As part of a research project which assists veterans as they exit the military, complete engineering degrees, and enter the workforce as engineering professionals, a range of serious games for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education is under development. The current focus of this development is CAPTIVATE, a serious game to assist student veterans in mastering the calculus and physics skills that are necessary prerequisites to the main engineering curriculum. Building on the development and lessons learned from MAVEN, a game developed previously to help student veterans master precalculus skills, the design and initial implementation for CAPTIVATE involves careful consideration regarding game and instructional design. Many of the positive aspects from the design of MAVEN will be implemented in CAPTIVATE. First, the overall framework developed for MAVEN will be reused in CAPTIVATE. This modular framework involves both a model and process that combine game, instructional, and software design in a way that supports adaptability throughout the design and development cycle. Additionally by embedding concepts in game play similar to well-known board games such as Battleship, computer games such as Minesweeper, and console or mobile games such as Guitar Hero, students will use their calculus and physics skills to complete tasks in a familiar environment. In addition, the game itself will consist of a series of sub-games each focusing on a topic that students traditionally struggle to understand. Furthermore, students will be offered access to learning resources and assessed regularly as they progress through the game. CAPTIVATE will also overcome some shortcomings from the previous development. While MAVEN was developed for desktop deployment, CAPTIVATE is targeted for deployment on a variety of mobile device including Apple and Android phones and tablets to engage students in interactive games that support their endeavor to build a solid foundation in mathematics and science topics. Additionally by creating games that are short and easily accessible, students will be able to engage with the material at a time and place convenient for them. The development of CAPTIVATE supports student veterans as they transition from the military to engineering degree programs and helps to accelerate them through their STEM prerequisite courses.
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