Spencer writes in the library, part 20: Getting lost

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh


This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Tuesday, November 11th around 2:00pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

I am on the fourth floor of the east wing of the MSU library. I am somewhere along the north wall of the building, but I got really turned around today, almost losing my spot (and some of my stuff!) when I stepped away a couple of times.

What’s a perk of this spot?

This spot combines some of the perks that I’ve talked about in relation to other spots: I get to watch the cool moveable stacks every once in a while, there are just enough windows for me to see the rain outside, and it’s kind of out of the way.

What’s a problem with this spot?

Getting lost was kind of a bummer. There weren’t really any of the guiding lines that I’ve used before to remember where I was going, and I like to get up and walk around every once in a while, so I’m not sure I could keep coming back to spots like this if I know I might not sit there for a few hours straight.

What have I learned in this spot?


I don’t know exactly what was going on with these shelves, but I thought it was a fun little peek into the secret world of behind-the-scenes library work. The more I think about it, the more difficult it must be to keep a library organized. The books and books and books that I find so impressive have to be kept in the right places, and I’m sure that they get moved from place to place as needed. It would be fun to know what’s going on with these shelves.

How would I rate this spot?

2 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

The Work

What am I working on today?

Back to practicum work. This time, I’m looking at previous research on specific game features, like mechanics and theme. My goal is to figure out if there’s been any empirical work on these concepts and if any of that empirical work touches specifically on player enjoyment, the construct I’m looking for in my practicum study.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

The verdict seems to be that, no, there’s not a lot of work that treats these game features empirically. On one hand, that’s frustrating. If there isn’t a lot of obvious work on the subject, it’s always possible that I’m missing an article or two in some obscure corner of the literature. On the other hand, it looks like I may be looking into a new area of educational games research, which feels kind of nice.

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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.