The applications is played using the inexpensive simple Cardboard viewer and Android cell phone. The objective of the experience was an attempt to assist the user in learning basic math using Gamification in an Android experience. Gamification is the process of adding game elements to the non-gaming task. In this case, the task was to answer questions in a space station environment. The application is administered using a webpage application with a Microsoft Sequel Server Database back end.
The website is where the instructor would create the questions they wanted to be delivered to the player. The website also showed the students score and how successful the student is in answering the question for bragging rights. The idea was that the students would only be able to see the first page of the website using there an alias for identification and the administrator the entire site.
On the website, the question can be view and administrated using the website Graph User Interface. The GUI is used to view the current questions and decide if the question is shown by checking the show box on the question list page.
Question List Page
The question entry has a Question Class, Problem, Answer, and Wrong Answer (1,2,3), with the additional subject and question type columns. The administrator can add as many multiple choice question they want as long as the number of text is limited enough to fit in the questions windows.
Question Entry Page
When the user starts the application using their cell phone a request to the website is done. The response to the request are the questions sent in JSON form.
Example of JSON data.
The Android application then processes the information and displays it in the question dialog windows. In the dialog window, the user will select the correct answer with the reward of a point. When the wrong answer is selected, there is also a point given for incorrect answer.
The home base consists of four rooms that the user can access by selecting the entry keypad at its door.
When the player selects the keypad the door opens, and the player moves into that room. From that room, the player can access other worlds.
Game Home base
There are three other worlds that the player can access. The experience was developed to exercise the user in various problem-solving questions. With hope to increase their desire to play and learn.
The application was developed using Microsoft .Net Visual Studio platform with MSSQL database for the website. The Android experience was done using the Unity IDE. I had hoped to develop an even more exciting project, but I limited by my skill set in the unity environment and time.
Question Dialog Windows
There were some additional things I wanted to also add to this project. I wanted a sign in page at the start of the application on the android phone. I did discover a way to create an android application that used the android keyboard, and at the press of a button, the experience would start. I also want the android phone to talk back to the website to update the user information. I did do some experimentation with this area but ran out of time. The Unity environment can be somewhat volatile, and sometimes things would just stop working, I found in that case that a restart might fix the problem. In other cases, I had to reinstall the asset. As a Unity developer I can see the excitement in development and know for me, there is still a lot to learn.
The class has exposed me to the Unity environment. The videos were important in my learning and development and answered many questions that I had not yet discovered in my project. One of the many things that I was able to investigate was that using VR can help in the development of skill to STEM challenged users. This class and the 521 class has answered many of the questions that I had about how I might transfer some of my knowledge gained to others in a fun way.
I do think that Mixed Reality will be the delivery environment of information in the future. Education today has problems presenting students with information and lacks hands-on experience. The use of Virtual Reality can be used to bring the student up close and personal to the information. Research has stated that the VR application does keep a higher engagement of the student and with engagement comes learning. HCI 580 was one of the most interesting class I have had in a long time. I hope to find a mentor that will take me on for a Ph.D. in HCI at the university so I can continue my studies in this area.