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Games for Assessment

IMTC worked with ACT to build games for assessment that are scientifically valid and engaging for the test takers.


Traditional learning is changing. With the popularity of online education and the desire to change careers or acquire additional education, people want to be empowered in shaping their learning experiences and career growth. That’s why in 2013, ACT approached Georgia Tech’s Interactive Media Technology Center (IMTC) to gain assistance in understanding how to build games for assessment – games that are scientifically valid and compelling for the user. The resulting work has included gaming experiences that access factors such as knowledge, personality, career readiness, cognitive ability, and that even provide guidance and retraining for users.

The advantage of these games is their potential to be more accurate and to measure different competencies than those that might normally be tracked with traditional testing. Because games are perceived to be a fun, non-stress experience, the IMTC/ACT partnership has the potential to create innovative assessment experiences that people are more excited about, that are more relevant, and that are better linked with individual aspirations and goals.

ACT is benefiting from IMTC’s strengths that include research collaborations, such as the one with Mark Riedl in Interactive Computing, and the knowledge assembled in its transdisciplinary team. These full-time researchers can create professional level games – something you might not expect a university group to do – and combine the talents of an engineer, a psychologist, and an artist to leverage game design expertise, AI, AR, and engineering psychology with testing mechanics.

The IMTC/ACT Collaboration showcases the benefits of taking a rigorous scientific approach to validating games. The result is a heightened understanding of game design techniques and analytics that others can use to create games and measure the positive and negative effects games have on the assessment experience.