Game Design

The first AR game developed by the ROAR project during year 1 of the grant that enabled the research team to explore the feasibility and practicality of using AR is called Outbreak. Outbreak is an epidemiology-based game based on Virginia Standards of Learning for middle school Life Science (LS 4, 5, 9, 10, and 12). In Outbreak, students are required to collect animal and plant specimens to create an antidote for a disease. The students take on different roles (i.e., Botanist, Zoologist, and Entomologist) with different areas of expertise. As the students explore the game space (e.g., school yard) they are required to find, analyze and collect digital specimens that might be part of a cure within four separate habitats. The unit could easily be adapted for secondary Biology students (Bio 1, 2, and 9). The unit is also based on science content standards for grades 5-8 from the National Science Education Standards. In addition, the game structure and content are designed to allow teachers the ability to make alterations based on different academic standards, different content areas, and different current events.

The second AR game developed during year 2 of the grant is called Missing. Missing is a forensics-based game based on Virginia Standards of Learning for middle school Life and Physical Science (6.1c, e, h, i, k; PS 1b, c, f, k, m; LS 1c, d, i). In Missing, the students must determine why a faculty member is missing and who might be involved in his or her disappearance. The students take on different roles with different areas of expertise to collect and analyze evidence to support an assertion as to the location of the faculty member.

Both of the designed units address specific national standards and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy objectives outlined by the National Research Council and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The essential structure for both units is active student participation in the scientific inquiry process. Furthermore, one of the objectives of this exploratory project will be to determine what science content is most amenable to the physical, location-aware affordances of augmented reality.

Software Design

The ROAR software is comprised of a browser-based editor and a handheld or cell phone-based engine or application (app). The editor is designed so that teachers and students can create AR games, simulations, and assessments on their computer using an intuitive website.