In work package 6 (Data Analysis) we said we would investigate some in house projects:

Lemontree is designed to be a fun, innovative, low input way of engaging students through new technologies and increasing use of library resources and therefore, final degree awards. The project aims to increase usage of library resources using a custom social, game based eLearning platform designed by Running in the Halls, building on previous ideas such as those developed at Manchester Metropolitan University to support inductions and information literacy and uses rewards systems similar to those used in location based social networks such as Foursquare.

Stone, Graham and Pattern, David (2012) Knowing me…Knowing You: the role of technology in enabling collaboration. In: Collaboration in libraries and learning environments. Facet, London. ISBN 978-1-85604-858-3

When registering for Lemontree, students sign terms and conditions that allow their student number to be passed to Computing and Library Services (CLS). This allows CLS to track usage of library resources by Lemontree gamers versus students who do not take part. As part of LIDP 2, we wanted to see if we could analyse the preliminary results of Lemontree to investigate whether engagement with Lemon Tree makes a difference to student attainment by comparing usage and attainment of those using Lemon Tree with those that are not across equivalent groups in future years (we only planned to come up with a proof of concept from Phase 2)

Andrew Walsh, who is project managing Lemontree at Huddersfield reports,

Lemontree has slowly grown its user base over the first year of operation, finishing the academic year with 628 users (22nd May 2012), with large numbers registering within the first few weeks of the academic year 2012-2013 (over 850 users registered by 5th October 2012). This gives us a solid base from which we can identify active Lemontree users who will be attending university for the full academic year 2012-2013.

Lemontree currently offers points and awards for entering the library, borrowing and returning books and using online resources as well as additional social learning rewards, such as leaving reviews on items borrowed. The rewards are deliberately in line with the types of data we analysed in the first phase of LIDP.

We have seen healthy engagement with Lemontree with an average of 74 “events” per user in the first year, with an event being an action that triggers points awarding.

At the end of this academic year, we will identify those users registered for the full year and extract usage statistics for those students. Those who registered in their second or third years of studies will have their usage statistics compared to their first year of study, to see if engagement with Lemontree impacted on their expected levels of library usage. For those students registered at the start of their first year, we will investigate whether active engagement with the game layer has an impact compared to similar groups of students, such as course, UCAS points, etc., to see if early intervention using gamification can have an impact throughout a student’s academic course.