Research adventures chapter 1

Recently, Artefacto have been developing a series of short, interactive resources aimed at helping people learn basic research skills. This is part of a bigger project to develop a series of collaborative, active-learning resources that can be used by both staff and students to explore new ways of teaching information and digital literacy and other information skills.

Screenshot for Adventure prototype

The first modules use a text-based approach and were built using Undum interactive fiction framework. There are some meaningful gamification elements but the main focus of these resources was to apply active learning principles to enable learners to make choices and navigate their own path through the content, applying their knowledge as they go.

The first module was actually originally prototyped over 12 months ago using Undum. Undum is a Javascript based interactive fiction framework that let’s you create ‘Choose your own adventure’ type content. We’ve recently refreshed the content and recreated it using Raconteur developed by Bruno Dias. This offers a much better workflow than the Javascript hackery that can be involved in creating a game with Undum (and we say that with much love for Undum and the amazing projects that have been developed with it). Raconteur provides a handy Gulp-based build system and let’s us work with CoffeeScript, Less and Markdown.

The content will be continually developed with input from information literacy trainers.

Some of the issues we wish to tackle with this project are to re-imagine how we teach research and information skills; how we can develop resources that engage users from a wide variety of backgrounds; and how to enable people to gain new skills in ways that suit their own personal learning styles and requirements.

Everything is still in beta but the prototype is already available on Github as we were keen to develop this as openly and collaboratively as possible. We already have additional resources in the works (including faculty development resources) so if you’d like to keep up-to-date with the project or would like to get involved, let us know.

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