Evaluating the Usability and Ease of Use of a Mobile Game to Enrich Understanding of Hawaiian History and Culture for 4th Grade Students

Session Description
According to the Social Studies Standard 4.1.1, elementary teachers in Grade 4 are responsible for teaching about Hawaii’s history and about understanding that history, by examining change, continuity and causality. Through this project, “Kualii’s Journey: A Search for Hauwahine,” a place-based, mobile game was developed to provide an enriching and culturally sensitive experience for students to learn of these concepts as they “journey” around the Kawai Nui Marsh, visiting three significant sites, in Kailua, Oahu. Using the neighboring community as a resource and a story that incorporates key characters in the history of the Kawai Nui Marsh, Na Pohaku o Hauwahine and Ulupo Heiau, the goal of the project was to provide an engaging tool for students. This tool would aid in teaching about changes in history, what may have caused those changes and how they can have an impact on the continuity of Hawaiian culture in their community and beyond.

Therefore, the purpose of this project was to evaluate the ease of use of a place-based, mobile game of Kawai Nui Marsh. This web-based game was developed using ARIS, an open source tool for creating mobile learning games. The study identified the game’s ease of use and motivational factors. The study also contributed to improvement of the game as results from students and adults were analyzed. Feedback indicated that clear instructions, an obvious purpose, and added audio for walking and listening ease, was preferred by users. Revisions were made. The usability tests included a pre-survey, a usability protocol and a post-survey.

  • Kim Mah, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

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