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WRITTEN BY: ALAN RITACCO, PHD DEAN OF THE SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY, BECKER COLLEGE | JANUARY 13, 2020

The American Student Assistance Center for Digital Learning Models at Becker College is working on some exciting new projects in conjunction with ASA. This blog post is the first in a series of updates as we journey along the way of discovery, design, implementation, and iteration of our work.

Located on the Becker College campus in Worcester, Massachusetts, the American Student Assistance Center for Digital Learning Models (the ASA Center) is a research center established jointly by ASA and Becker College to advance knowledge and understanding around the use and efficacy of interactive media tools as a platform for young students to use for self-discovery and career exploration.

The ASA Center has started exploratory work to understand propensity of skills as part of the initial design phases of work. This includes developing a game to assist students in grades 6-8 to recognize and strengthen important skills, talents, interests and aptitudes. Examples include: communication, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, time management. We are leveraging structured gameplay and self-discovery to help students uncover their propensities that can translate into certain life directions. Built-in analytics will turn complex data sets into easily-digestible and actionable information in order to create detailed reports on every aspect of a user’s gameplay experience, and what that might correlate to in the real world.

We recently hosted an information update at the ASA Center session and presented the current design approach for review. The prototype game design is set as a 1st/3rd person adventure game, For Hire, where the player is tasked with completing various missions, puzzles and exercises; see two game images for a sneak-peek into the initial design. These activities are broken into multiple different categories, and the player’s aptitude in each category is assessed. At the end of the game the player’s performance will be catalogued and analyzed to create a report that can be used to identify potential interest in various career fields. ASA staff who attended were impressed with what has been accomplished already, and excited about next steps!

 

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