INFO 287-14
Seminar in Information Science
Topic: Gamifying Information
Fall 2019 Syllabus

Dr. D. Weissmann
Office location: Online 
Office Hours: By request

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Canvas Information: Courses will be available beginning Aug 21st at 6 am PDT 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 in the Canvas site automatically.

Course Description

This purpose of this course is to provide students with guided practice in creating simple games that teach/reinforce information skills for information institutions (i.e. libraries, archives, and museums) and to practice evaluating games as learning tools.

Course Requirements


Defining games and brainstorming for game ideas - (CLO 1, CLO 4 & CC K, CC M) - 15% of final grade

Finding and describing resources that support the value/implementation of specific information skills and the value of games as learning tools - (CLO 2, CLO 3 & CC K, CC N) - 10% of final grade

Playing and evaluating games - (CLO 2, CLO 3 & CC K, CC M, CC N) - 20% of final grade

Creating games and reflecting on process - (CLO 1, CLO 4 & CC K, CC M) - 30% of final grade

Creating a game proposal - (CLO 1, CLO 2, CLO 3, CLO 4 & CC K, CC M, CC N) - 5% of final grade

Peer reviewing - (CLO 3, CLO 4 & CC M, CC N) - 20% of final grade

Course Calendar

Note: This course follows a Plan, Do, Reflect model which requires our weeks to have 2 deadlines.
(Plan and Do) Explore and Create Activities are due on Sundays at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
(Reflect) Peer Reviews and Self Reflections are due on Wednesdays at 11:59 pm Pacific Time.

Week   Topic Activities (points) Due
1 Introductions  Introduction to the Course (13pts) Define a Game (20pts) Aug 25
    Practice Peer Review (2pts) Aug 28
2 Creativity Brainstorming Game Ideas (45pts)  Sept 1
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Sept 4
3 Scavenger Hunt Games    Explore and Assess a Scavenger Hunt Game (50pts) Sept 8
    Peer Review (20pts) Sept 11
4   Create a Scavenger Hunt Game (60 pts)  Sept 15
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Sept 18 
5 Embedding Content Focus on your IS Topic (30pts) Sept 22
6 Badges-Reward Games Explore and Assess a Badges-Reward Game (50pts) Sept 29 
    Peer Review (20pts) Oct 2
7   Create an Online Badges-Reward Game (60 pts)  Oct 6
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Oct 9
8 Games as Learning Tools Focus on the value of Games as Learning Tools (30pts) Oct 13
9 Social Games Explore and Assess a Social Game (50pts) Oct 20
    Peer Review (20pts) Oct 23
10 Social Games Create an Offline Social Game (60 pts)  Oct 27
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Oct 29
11 Assessing Games Focus on Game Assessments (30pts) Nov 3
12 Publicity for Players Brainstorming Publicity Ideas (45pts)  Nov 10
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Nov 13
13 Path Games Explore and Assess a Path Game (50pts) Nov 17 
    Peer Review (20pts) Nov 20
14 Path Games Create a Path Game (60 pts)  Nov 24
    Peer Review (20pts) and Reflection (15pts) Dec 4
15 Put it All Together Proposal of Game Package (40pts) and Reflection (15pts) Dec 8

 *Activities subject to change with fair notice to reflect skills range and interest of students


  • The grading value is for effort and engagement, for process and not perfection.
  • As this class depends upon peer reviews of student work, late work may not be accepted.
  • Peer reviewer comments will not determine reviewed student's grade.

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 the last weeks of the course have the lightest workload.

You are encouraged to play games and test out your games with co-workers, friends, and family.

Students who have taken this course in the past have let me know that it takes a lot of time to stay current in the beginning weeks.

Students have also let me know that this course it is very rewarding with many of the concepts of the course immediately applicable at work.

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. Identify specific information-skills content to embed in a gamified project, identify an information institution and its clientele to benefit from a gamified project.
  2. Describe the value of games as learning tools and how information games can support the missions of information institutions.
  3. Evaluate games based upon measurable criteria including game elements, technical presentation, and learning outcomes.
  4. Create simple projects to gamify Information Science content that will benefit an information institution.

Core Competencies (Program Learning Outcomes)

INFO 287 supports the following core competencies:

  1. K Design collaborative or individual learning experiences based on learning principles and theories.
  2. M Demonstrate professional leadership and communication skills.
  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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