The University of Leicester is amongst the top 200 world’s best universities and the top 20 Britain’s. Currently, it has about 23,000 students (under- and postgraduates; on campus and distance) and 3,800 staff. ULEIC participates in Next-Lab through the Department of Informatics, which is young and dynamic in the midst of rapid expansion. Research in the Department is structured in several areas. An increasingly strong research area grounded in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is “Interaction Design & Evaluation of Socio-technical Systems” (IDEAS) which contributes to a number of EU and national projects. These include PROLEARN, iCamp, Merlab, 80Days, iCOPER, ROLE, and TwinTide. The major role that the Department plays in these projects is evaluation and validation, which is one of its major strengths. Applied computing issues addressed in several EU-funded ICT projects have provided rich contexts for IDEAS to explore UCD methodologies.

In Next-Lab, ULEIC is in charge of the task T4.4 Participatory Design and Adoption and supports WP1 Outreach and Impact and WP2 Empowering Teachers.

Showcase:

80days Project

80Days is a 3-year RTD project concerned with theories, methodologies, and technologies for game-based learning. 80Days has successfully addressed two main objectives: First, integrating models of adaptive personalised learning with those of adaptive interactive storytelling, and second, merging virtual game environments with existing learning resources to reduce development costs and time. 80Days has entailed the smooth integration of interdisciplinary work, including learning science, storytelling, game and didactic design, game development, and human-computer interaction (HCI). 80Days has delivered an innovative, advanced methodological and technological framework for effectively developing a successful educational game prototype in the domain of geography.

ULEIC, through its role in the project as the work package leader on evaluation and validation, has significantly contributed to the creation and implementation of a framework to ensure the quality of the prototype. Specifically, the framework that was developed is entitled “Evaluation and Validation framework for Adaptive Digital Educational Games” (EVADEG). It comprises four dimensions:

  • Learning Effectiveness Validation (LEV)
  • Gaming Experience Evaluation (GEE)
  • Game Usability Evaluation (GUE)
  • Real-time Interaction Trajectory for Adaptivity Evaluation (RITAE)

The framework has been applied the iterative evaluation and redesign of the 80Days game prototypes. Details of the framework and its application can be referenced to [1] and [2].

[1] Law, E. L-C. (2012). Evaluation and validation methodologies for adaptive educational games. In Rust-Kickmeier, M., & Albert, D. (Eds.), An Alien's Guide to Multi-Adaptive Educational Computer Games (pp. 137-152). Information Science Press.

[2] Law, E. L-C. & Sun, X. (2012). Evaluating user experience of adaptive digital educational games with Activity Theory. International Journal of Human Computer Studies, 70 (7), 478-497.