Public Feedback

Call for Feedback

A call for public feedback, which took place from November 4 to December 9, 2015, helped to shape the Challenge and generate qualitative data that would inform Challenge design. The comprehensive and diverse feedback showed that at a high-level, most respondents see the EdSim Challenge as an opportunity to publicly showcase best-in-class examples of highly engaging classroom simulations that provide needed training in critical thinking, problem solving, and other employability skills.

A prize competition model found broad support as a market stimulation mechanism, though most respondents expressed that ongoing changes in target technology areas make it too early to require any standardization in terms of tools or approaches. A widely shared vision for the desired outcome of the challenge was a proof-of-concept simulation that is highly engaging, easily implemented, and frictionless (“this needs to be accessible like the internet” said one respondent), emotionally activating (“instead of having to ingest [information] they experience it and build an emotional connection through interactive immersion”), and relatively simple (“the best games and simulations are usually simple”). A significant number of the responses highlighted virtual reality (VR) technology as an obvious complement to and near-term direction for simulation-based learning.

Expert Panel

Following the Call for Public Feedback, a panel of industry experts reviewed public feedback and convened to deliberate on key Challenge design questions. Both public engagement and expert consensus made the case for a Challenge structured to produce a playable prototype simulation that is targeted to educational and career-path needs, with a viable path to procurement and implementation by a broad variety of school districts. Experts emphasized that solvers should be guided toward early thinking around technical components, data handling, assessment of learning outcomes and preliminary business models, but that the initial submission should have a low barrier to entry.

Experts steered Challenge design toward judging criteria that clearly outlines a qualitative rubric that will allow the jury to evaluate simulation concepts. Criteria should shift over the course of the Challenge to support the evaluation of prototypes. Further, experts emphasized that the Challenge should seek to make real connections across current silos that divide industry, educators, and game developers, while offering educational resources and additional benefits to solvers in order to develop the market.

Thank you to our experts:

  • Shelly Blake-Plock, CEO, Yet Analytics, Inc.
  • Curtis Blais, Research Associate, MOVES Institute at Naval Post Graduate School
  • Phaedra Boinodiris, Global Lead for Game Development Ecosystem, IBM
  • Robert Chadwick, Systems Engineer IV, Advanced Distributed Learning
  • Barbara Chamberlin, Professor and Extension Educational Technology Specialist, New Mexico State University
  • Drew Davidson, Director of the Entertainment Technology Center, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Nicholas (Nick) DiCarlo, Vice President and General Manager of Immersive Products & Virtual Reality, Samsung Electronics America
  • Joan Hughes, Associate Professor of Learning Technologies, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jacquelyn (Jacki) Ford Morie, Founder, All These Worlds
  • Jonathan (Jono) Poltrack, Director of Operations / Tech Team Co-Lead, Advanced Distributed Learning
  • Michelle Riconscente, President, Designs for Learning
  • David Solomonoff, CEO, Zoetic Networks LLC


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