• Applying Game Learning Principles to Analyze and Identify Improvements for Scuba Training Simulations

      Schaller, Shaun; Yucel, Ibrahim; Thesis Advisor; Kahn, Russell; Second Reader (2018-04)
      The purpose of this project was to analyze whether existing simulations for scuba diving are effective training tools, and to further develop prototype mockups that demonstrate how a simulation embedded with important scuba concepts and procedures can create an effective learning environment. Academic literature is reviewed relating to virtual reality experiences, simulations in training applications, motivational factors for the use of simulations in education, and strategies to embed learning into game simulations. This study uses James Paul Gee’s learning principles for good games (2013) to analyze the scuba simulation game, “Infinite Scuba.” Gee’s learning principles are then applied to develop a series of simulation mockups in which players learn important scuba procedures including: planning a dive, underwater navigation, and underwater communication. The question under investigation is: “What features are needed in a game simulation to be an effective teaching tool and learning experience for open water scuba divers.”
    • A Guide to Mobile Apps for Small Cultural Heritage Non-Profits: Leveraging Mobile Technologies to Guide and Engage Visitors

      Parker, Danielle; Schneider, Steven; Advisor; Kahn, Russell; Second Reader (2017-12)
      Constrained by limited staffing and tight budgets, small, cultural heritage non-profits may struggle to promote visitation and engage visitors who do make on-site visits. This paper identifies the opportunities mobile technologies can provide to bridge the gap between cultural heritage organizations and their visitors. Current research on the use of digital media and mobile technology in the museum field, as well as research on museum visitor motivations and learning, are explored. Based on study findings and expert recommendations, key design factors for a mobile app to be used at all stages of a visit are determined. The design themes of wayfinding, personalization, multimedia, and relationship-building are explored. Small historic non-profits can benefit by leveraging these mobile design features to enrich the visitor experience. This thesis project consists of the design and development of Web-based guide (Web site) including a case study and an example Request for Proposal (RFP) to educate historic non-profit administrators on the opportunities for implementing these features at their organizations.
    • Use of Effective Information Design Principles to Encourage Social Media Activism: Designing a Website for Global Social Issues to Enlist Change and Avoid Slacktivism

      League, BeLynn; Lizardi, Ryan; First Reader; Kahn, Russell; Second Reader (2018-05)
      The scope of this paper examines the inherent issues that exist within the current constructs of social media activism, with the intent to better understand how to encourage proactive activism in participants and discourage ‘Slacktivism.’ The research herein explores the answer to whether or not effective principles of design theory can incite change and influence people to proactively participate in activism both online and in the real world environment, doing so at times, synonymously. The focus of this paper provides an overview of the research conducted, the challenges and obstacles that exist in social media activism, possible resolution, as well as examines the production of the website design element. The design process employed and described herein, is meant to effectively illustrate the ‘Universal Principles of Design,’ by creating a website that aims to promote social media activism (proactive participation). The objective of the website design process is meant to circumvent one of the dilemmas frequently faced in social media today, slacktivism (‘armchair/passive activism’), which has been explored and supported with the accompanying literature paper related to social media affordances and effective design that encourages active participation. Using a combined culmination of experience and education garnered to date in the M.S. IDT program, I have created a website prototype, adding infographics and visuals to ensure that the aforementioned project details would come to fruition by ensuring that elements of storytelling, color theory, grid layout and all theories learned to date are applied to the end goal. The project challenges, questions, limitations and future direction of the website design will be addressed within the content of this paper.