Design, Development & Evaluation of a Serious Game for Advanced Graduate Courses in Immunology: Including use of Evolutionary Algorithms, Artificial Neural Networks and Fitness-assisted Interactive Evolutionary Computation

Per Thiim Thim

Student thesis: Master thesis


Using the Design-Based Research methodology and theories of Serious Games, the problems, needs and potential of certain very specialized High Complexity Life-Science Master Classes (HCLSM-classes) were analyzed in this research project. It concludes that the problems of these classes are immense; including much higher percentages of students failing, skipping exams, and much lower average grades. Reviewing former research validated Serious Games as valuable and proven learning tools, but also revealed a substantial gap in research of using these tools in teaching at graduate level life-science. The literature shows that all attempts to successfully overcome the challenges of demands of diverse expertise and highly cross-disciplinary insights and collaboration needed to build a useful tool, resulted in failures. This report describes a pilot project, designing an artifact with the potential to solve these problems and needs, and evaluates if it is indeed a possible solution. A complementary artifact tests the usage of fitness-assisted interactive evolutionary computation (FAIEC) to accurately simulate real life immunology, genetics, cell biology and evolution. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) are combined with user-interaction in the game to ensure both a correct simulation of evolution of virus, the use of B-cells and to teach the user. This artifact was built to support an Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Larger artifact (LA), to facilitate individualized and directed learning. The report indicates that Serious Games could well be the solution, to tap into the potentials, solve the problems mentioned, and match the needs expressed of the students. Several outcomes have been surprising, and the need and importance to expand this project in future research to get more conclusive data is clear.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and E-business, (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMSc in Business Administration and Bioentrepreneurship, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages118
SupervisorsRavi Vatrapu