Plagiarism Game preserved by Lycoming WISE intern

“It is a quiet day at Lycoming… when suddenly the campus is taken over by plagiarism goblins who want to destroy its academic integrity! You are the only person left who can destroy the goblins and restore order to the college!”

So begins “Goblin Threat,” also known throughout the Lycoming College campus as the Plagiarism Game. Created more than 10 years ago by Mary Broussard, professor and instructional services librarian and coordinator of reference and web services at Lycoming College’s Snowden Library, the game has steadily risen in popularity, receiving more than 200,000 page views in 2018, according to Google Analytics.

The game revolves around the player traveling through Lycoming College and defeating “plagiarism goblins” by correctly answering questions about plagiarism. Broussard always had an interest in game-based learning, so she applied that interest toward making both an informative and entertaining game.

The popularity of the Plagiarism Game extends well beyond the campus gates, with teachers and professors from all over the world using the game as a way of informing their students about the specifics of plagiarism.

During the summer of 2019, Matthew Velardi ’22, a physics and math double major from Bartonsville, and a Williamsport Internship Summer Experience (WISE) intern, took up the task of re-coding the Plagiarism Game in an effort to preserve this unique and informative feature of Lycoming College’s website.

According to Velardi, the process of switching the game over was not simple.

Velardi’s efforts to re-code the Plagiarism Game were made possible by the Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences (CEAE). He became an intern of the CEAE’s WISE program, a 10-week paid internship with on-campus housing and a professional development workshop series for students across all academic areas of interest. Velardi, who is minoring in computer science, was provided with the opportunity to work with the college’s IT office and preserve a digital piece of the college.

The Plagiarism Game, in its new format, can now be accessed through the library section of Lycoming College’s website, https://www.lycoming.edu/library/plagiarism-game/.


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