Football Can Teach Literacy?

Fantasy sports, particularly fantasy football, are a booming hobby/obsession. People get together and “draft” real professional players onto their mock team. These people’s mock teams then compete against other mock teams within a league. The mock team scores points based on the actual player’s performance in the real game. According to Wikipedia, a 2003 survey found 15 million people played fantasy football and spend an average of $150 a year, making it a $1.5 billion industry. There is even a Fantasy Football Librarian.

There is a lot of research that goes into drafting and then starting your players. “Owners” must know if a player is injured, plays well on grass (or doesn’t run well on grass), whether the opposing team’s defense might thwart specific offensive players, and whether the game will be played indoors or outdoors (bad weather can kill a passing game and cause problems for a kicker). In many leagues there is a “buy in” to play and the winning team at the end of the season usually wins the pot of money.

Now why on earth would a librarian want to use fantasy football as method to teach information literacy? Well, it is something that most of your medical students and xem bong da truc tiep residents can relate to. If you doubt me, look at your computers from mid August to December. Most likely you will see somebody checking their fantasy football stats and checking injury reports, waiver wires, and start/sit suggestions sites. Librarians are always looking for good teaching examples which are relevant and easily understood by students. The same skills that people use to evaluate information on players are some of the same type of skills that can be used to identify academic information.

adidas Soccer reveals official match ball of the UEFA Champions League Final

According to the article the University of Dubuque taught fantasy football research to incoming student athletes. “Through the lesson, students engaged in discussions of creditability, validity, timeliness, and search strategies to find and evaluate fantasy football information. The assessment of these instruction sessions showed incoming students successfully identifying evaluation criteria and reporting positive changes in how they viewed research and libraries.” Skeptical? Paul also states, “the successful fantasy sport player consistently applies four of the five ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards (2000).”

Not into sports, let alone fantasy sports? Don’t worry, the librarians who taught the classes had varying experience with fantasy football, including one who had no previous experience. The process was more about research than football, football was just the catalyst for learning. It appears that it was successful endeavor, 80% of the students were able to describe two of three appropriate source evaluation criteria. More than 60% were able to describe all three.

Not only did students learn but it also helped change their perception of the library and research. Prior to taking the class students described what research meant to them as, “headaches,” “work I didn’t want to do,” and “school work.” After the taking the class students responded to the same question with phrases like, “making sure one is getting accurate information,” “comparing and knowing where I’m getting my information,” and “fun work.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *