Crowdsourcing library scavenger hunt

I spent the first part of the morning as a clue-giver (and lifeline) for a library scavenger hunt set up as an Augmented Reality Game by the instructor of a Freshman writing course I am supporting. The clues were a mix of physical clues (envelopes taped in various call # ranges), videos posted on Coursework, and instructions given via the course Chatroom.

I spent the second part of the morning participating via Twitter in Dan Cohen’s Twitter Mystery experiment in crowdsourcing. Dan posted an image of an object and asked “What is it?” By following the Twitter hashtag #digdil09, folks posted bits of information they found, and eventually we all learned plenty of detailed information about the object.

I love the idea of turning the traditional library scavenger hunt into an intentionally collaborative problem-solving experience, like the Cohen Twitter experience.

I think that having the students collaboratively solve the “clues” in an online Chatroom, we could actually make the clues simultaneously more difficult, more open-ended, and more realistic (i.e. more like actual questions students are likely to ask). We could go from General Library questions like “Can you renew books? How?” to course-specific questions like “What are some of the magazines and journals that cover gaming topics? How can you find them?”

It would be cool to see the variety of approaches students would take to questions, and see them learning from each other.

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