Project 'Uni Action'
It is a common issue: students use smart devices and social media competently on a daily basis, but they lack the ability to reflect on how the knowledge accessible by these means is created in our digital world. Physical institutions of knowledge production like archives, museums and libraries seem outdated, after all information is only a ‘click’ away. But what happens if archival documents, collections and texts are digitized and only consumed in a virtual space? Often the standards of academic writing are affected and ‘soft’ forms of plagiarism are a common occurrence at universities: difficulties in identifying authors of digital texts can lead to insufficient referencing and scrutiny in dealing with digital sources. The current trend of ghostwriting assignments or ‘paste and copy’ plagiarism are more severe examples.
This is where the project ‘Uni Action’ comes into play: working on eye level with B.A. students the department of Material Culture at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg develops a digitally interactive treasure hunt using the app ‘Actionbound’. The app offers a variety of game-based elements such as quizzes, missions, tournaments, a point system etc. The goal is to use game-based learning to make a seemingly trite topic exciting: academic writing skills and plagiarism avoidance. This multimedia based ‘hunt’ will be published on an OER portal and is thus available to a broad audience. New contents can be easily created within the app without programming skills and the ‘hunt’ can be added to.
Seminars in the 2019 winter and 2020 summer term will see the treasure hunt through from concept to publication. Users will be encouraged to visit the institutions of knowledge production and to reflect on the digitization of knowledge in the modern world. Multiple-choice quizzes, location-based tasks, online research and explainer videos will be combined to a multimedia rich environment that engages students and equips them with digital literacy and an awareness of proper academic conduct.