Projects Underway

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Development and Assessment of a Multiplayer, Cloud Module for Teaching Population Genetics with Badge Incentives

Katharina Dittmar

Project Team
  • Bina Ramamurthy, University at Buffalo
  • Jessica Poulin, University at Buffalo

University at Buffalo


Tier Three

Project Abstract:

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.

Project Outcome:

A multiplayer game app available on iOS, Google Play, and the cloud to introduce students to population genetics and evolution in real time.