With a focus on scientific literacy, STEM, and global studies, OPEN researched, designed and developed several game-based learning prototypes through the support of the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences SBIR program, the National Science Foundation, NASA, along with the US National Parks, National Marine Sanctuaries, as well as commercial partners.
OPEN’s initial human heritage and environmental science based curriculums have been tested and then utilized by classes in upper-elementary and middle schools in New York City, New Jersey, Indiana, North Carolina, and schools in Kenya.
OPEN’s last R&D prototype learning environment, Virtual Machu Picchu, incorporated grade-specific curriculum aligned with Common Core State Standards.
Our research focused on how students use, learn, and retain information presented through stories, games, curriculum, complementary technologies and content related to national and world heritage and historic parks and marine sanctuaries.
Extensive classroom use of several OPEN game environments showed improved student performance compared to traditional classroom learning, on both proximal and distal testing phases.
OPEN learned a great deal through our U.S. Department of Education and NSF-approved and funded research that continues to inform its content and technology development efforts.
Here to the right of this webpage are sample learning game research prototypes we developed during the course of this grant work.
We have begun to commercialize new learning environments and will update and migrate some of our earlier prototype learning environments via mobile platforms and new game engine technologies.
As a next step we have begun to align and then integrate other powerful complementary learning tools and applications along with our new commercial game based learning environments, offering a comprehensive learning ecosystem for the 21st century lifelong learning community.
OPEN will continue to research and test the latest technologies, social media, online services, technologies and programs such as Geographical Information Systems, Big Data Analytics, Citizen Science and Community Action/Service programs to create more innovative means of teaching the self-directed 24/7 21st century learning community.