Organizers

Breanne K. Litts, breanne.litts@usu.edu
Stephanie Benson, stephanieraebenson@gmail.com
Whitney Lewis, whitlewis7@gmail.com
Chase Mortensen, chase.mortensen3@gmail.com
Utah State University

Abstract

In this session, participants will engage in a hands-on, tool-focused tutorial to gain tangible experience using ARIS (arisgames.org) as a CSCL tool to teach computational thinking. ARIS is an augmented reality and interactive storytelling platform with which non-programmers can design and develop their own location-based, interactive games or stories (Dikkers, Martin, & Coulter, 2011; Holden, Dikkers, Martin, & Litts, 2015). In contrast to the block-base and text-based platforms currently available, ARIS adopts an accessible narrative-based metaphor for programming, which opens up opportunities for situated and culturally relevant computing. During part one of the session, we will guide participants through an introductory tutorial of ARIS including first-hand experience with the collaborative design process ARIS supports. In part two, participants will self-select into group-generated themes (e.g., history, english, folklore, games, field research, etc.) and design prototype implementations of ARIS for their particular contexts as well as identify what sorts of design and computational thinking skills ARIS supports within that context. We seek to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to integrate and implement ARIS in their particular learning environments with a particular focus on new ways to obtain computational thinking skills.

Call for Participation

We invite researchers and practitioners, who are interested in collaborative learning through design with new technologies, as well as experts in the gaming and mobile technology worlds, who can utilize the new ideas that the ARIS platform brings to CSCL contexts. We hope to bring together a diverse group of researchers and practitioners whose experiences cover a broad scope of topics including gaming, mobile technology, and teaching.

Tutorial Structure and Objectives

Our proposed tutorial will have two parts: (1) An introductory tutorial of the ARIS platform and (2) A hands-on tutorial exploring collaborative implementations of ARIS for computational thinking across disciplines. ARIS (Holden, Gagnon, Litts, & Smith, 2013) is an augmented reality and interactive storytelling platform with which non-programmers can design and develop their own location-based, interactive games or stories. In contrast to the block-base and text-based platforms currently available, ARIS adopts an accessible narrative-based metaphor for programming. Hence, one of the key affordances of ARIS is supporting computational thinking skills in the social sciences in an authentic way. For example, history students might use primary source documents to design a location-based mobile game through which players learn about the signing of the Declaration of Independence and interact with historical characters (e.g., John Hancock) all while standing in front of Independence Hall. As part of the design process, students work collaboratively to identify game ideas, conduct primary and secondary research, learn about and apply different design and computational thinking skills and practices, and share their final products with classmates and others in the community. During the first part of the session, we will guide participants through a rapid version of this design process.

In the second part of the session, participants will self-select into group-generated themes (e.g., history, english, folklore, games, field research, etc.) and design prototype implementations of ARIS for their particular contexts as well as identify what sorts of design and computational thinking skills ARIS supports within that context. By following up the tool-focused tutorial with a hands-on activity, we will be providing participants with tangible experience using ARIS as a CSCL tool to teach computational thinking. We seek to equip participants with the knowledge and skills to integrate and implement ARIS in their particular learning environments with a particular focus on new ways to obtain computational thinking skills.

Design & Implementation Examples

To explore design and implementation examples of ARIS, please refer to the following resources:

Mobile Media Learning: Amazing uses of mobile devices for learning
Mobile Media Learning: Iterations and Innovations
Play the Past at Minnesota Historical Society
Mobile Quest by the Institute of Play
Higher Education Integrations of ARIS by UW Mobile Learning Incubator
K-12 Integrations of ARIS by Field Day Lab

Expected Outcomes/Contributions

Our proposed session will contribute both a new tool and approach to support CSCL as well as a new perspective toward computational thinking. We hope this session will draw a wide, diverse audience, who will leave equipped with the tools to integrate and implement ARIS in their respective contexts. Furthermore, one major contribution of the session will be broadening our ideas and applications of computational thinking to include new spaces and disciplines such as social sciences.

To Apply

Join us by filling out our participant form here (http://mobilecomputinglab.usu.edu/)

Deadline for applications is April 15. Applicants will be notified before the early bird registration date.

Email questions to Breanne Litts, breanne.litts@usu.edu