A Day with Chip
Studies have shown that serious games and gamification techniques are considerably helpful in increasing children’s motivation about the subject. However, most of the serious games developed have been focused on improving children’s learning and academic scores. Very limited research has been done to promote ethical and civic values in children which are important for their upbringing and would turn them into considerate, responsible, and kind human beings.
I followed a 4 step process while designing and developing this application and those are listed as follows
User Research - This is the primary and secondary research phase in which I take most of the time as compared to the other phases. In this phase, I tend to identify my users and get to know them and the market around where I perform a survey and do some literature review. I interview my users and find out what they want and what are the pain points that they are currently facing with the existing product related to it if any.
Low-fi Prototype and High-fi Prototype - After thorough brainstorming, I make a mood board and try to list all the features that I am going to include in the system. I also make lots of Low-fi prototypes, user journey mapping during this phase. I then tested my low-fi prototypes with the users to get their feedback and improve the existing designs before moving on to the high-fi prototyping which I do using Adobe Photoshop or Adobe XD.
Development - In this phase, all the high-fi prototypes along with the functionality are implemented.
User Testing and Evaluation - The system is now ready to be tested by the users. I create tasks for them to perform and note how much time it took them to complete each task and the points where they were unable to perform any. I also take a pre and post-study questionnaire in which multiple functionalities of the system are rated by the users. This gives me more data to improve my system.
Discussion & Solution
A day with Chip (ADWC) is a research project aiming to exploit the potential of a serious game to make character education fun and fruitful for school children aged 5-7 years. Storytelling and interactive narratives have been conventionally used to educate children about different moral norms. However, there are some known issues of this conventional approach, which are:
Difficulty to engage children and think about different moral dilemmas
Need for the presence of a teacher or a parent and
Limited way of assessing how much or what children have learned.
I argue that an interactive digital game can resolve issues (1) and (2) as well as give an idea for solving dilemma (3).
Firstly, high interactivity and quality audiovisual effects afforded by multimedia technologies enable children to immerse in a game scenario, evoking their thoughts and emotions relevant to a given scenario. Second, since a digital game can be played autonomously by children without any supervision, children can be made to learn outside of a classroom, and without the presence of an adult supervisor. Thirdly, giving user options to choose from after a game scenario can help understand how much the child knows and what areas need more education.
In this research project, ADWC was developed which adopted a child-centered approach to explore how much children know about different moral norms. By choosing three settings, which I thought children would be most familiar with- School, Home, and Shop. In each of these settings, a scenario played out at the end of which four choices were given. A character Chip guided the player and elicited a response based on the player's choice. We determined whether a serious game developed using experiential learning principles enabled with interactive gameplay is more effective in instilling moral and civic values in children.