Development and assessment of a multiplayer, cloud module for teaching population genetics with badge incentives

Awarded Grant: $35,400

Principal Investigator:

Katharina Dittmar, University at Buffalo

Regarding technology use, we learned from a previous IITG grant that among all mobile devices, tablets were vastly preferred over smartphones. Importantly, tablets were reported to be overwhelmingly used at home, or in the library with access to course materials, and with friends.

These findings suggest crucial points to consider in the context of mobile, online education delivery outside the classroom: Not all mobile devices are equally suited, and learning environments with the capacity for interaction matter greatly, especially for higher level, conceptual learning.

Based on the clearly positive role of mobile-device instruction, we recognize the need to better capitalize on the ability of tablets to serve as an interactive teaching device. Currently, Pop!World is delivered as a single player virtual game. We here propose to take this to the next level, and accomplish the following goals:

  1. Implement Pop!World in a multiplayer mode, with player interaction and user incentives (badges).
  2. Use emerging cloud gaming technology to implement this in a platform and hardware independent fashion, that is scalable and lag-time resistant.
  3. Assess the technology in the context of user adoption, and badge incentives (see Assessment Plan for details).

Co-PI’s and Key Partners:

  • Bina Ramamurthy, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo
  • Jessica Poulin, Clinical Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, University at Buffalo