Week 2 Brainstorming I
  • Week 3 Explore and Assess Scavenger Hunt Games
  • Week 4 Make a Scavenger Hunt Game
  • Week 5 Reflect and Focus on Your Content
  • Week 6 Explore and Assess Badge-Reward Games
  • Week 7 Make a Badge-Reward Game
  • Week 8 Reflect and Focus on Your IS Content Bibliography
  • Week 9 Explore and Assess Social Games
  • Week 10 Make a Social Game
  • Week 11 Reflect and Focus on Assessments
  • Week 12 Brainstorming II
  • Week 13 Explore and Assess Path Games
  • Week 14 Polish Your Game and Assessment Tool
  • Week 15 Put It All Together and Reflections

The course calendar is subject to change with fair notice.

The grading value is for effort and engagement.

  • This is a class that rewards engagement and process over perfection.  
  • All games and reflections are peer reviewed - late work may not be accepted. 
  • Peer reviewer comments will not determine grade on reviewed projects.
  • Final grade distribution per SJSU School of Information Grading Scale

Other Relevant Information:

  • If you are thinking about your schedule, this class is that asks you to complete weekly tasks.  There is no end of term research paper or final exam. The last two weeks of class are for polishing and creating a portfolio and might have the lightest workload of the semester.
  • You do not need experience in programming to take this course. 
  • You will be asked to try a game-scripting tool for kids called Scratch.  If you have experience writing code, you are welcome to use your skills to dazzle us with your games.
  • 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

INFO 287 has no prequisite requirements.

Course Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Storyboard and create simple projects to gamify IS content.
  2. Describe a target population to benefit from engaging with gamifyed IS content projects.
  3. Identify information institutions to benefit from hosting projects with gamifyed IS content.
  4. Create assessment tools gamifyed projects.
  5. Evaluate existing games and student projects based on criteria that assess game qualities, technical presentation, and learning outcomes.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 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 work including collaboration and presentations.
  3. N Evaluate programs and services using 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 or undergraduate (for BS-ISDA);
    For core courses in the MLIS program (not MARA, Informatics, BS-ISDA) — 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 if you wish to stay in the program. 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.

Graduate Students are advised that it is their responsibility to maintain a 3.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). Undergraduates must maintain a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA).

University Policies

Per University Policy S16-9, university-wide policy information relevant to all courses, such as academic integrity, accommodations, etc. will be available on Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Programs' Syllabus Information web page at: Make sure to visit this page, review and be familiar with these university policies and resources.

In order to request an accommodation in a class please contact the Accessible Education Center and register via the MyAEC portal.

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