Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

Committee Chair(s)

Nicholas Flann


Nicholas Flann


Curtis Dyreson


Dan Watson


Simulations provide an environment to experiment safely, openly, and repeatedly for learning mastery. However, many simulation environments experienced within a classroom fail to include automated assessment components or automated data collection. Even when assessments are included, often they fail to account for the unpredictable nature of decision-making within a complex, 3D, open-ended simulation environment. Embedding assessments within a virtual simulation environment poses several challenges. First, the program must provide assessments aligned with educational requirements that will not take the learner cognitively “away” from their activities. Second, the program must not detract from the game-like experience that learners find engaging. Third, assessments should maximize the benefit of the unique capability of digital deliveries, including the ability to allow for the geographically disparate and asynchronous schedules of instructors and learners. This report addresses each of the above challenges in the context of an implementation of a simulation in a classroom environment. The simulation described in this report is designed to function as a stand-alone module to teach and evaluate core concepts of a K-12 curriculum.


This work made publicly available electronically on October 2, 2012.