Challenges of Business Simulation Games — A New Approach of Teaching Business

Our members: Andrej Jerman Blažič and Franc Novak, have published a book chapter in book titled E-Learning – Instructional Design, Organizational Strategy and Management.

[Link]

Abstract:

Serious games are part of the new emerging world of education environment that is based on sophisticated technology with elements of entertainment. They have been seen as good supplements for supporting the learning processes due to their capability to increase visualisations and challenge the student creativity. They have the potential to significantly improve training and education activities and initiatives. As a part of serious computer games, business simulation games support training and learning focused on the management of economic processes. They have been proven to be useful in empowering and mediating learning business content. This chapter addresses the simulation business games used in the educational process by analysing selected popular games regarding their properties that are considered as important in the learning process. The first part presents a short introduction in the field of business games and the approach used in selection of the studied games. The next part provides a review of related articles and brief overview of the state of the art that has guided the selection of business simulation games to be analysed and assessed. The game parameters used in the assessment have been defined and described. The analysis and the assessment report are followed with brief concluding remarks.

*.* Computing

This post briefly summarizes definitions of research fields closely-related to natural user interfaces and context-awareness. It is an excerpt from the PhD thesis available here.The aim is to highlight their common ground and to show how all strive towards the same goal: a general improvement in Human-Computer Interaction by bringing the E (as environment or context) in the HCI picture.

HCI Triangle

The communication triangle of Human-Computer Interaction; communication is possible on all levels, between each pair of the involved entities: human, computer and environment. Two types of arrows represent two types of communication: explicit and mplicit.

The figure above illustrates the communication triangle composed of users, context, and computing devices. Fields concerned with some aspect of this interaction triangle are:

  • Intelligent User Interfaces (IUI): “Intelligent user interfaces (IUIs) are human-machine interfaces that aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and naturalness of humanmachine interaction by representing, reasoning, and acting on models of the user, domain, task, discourse, and media (e.g., graphics, natural language, gesture). As a onsequence, this interdisciplinary area draws upon research in and lies at the intersection of human-computer interaction, ergonomics, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence and its subareas (e.g., vision, speech and language processing, knowledge representation and reasoning, machine learning/knowledge discovery, planning and agent modelling, user and discourse modelling)” (Maybury, 1998).
  • Ubiquitous Computing (UBICOMP): “Ubiquitous computing is the method of enhancing computer use by making many computers available throughout the physical environment, but making them effectively invisible to the user” (Weiser, 1993).
  • Pervasive Computing: “A device can be a portal into an application-data space, not a repository of custom software that a user must manage. An application is a means by which a user performs a task, not software written to exploit a device’s capabilities. And a computing environment is an information-enhanced physical space, not a virtual environment that exists to store and run software” (Saha and Mukherjee, 2003).
  • Physical Computing: “Physical computing, in the broadest sense, means building interactive physical systems by the use of software and hardware that can sense and respond to the analog world” (Wikipedia, 2013a).
  • Ambient Intelligence (AmI): “Ambient Intelligence (AmI) is about sensitive, adaptive electronic environments that respond to the actions of persons and objects and cater for their needs. This approach includes the entire environment – including each single physical object – and associates it with human interaction,” (Aarts and Wichert, 2009) or from a more philosophical point of view: “Ambient Intelligence is the way for us to re-immerse ourselves in life, and not in technology” (Epstein, 1998).
  • Everyware: “In everywhere, all information we now look to our phones or Web browsers to provide becomes accessible from just about anywhere, at any time and this is delivered in a manner appropriate to our location and context” (Greenfield, 2006).
  • Internet of things (IoT): “The basic idea of this concept is the pervasive presence around us of a variety of things or objects – such as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) tags, sensors, actuators, mobile phones, etc. – which, through unique addressing schemes, are able to interact with each other and cooperate with their neighbours to reach common goals” (Atzori et al., 2010).

Among these research fields UBICOMP is the oldest and perhaps the most influential one. It started considering the environment in HCI and predicted a future where computing devices disappear in the background and users interact with them through the physical environment. The shift from past-HCI to future-UBICOMP-HCI is illustrated in the figure below.

HCI Triangle - Past and Future

Illustration of HCI’s past (a single user explicitly interacts with a single computer; left) and HCI’s future as envisioned by UBICOMP (many seemingly invisible computing devices available to users, right).

 

Posted in HCI

The SUS-SI questionnaire

Another article by the members of our community has been published: “A Slovene Translation of the System Usability Scale: The SUS-SI” in the International Journal f Human-Computer Interaction journal.

Abstract: The System Usability Scale (SUS) is a widely adopted and studied questionnaire for usability evaluation. It is technology independent and has been used to evaluate the perceived usability of a broad range of products, including hardware, software, and websites. In this paper we present a Slovene translation of the SUS (the SUS-SI) along with the procedure used in its translation and psychometric evaluation. The results indicated that the SUS-SI has properties similar to the English version. Slovene usability practitioners should be able to use the SUS-SI with confidence when conducting user research.

50 free e-prints available here.

SUS (original questionnaire):

  1. I think that I would like to use this system frequently.
  2. I found the system unnecessarily complex.
  3. I thought the system was easy to use.
  4. I think that I would need the support of a technical person to be able to use this system.
  5. I found the various functions in this system were well integrated.
  6. I thought there was too much inconsistency in this system.
  7. I would imagine that most people would learn to use this system very quickly.
  8. I found the system very cumbersome/awkward to use.
  9. I felt very confident using the system.
  10. I needed to learn a lot of things before I could get going with this system.

The anchors: strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 strongly disagree

SUS-SI (Slovene translation):

  1. Menim, da bi ta sistem rad pogosto uporabljal.
  2. Sistem se mi je zdel po nepotrebnem zapleten.
  3. Sistem se mi je zdel enostaven za uporabo.
  4. Menim, da bi za uporabo tega sistema potreboval pomoč tehnika.
  5. Različne funkcije tega sistema so se mi zdele dobro povezane v smiselno celoto.
  6. Sistem se mi je zdel preveč nekonsistenten.
  7. Menim, da bi se večina uporabnikov zelo hitro naučila uporabljati ta sistem.
  8. Sistem se mi je zdel neroden za uporabo.
  9. Pri uporabi sistema sem bil zelo suveren.
  10. Preden sem osvojil uporabo tega sistema, sem se moral naučiti veliko stvari.

The anchors: sploh se ne strinjam 1 2 3 4 5 se povsem strinjam

Pre-filled Google forms (SUS and SUS-SI):
In a survey published not long ago, we found out that usability testing is not so widespread as it should be given its importance. So to jump start your usability evaluations, we’ve prepared Google forms with the questionnaires, both English (SUS) and Slovene (SUS-SI). Feel free to use them, just make sure to make your personal copy before (to keep this links clean).

Acknowledgements:
We’d like to thank all who contributed to the translation and validation of the questionnaire with comments and/or filling out the survey. Special thanks goes to James R. Lewis, author of Quantifying the user experience and many influential papers in the areas of usability testing and measurement. He ‘warmly replied to a cold email’ and helped a great deal with the psychometric validation of the translation and co-authored the paper. A truly beautiful academic experience.

Reference:
Blažica, Bojan, and James R. Lewis. “A Slovene Translation of the System Usability Scale: The SUS-SI.” International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction Vol. 31, Iss. 2, 2015.

 

Multi-Touch surface based on RGBD camera

Klemen Istenič, Luka Čehovin, Daniel Skočaj

Abstract

The popularity of interactive surfaces is increasing because of their natural and intuitive usage. Adding 3D multi-point interaction capabilities to an arbitrary surface creates numerous additional possibilities in fields ranging from marketing to medicine. Interactive tables are nowadays present in numerous museums, schools and companies. With the advent of low-cost RGBD cameras, thee-dimensional surfaces are slowly emerging as well, attracting even more attention. This paper presents an affordable system for 3D human-computer interaction using a RGBD camera that is capable of detecting and tracking user’s fingertips in 3D space. The system is evaluated in terms of accuracy, response time, CPU usage, and user experience. The results of the evaluation show that such low-cost systems are already a viable alternative to other multi-touch technologies and also present interesting new ways of interaction with a surface-based interfaces.

[Paper] [Presentation]

HCI-IS 2014

Today we have successfully completed the HCI-IS 2014 conference. This was the 3rd event organised by the HCI.si community, an international conference on Human Computer Interaction in Information Society. The conference was organised in scope of Information Society Conference organised by Jožef Stefan Institute.

ijsair

(Foto: www.ijs.si)

There were seven contributions accepted to the conference and a keynote talk.

  • UX – From theory to practical application – Keynote
    (Jože Guna, Emilia Stojmenova, Matevž Pogačnik)
  • Multi-Touch surface based on RGBD camera
    (Klemen Istenič, Luka Čehovin, Daniel Skočaj)
  • Using Kinect for touchless interaction with existing applications
    (Andrej Černivec, Ciril Bohak)
  • An improved visualization of LiDAR data using level of details and weighted color mapping
    (Sašo Pečnik, Danijel Žlaus, Domen Mongus, Borut Žalik)
  • Student’ acceptance of animated interactive presentation of sorting algorithms
    (Mario Konecki, Vladimir Mrkela)
  • Use of UX and HCI tools among start-ups
    (Bojan Blažica)
  • Decision support in emergency call service
    (Miha Ristič, Franc Novak)
  • Mobile and responsive web applications
    (Mario Konecki)

Luka Čehovin presenting @ HCI-IS 2014

Context-awareness: one of 2013′s top trends

In a recent UX magazine article context-awareness was listed as one of the top UX trends in 2013. Yes, the same context-awareness known from HCI literature since the early 90s (the term was first used by Schilit et al. in 1994 to be precise). So it took nearly 20 years for context-awareness to find its way from labs to real life – another confirmation of what Bill Buxton calls the long nose of innovation. Other examples are the mouse and multitouch displays, which took approximately 30 and 20 years to reach mainstream respectively.

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