Course Documents
     Main Page
     The Razor's Edge
     Design Team
     STRONG Project
     STRONG Architecture
     Conceptual Model
     Graphic Organizer
     Reflections 4 STRONG
     Independent Research
     Learning with Games
     Course Swiki
Swiki Features:
  View this Page
  Edit this Page
  Printer Friendly View
  Lock this Page
  References to this Page
  Uploads to this Page
  History of this Page
  Top of the Swiki
  Recent Changes
  Search the Swiki
  Help Guide
Related Links:
     Atlas Program
     Center for LifeLong Learning and Design
     Computer Science Department
     Institute of Cognitive Science
     College of Architecture and Planning
     University of Colorado at Boulder
STRONG (STRuctured-scenario ONline Gaming) Prototype - Proof of Concept: Design of Interactive Learning Environments


Hands-on inquiry learning without domain knowledge merely entertains students and results in their inadequate conceptual understanding. Many resource-deprived students reach schools with limited cognitive skills and are consequently less motivated. Direct instruction to impart domain knowledge in sterile learning environments leaves learners unenlightened and unable to see its real-world relevance.

A Solution

To cope with this reality, we describe a framework that seeks to immerse all learners in a progression of guided inquiry hands-on activities to facilitate their conceptual STEM understanding, starting with STRONG.


We would like to design a prototype as Proof of Concept for STRONG, to help more middle school students learn and use the concept that "electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass" (p. 127), to build a simple electrical circuit "for a warning device" (p. 165). National Science Education Standards (1999). Our project is also hosted at to support real-time data collection on student performance using dynamic web pages.

What is STRONG?

Our modular self-contained easily accessible multi-player online games are called STRuctured-scenario ONline Games (cited as STRONG) because they use challenging scenarios to engage middle-school students and provide them control over their learning environment. The interactive learning environments are referred to as games in our design because of their unique features that can direct, facilitate, and assess middle-school students learning of specific domain knowledge and concepts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).


In our class, we have often talked about learning being affected by motivational AND cognitive issues. An expectation failure or cognitive dissonance initiated through a discrepant event could influence learners' motivation. Using developmentally appropriate STEM concepts and standards outlined in the Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993), we identify, use, and embed student misconceptions in STRONG to foster a deliberate STOP –> REFLECT –> THINK –> ACT approach to rekindle players' intentionality and inherent preference for goal-oriented actions and launch them into active inquiry learning.

The Knowledge Engineers for STRONG

Besides members from our design team, the knowledge engineers for STRONG include a small focus group of middle and high school students and teachers.

View this PageEdit this PagePrinter Friendly ViewLock this PageReferences to this PageUploads to this PageHistory of this PageTop of the SwikiRecent ChangesSearch the SwikiHelp Guide