Achievement Unlocked: Leading the Way to Innovation by Leveraging Game Design

Reference & Emerging Technologies Librarian
University of La Verne Law Library
Annie Pho
Resident Librarian
University of Illinois at Chicago


Libraries are increasingly exploring the incorporation of game design elements. With their ability to promote engagement and highlight user achievements, skill development, and learning, digital badges are an ideally suited tool for academic libraries to utilize in their instructional offerings. Two early career librarians will share their experiences advocating and implementing digital badge projects at their respective libraries, using them as a context and springboard for discussing not only the ability of game design to transform library services, but also how championing innovation can kickstart professional growth.


::: Brief Description :::

The session will begin with a brief introduction of the two librarians, Annie Pho and Young Lee, that includes their backgrounds, work experience, what their current positions are, and how long they've been there. This will quickly be followed by an overview of game design generally and digital badges specifically, then a presentation of the projects that Annie and Young have spearheaded at their respective institutions. The remainder of the session with be devoted to interaction and discussion with the audience, including having them take a brief survey to establish a baseline for discussion, help design a digital badge system for a hypothetical library quiz game (which they will then actually use), brainstorm game design/digital badge/technology-based ideas participants can propose, and encourage sharing of relevant resources and advice (which will be incorporated into an online resource all participants can access). There will be several handouts available to participants at the end of the session. 

::: Outline of Session :::

Introduction (5 minutes) 

Annie Pho (Univ. of Illinois at Chicago)
Young Lee (Univ. of La Verne Law Library)

Overview (10 minutes) 

  • What is Game Design? 
  • What are Digital Badges? 

Our Projects (20 minutes) 

  • Moonshot Thinking: Taking Risks, Reaping Rewards
  • Obtaining a grant to implement digital badges project (Annie Pho) 
  • Restructuring and badgification of a legal research certificate program (Young Lee) 

Activities (40 minutes) 

  • Participant Survey 
  • Digital Badges Demo (Participants will help create during session and play; live virtual attendees will also be able to play along) 
  • Brainstorming Ideas (WWYD - What Would/Will You Do?) 
  • Resource Sharing 


  • Game Design Resources List 
  • Digital Badges (in Plain Language) Sheet 
  • Implementing Digital Badges Checklist
  • 7 Characteristics of Self Motivated People List
  • Hints & Tips List (Generated live during session) 

Presentation Materials


Date and time: 
Sun, 04/06/2014 - 8:00am - 9:15am


Monterey [LL]