Spencer writes in the library, part 16: Changing gears.

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

2014-09-20 13.54.38

This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Saturday, September 20th around 1:00pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

Today, I’m on the second floor of the west wing. I’ve worked in a couple of the desks up in this area, but I’m trying out a table for the first time.

What’s a perk of this spot?

It’s in the talk zone! I had online office hours for one of my assistantships today, but since it’s early in the semester, it was hard to tell whether someone was going to show up or not. The nice thing about the west wing is that I can hold office hours at my table if I need to without bothering other people, but it’s still the library, so it’s still a good place to get things done.

What’s a problem with this spot?

Not a big fan of working at a table. I feel like I’m taking up space for groups who want to work, but since this is where the electrical outlets are, the one-person desks are a little inconvenient for everyone (read: me) who worries constantly about how much battery life my computer has left.

What have I learned in this spot?


First, that I really need to stop taking blurry photos. Second, that MSU Library has an impressive periodicals section. Where else would you find “Vital Speeches of the Year” right next to “Vogue”?

How would I rate this spot?

4 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

It’s that time of year where MSU ed tech students start preparing for the SITE (Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education) conference! I’m happy to be working with Brian Arnold and Liz Owens Boltz on a project looking at what particular game elements players take into consideration when rating a game as good or bad. The hope is that our research will identify a number of game elements that educational game designers can then take into consideration when trying to better engage students (or just avoid bad games!).

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

I spent a few minutes reading over a book chapter that reported on some very similar research from a couple of years ago. It was helpful to get familiar with the current state of research in this particular area – we now plan on explicitly building on this work a little more as we press forward with our own study.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.