I recently posted about Google’s attempt to teach searching skills. Now Google is gamifying their “Google a Day” search challenges, in an attempt to create more competent searchers (and get a bigger share of the search market, of course): Test your search skills with A Google a Day now on Google+.
I have little interest in Google+, but I understand that others are motivated by social media, so this may increase the usage of Google a Day. The idea of a daily challenge as a way to improve skills is an old one (College Board uses it to help students prepare for SAT tests), and making it into more of a game may help people stick with it long enough to develop some skill.
I’ve not done searches for many of the Google a Day questions—the few I saw were either easy searches or boring trivia questions that I would have no interest in knowing how to answer. The game never sucked me in.
One big question is whether the Google a Day questions are well-designed and sequenced to develop skills, all at the beginner level to entice novices in, randomly mixed, all hard, spread out over different search features, or organized in some other way.