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Student Engagement Application (SEA)
What is SEA?
SEA is a Smart Serious Game that measures student engagement by utilising the location of a players’ phone to determine if they are present at a timetabled class and if they are punctual too. Naturally, attendance is not enough to determine if a student is engaged with their academic course, therefore SEA includes a weekly questionnaire, modelled of expert research in the field of student engagement.
When taking into account that Behavioural Engagement (a student coming to class) is the driving force for student engagement (according to key research in the field), we developed a computer algorithm that takes the information from questionnaire scores and the attendance system to represent Student Engagement as a game score.

Representing Student Engagement

The Student Engagement score is a percentage of how much you could possibly score by attending in a punctual manner, and the best score you could achieve when self-reflecting. For example, if a player only has on class for the week and he was punctual (10 points), and he felt he was very engaged, so scored maximum points in the questionnaire (100), he could achieve a total of 110 points! So if the player amalgamated 70 points, then (70/110 = 0.6363) he achieved a score of 63, resulting in a happy avatar and more coins to spend on upgrading your avatar! (There is a one to one ratio with points and coins).
Aside of upgrading your avatar, there is a levelling up system that helps track your progress, and players competed to climb the leader board throughout their semester. This adds to the competitive feel in the gaming community and allows for real world rewards achieved by playing the game. What and how to reward the player is not in the scope of this game.

Using data from the local environment

SEA utilises the players’ phone location to track if they are attending in a punctual manner. To achieve this, SEA utilises a bespoke attendance monitoring system consisting of Raspberry Pi. A Pi can be moved into a room where a class takes place, and performs validation to make sure that the presence of a player is relevant to their timetable.
Expanding, the attendance system requires the following prerequisite information:

  • Player’s Bluetooth Address
  • Player’s student number

SEA requires the Bluetooth address to communicate with the number of Pi that are make part of the attendance system network. SEA utilises BLE to reduce energy consumption, meaning the Pi can sufficiently run even if they are plugged into a USB! Finally the administrator (lecturer, teacher) has the power to change the active location of a Pi by logging into their purpose built portal.

Using data from the wider environment

SEA utilises traffic and weather information to correlate a player’s behavioural patterns with those external factors. Expanding, if a player tends to be late when traffic is above 5 minutes, then the information is fed back to the player so they can make better decisions around their own habits. The figure gets updated each week, by adjusting the mean average delay in traffic that relates to a player being late.
The same principle applies with weather. The system records the weather conditions for the timetabled day, time and location, and calculates the mean average weather condition for a non-attending player and/or a player with poor punctuality. Similarly, this information helps the player make better choices by highlighting common external factors that contribute to the lack of their Student Engagement.

If you would like to contact me regarding my current lecturing or research activities you can do so at john.henry@mmu.ac.uk

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