Digital Media & Learning

I have worked with  Games, Learning and Society Research Group at the UW-Madison since 2003 to study how digital media transforms learning, and to use the design principles of new media to transform traditional learning environments.

Our approach to game design is to translate cutting-edge science inquiry into familiar game genres in order to make the frontiers of science accessible to a new generation of students. We partner with game companies such as Filament and the Learning Games Network, and with funding organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the MacArthur Foundation and the Gates Foundation.

Here are some of my projects:

The GLS effort to build a shared, open source platform that will use “big data” theories and techniques to transform clickstream data from science games into evidence of player learning. CyberSTEM includes a “learning telemetry” that will aggregate click-stream data from science games and other data sources; a “semantic template” that will organize data to facilitate a variety of analytic processes; and a set of  APIs that will guide developers to build games that can contribute data to CyberSTEM.

Halverson, R., Owen, E., Wills, N. & Shapiro, R. B. (2012). Game-based assessment: An integrated model for capturing learning in play.  GLS Working Paper.

Progenitor X
A regenerative science game in which players create new tissues from stem cells to replace zombie-infected parts. Developed by Mike Beall and James Thomson’s Regenerative Science Research Group, Elizabeth Owen, Ben Shapiro and I developed a framework to use data from the game as evidence for science learning

A virology game in which players are viruses who covertly invade a cell, take over the reproductive system, and replicate until the cell bursts.  Nathan Patterson, Kevin Harris & Mike Beall led the development of the game, now available on the iTunes store.

Patterson, N., Corredor, J. & Gaydos, M. (2011) Virulent – Bringing content from experts to players. Paper presented at the 2011 Games Learning and Society Conference, Madison WI.

Corredor, J. (2011) Bio-gaming: Videogames as tools to teach cell biology. Paper presented at the 2011 Games Learning and Society Conference, Madison WI..

Anatomy Pro-Am
A medical imaging delineation game in which players use 3-D MRI tools to identify tumors.  Ben Shapiro & team worked with Rock Mackie and Lonie Salkowski of the UW Medical School to develop the game and crowd-sourcing image delineation might transform medical practices.

Shapiro, R. B., van Leeuwen, D., Rothschild, M., and Harris, S., First Steps Toward an Anatomy Pro-Am: Inspiring STEM Futures and Saving Lives with a Social Game. Paper presented at the Games+Learning+Society Annual Conference, Madison, WI. June 2011.

Salkowksi, L. R, R B. Shapiro, G. Vaughan, A. Bahr, A. Salmon, B. Pelletier, J. Ruesch, and K. Squire. (2012). Anatomy Pro: Tracts – An iPad game to teach gastrointestinal anatomy and its clinical implications. Paper presented at the 29th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Clinical Anatomists (AACA), St George University, Grenada. July 2012.

A game about bias-recognition in science research settings. Supported by a National Institutes of Heath grant, Molly Carnes, Dennis Ramirez, Belinda Gutierrez and the design team built Fair Play to help researchers recognize and correct the implicit biases that inform day-to-day professional interaction.

Paiz-Ramirez, D., Chu, S., Salmon, A., & Gutierrez, B. (in press). Designing games for non-gamers: Adopting rapid prototyping as a design methodology. User Experience, 10(4).

Gutierrez, B., Chu, S., Paiz-Ramirez, D., & Squire, K. (2011). Pathfinder: A case example of designing an engaging game on unconscious bias. Proceedings of the 5th Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) Conference, Think Design Play. Utrecht, Netherlands.

A iPhone app designed to support teacher data-collection in the context of classroom teaching. Suzanne Rhodes and Jesse Benson led a design team to understand how teachers used data in classroom settings, and to design KidGrid to support individualized and shared data-collection practices.

Rhodes, S. & Halverson, R. (2011). Lessons from the design of formative feedback tools for teachers. Paper presented at the Annual Human Factors Conference. San Antonio, TX

Teacher Evaluation Game
TEG teaches observers to recognize the key aspects of teaching interaction in classrooms.  Dan Norton (Filament Games) and Moses Wolfenstein led a team that adapted the Transana qualitative video analysis program to support a simple interface for coding video in terms of key themes of classroom teaching.

CESA Praxis Learning Objects
The Learning Objects help teachers remember the math they once learned. Dan Norton (Filament Games), Moses Wolfenstein, John Rudolph, Charles Rockman and Caro Williams worked our team to identify the key point in the recollection process that inhibit our abilities to remember the math we once knew.

Halverson, R., Wolfenstein, M., Williams, C. & Rockman, C. (2009) Remembering math: The design of digital learning objects to spark professional learning. E-Learning 6(1) 97-118.