Astroversity was a game for students aged 12 to 14 played in groups of three. It is designed togive the students an opportunity to develop collaborative and scientific enquiry skills. It does not teach these skills, but the task is structured so that an individual cannot complete it in one attempt nor is it easy to solve by memory alone. The most effective solution requires three students to work together, systematically recording data and coming to a shared solution. Astroversity is an innovative mix of virtual and real; it has the look and feel of commercial computer games - there are different levels and a high quality graphical interface, but the students have paper maps to physically record their findings from explorations. Moreover, the students share the virtual environment, the probes they control interact, and they must agree one pathfor the rescue. The prototype was implemented as a resource for children in Years 8 and 9 working in the same room. However, since the system is being developed using gaming technology, in the future it could be played using games consoles or over the internet. The goals of the project were to:1. Determine if it is possible to create a game that achieves the same level of engagement as mainstream games, but which enables children to learn about and practise collaboration and the processes of generating and testing hypotheses.2. Develop a better understanding of how to design collaborative educational digital resources and how learning processes are impacted from these findings.




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