Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

The BiblioBouts Information Literacy Game

Technology #5423

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Karen Markey
Managed By
Drew Bennett
Associate Director - Software Licensing 734-615-4004

Information literacy through collaborative learning

BiblioBouts is a teaching strategy the leverages collaborative learning techniques to develop information literacy. Conducting research in an online, digital environment represents a substantial obstacle for many students. In a recent study, fewer than one in four undergraduates were able demonstrate adequate search skills when conducting online research for academic references. Although younger generations are typically considered to be “tech savvy,” the data not only disproves that notion, but also forcefully illustrates the need for formal instruction to promote information fluency among students at the post-secondary level.

Guided exercise bridges gap from lecture to independent study

A computer program designed to foster peer learning, BiblioBouts provides directed practice in finding and evaluating online references and serves as a link between lecture and independent research. While other information literacy modules simply give students a task to complete, BiblioBouts provides structured guidance and regular peer feedback. Over several rounds (“bouts”), the students work together to gather, refine, evaluate, and compile a useful and reliable bibliography. By the end of the exercise, students have not only practiced critical search skills, but have also assembled a useful bibliographic foundation for writing an academic research paper.

Applications and Advantages


  • Collaborative learning software for teaching information literacy
  • Peer learning module for finding, sharing, and evaluating academic references


  • Provides detailed peer feedback to user instead of yes/no response
  • Helps focus student tasks through guided exercises rather than open-ended searches
  • Sets a meaningful goal: end product is bibliography to be used to complete students’ research paper assignment