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No AccessResearch in Practice

Library Escape: User-Centered Design of an Information Literacy Game

Yan Ru Guo: PhD candidate in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Guo’s research interests include information literacy education, digital game-based learning, and affective embodied agents. Her work has been published in several major conference proceedings and journals. Her PhD research concerns designing and evaluating the effectiveness of using affective embodied agents in a digital information literacy game. E-mail (corresponding author): [email protected].

Dion Hoe-Lian Goh: associate professor and associate chair, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). Goh’s main areas of research are in mobile information sharing and seeking, social media perceptions and practices, and gamification techniques for shaping user perceptions and motivating behavior. His work has been widely published in more than 200 international journals and conference proceedings. Goh has led a number of funded projects in the use of gamification in mobile content sharing, mobile tagging, collaborative querying, and e-community building tools for portals. E-mail: [email protected].

The number of digital games for educational purposes has grown rapidly, and there is a potential for libraries to utilize them in information literacy (IL) education. Scholars have called for rigor in both the educational effectiveness and game-play experience in educational game design. One way to achieve this is to adopt a user-centered approach. Therefore, this article describes the user-centered design process of an IL game that actively involved potential users. A participatory design workshop and subsequent user evaluation yielded low- and high-fidelity prototypes. Insights on the complexities of educational game design were uncovered, including being accommodating yet pragmatic toward user input, keeping the balance between enjoyment and learning, and being guided yet flexible in using theoretical frameworks. Future directions for this IL game and general educational game design are also discussed.