Archive for December, 2009

A first crack at my abstract for ALT-C submission

This year will be the first one which I aim to hit both conferences and journals in anger. ALT-C is a good place to start, not least because the closing deadline is soon! The theme of this years conference is “Into something rich and strange” – making sense of the sea change. I can’t help but feel that the whole nautical metaphor is somewhat let down by being held in Nottingham, but you can’t have it all!

I really wanted to put forward our Curatr software in a paper for the conference as I really believe it has great potential to change things quite radically, but I’m simply not going to have the quantitative or qualitative data required of a credible paper. What I do have however is the results of a project that has been running for just over a year near, A.C.E. the Adaptive Case Engine. This is a project we’ve been developing alongside Pearson Education and it has some great potential to knock down the barriers that stop complex simulations being created quickly and easily.

So with that in mind I’ve knocked together a short Abstract as my starting point for the paper. I realise I’m working backwards; it’s not the only work I’ve got in progress so it all makes perfect sense to me! This is all contributing towards my EngD, but I’ve been told on several occasions that the ability to get papers in at peer reviewed conferences (and perhaps even the ALT-J afterwards) will stand my doctorate in very good stead. So here goes nothing….


It has been established that three key issues, Time, Cost and Quality, constrain the capabilities of corporate E-learning initiatives. These factors are related and a frontier exists between them which constrains the characteristics of the E-learning. The limitations introduced by these factors have a direct effect on the overall success of E-learning implementations.

Simulations and games are attracting increased attention in corporate E-learning circles. The effectiveness of teaching games is thought to be high; however the cost and time of development is often restrictive. Recent surveys suggest that the average time to develop a complex simulation is around 800 hours. A new solution, designed to cut this development time whilst maintaining the quality required of a complex simulation, has been developed. The Adaptive Case Engine (ACE) allows for complex, adaptive case studies to be created “in the cloud” and then played either online or offline.

In order to test the effectiveness of our new solution, an initial prototype was developed using more traditional development methods. The development time for this project was circa 200 hours plus initial authoring time of around 40 hours. The same case study was subsequently developed within 3 hours using the new ACE system.

So what do you think? Want to know more? Would you read that paper?

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