Universities | Page 2

Blended Learning Open education

Cheap and cheerful instructional videos

I have been trying out and testing different models to create instructional tutorials for the past few years. I provided an account of my last iteration in a post on this blog, called “Anatomy of a YouTube Tutorial” and “My gear to record a session“. I think I may have figured out a better way to do this, essentially optimizing the production cycle of the videos.

The gist of my most recent idea is still to use QuickTime on my Mac, an ancient MacBook Pro, but with a twist. Remember that QuickTime allows you to record the screen as well as make a video directly from your Mac using the on board camera and mic (I bought a self standing USB mic because the on broad mic sucks).

In that sense, I launch QuickTime and select File > New video. A window opens where I see myself in front of my Mac. I place this window in the corner of my screen and position my browser on the left and I fill the gap on the top right corner with a text file where I can place information (such as the outline of the talk).

The idea is to then launch File > New Screen Recording and the screen recording catches the “mirror image” of the video on the corner of my screen (I never actually record the video of my face, I just use the image of it in the corner).

Here is what the screen looks like:
3screenvideo

The point here is that I can generate one simple video file with 3 screens on it: a browser (or any other document), a text file (or any other filler information (actually, this could be a PPT, a script or anything really) and my face.

The only issue is that the table I use is not super stable and my laptop screen tends to wobble if I am not delicate in typing or putting my hands on the table. But this seems like a way to generate tutorials with minimal editing required..

Gamification Information Technology Outfind.ca

Meet Alice, the first digital gaming kit for libraries

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

Alice is the codename for the first prototype digital gaming kit for libraries

Alice is the codename for the first prototype digital gaming kit for libraries

Above is a picture of our prototype, codename Alice for a few reasons:

  1. it is our “alpha” or A prototype;
  2. Alice, in encryption circles, tries to talk to Bob; and
  3. it is a “clin-d’oeil” to Lisa, Apple’s first computer with a graphical interface and my favorite character on the Simpsons

Many many thanks to the Knight Foundation for their wonderful support !!

My team of engineers are working hard on building a functioning prototype. We have selected a “stripped down” Linux distribution running Kodi as a platform. We picked some generic controllers, a hard plastic case and a mini-computers running on solid state memory (the Gygabyte Brix in fact).

They will hopefully deliver a first version of the device by late June. We will also deliver all our code via the usual open source venues (not sure which actually, but my team is keen on contributing their work back to the community quickly).

Afterwards, my team and I hope to visit with 2 public library systems: Montreal and Austin public libraries. We aim to discuss this project with library employees (administrators, professionals and staff), game developers and patrons. I have ethnographers working on our research instruments.

So, my team is busy with the work our grant has funded and we should have some tangible results in a month or so.

Please let me know if you have questions, ideas or comments, I am most interested in them! My email is: o.NOSPAMcharbonneau@concordia.ca (note to humans: please remove all capital letters from my email address to reach me).

Gamification Librarianship

Legacy Video Game Collection Simulator

I’ve been toying with documenting a burgeoning video/digital game collection for my institution. I took a stab at establishing some costs and space considerations for various assumptions. For example, average cost and sizes for consoles, controllers and games from years past… I’ve tried to capture some of the metrics and data I’ve gathered in this spreadsheet: Legacy Video Game Collection Simulator.

For the record, a legacy game collection implies physical objects embedded with digital media which are no longer commercially available.

(Special thanks to Darren Wershler, professor at Concordia University in Montréal, for his assistance in this project.

With it, you can modify the cost & size assumptions and generate model collections. Of course, it does not specify which exact consoles you would acquire for your collection, but it allows to generate some models one would plan budget or space requirements.

Please let me know if you have comments or questions!

Gamification

What about games in academic libraries?

Reading up on the subject of games in academic institutions

Scholarly articles & papers (slightly disorganized)

News, blog posts & other documents (by date)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOonDY8vCJU&w=560&h=315]

Library Research guides

Projects and initiatives (hat tip to Christy Caldwell)

Assessment Inspiration

DIY User feedback kit for the Indie games licensing for libraries project

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

Last year’s Arcade 11 brought an interesting mix of librarians, indie games developers as well as games scholars. Through conversations and exchanges of views, it quickly emerged that libraries required alternative models to make independent games available through their digital collections.

Purchasing born-digital copyrighted materials is a strong and emerging trend in libraries worldwide, but “general public” methods of dissemination do not offer the licensing and technological terms libraries require (Libraries cannot acquire born-digital materials from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon as it contradicts the licensing terms of these systems).

In that sense, the TAG team have set out to devise various prototyping models for the licensing and circulation of independent video games at libraries. The Knight Foundation (thank you so much!!!) has funded the creation of a video game console, which the prototype will be devised using over-the-counter inexpensive micro-computer components (with assistance from District 3). We will tap into the pool of graduate studens to build a seed collection of games for libraries as well as articulate some key knowledge points all librarians should know about digital games. Finally, we expect to test whether libraries are open to the idea of having these consoles circulate to users of their library system.

One of our team members thought of getting on-the-fly feedback from parents & kids visiting Arcade 11, our TAG (games) research center open house today & tomorrow… This week is reading week in the Province of Québec, and most k-12 kids are on vacation, so parents scramble to find cool activities to do with their kids. This is the perfect opportunity to great feedback from people visiting our space at Concordia Univerisity in Montréal!

Here is the kit I scrambled together by raiding the supply cabinet…
DIY user feedback kit
Also a pic of our concept prototype (version 0.1 or pre-pre-pre alpha) …
(Indie games licensing for libraries project)
Prototype o.1 or version pre-pre-pre alpha
… some folks playing at Concordia U’s Arcade 11
Folks playing a great game at Arcade 11 at Concordia University

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

Gamification Information Technology Librarianship

Indie Games Licensing: first progress report

Aussi en français: http://www.culturelibre.ca/tag/knight/
Follow the evolution of this project here: http://outfind.ca/tag/knight/

I am very pleased to announce that our project, called Indie Games Licensing, was awarded a Prototype Grant as per the most recent Knight News Challenge. I am absolutely thrilled and thankful towards the Knight Foundation and all my partners for this incredible opportunity to “leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities.”

Without further ado, here is a short video presenting the initial prototype we will be delivering at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iDXd5Y-3oo&w=560&h=315]

UPDATE as of May 19th 2015: The Knight Foundation had originally planned to have us present our prototypes at the ALA Annual Conference in the Summer of 2015, but that is no longer the case. 

Gamification

Syllabus Journal on games

The latest issue of the peer-reviewed Syllabus Journal just came out, with a special issue on teaching with videogames:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue of Syllabus Journal (4.1) on “Teaching with and about Video Games.” Syllabus Journal is a peer reviewed venue through which academics can publish syllabi, toolbox assignments (shorter, modular assignments that can be imported into any course), and articles on teaching.

The “Teaching with and about Video Games” offers 15 articles from international authors in three categories, and can be found here: http://syllabusjournal.org/

Table of Contents
Introduction by Jennifer deWinter and Carly A. Kocurek

Teaching about Games are syllabi for courses that teach game studies, game design, serious game design, and novel interface design (think new controllers), and include:

* Video Game Studies by Judd Ethan Ruggill
* How to Play Games of Truth: An Introduction to Video Game Studies by Bryan Geoffrey Behrenshausen
* Novel Interfaces for Interactive Environments by Robert W. Lindeman
* Educational and Serious Game Design: Case Study in Collaboration by Jon A. Preston
* Introduction to Game Design by Nia Wearn

Teaching with Games are syllabi that teach disciplinary content in multiple fields using games as a text, such as creative writing, history, rhetoric, composition, and literature. These include:

* Representing the Past: Video Games Challenge to the Historical Narrative by Stephen Ortega
* Learning Through Making: Notes on Teaching Interactive Narrative by Anastasia Salter
* Video Games as a New Form of Interactive Literature by Anne Winchell
* Writing in and around Games by Wendi Sierra
* Hints, Advice, and Maybe Cheat Codes: An English Topics Course About Computer Games by Kevin Moberly

And finally, we have collected together five toolbox entries that act as short modules (1-day to 2-week assignments) to be incorporated into classes and workshops.

* Teaching Network Game Programming with the Dragonfly Game Engine by Mark Claypool
* Root of Play: Game Design for Digital Humanists by Andy Keenan and Matt Bouchard
* Alternative Reality Games to Teach Game-Based Storytelling by Dean O’Donnell and Jennifer deWinter
* “Continue West and Ascend the Stairs”: Game Walkthroughs in Professional and Technical Communication by Stephanie Vie
* Annotated Bibliography for Game Studies: Modeling Scholarly Research in a Popular Culture Field by Cathlena Martin

This collection, we believe, represents the depth and breadth of video games in academic discourse. Not only do they add to the literature and pedagogical approaches in game studies, but these contributions highlight the interdisciplinary nature of game studies in history, computer science, literature, social science, and so forth.

Very best,

Jennifer and Carly