Adzz

Behaviour Composer

Friday, 22 October 2010
Adam Hopes

(http://modelling4all.nsms.ox.ac.uk/index.html) is explained very well, as it is straight to the point and understandable.

The video available on the homepage is very educational, and teaches new comers with less I.T experience very well, however it is quite complicated and there could be more information on what every feature on ‘BehaviourComposer’ so in more depth people can fully grasp the software and receive the max potential from it.

“You can also contact the project team directly by sending an email to gro.lla4gnilledom|ofni#gro.lla4gnilledom|ofni” There is a big, clear button, which stands out well to the other colours on the page saying “Contact” this is very helpful, because if anyone is having problems with the software, they know exactly where to go, easily.

The software is easy to use and interesting; it could be made a lot better if the movement by the prototypes were smoother. There is a way to make movement smooth, however it should be more obvious.

There is a wide variety of prototypes which is good, what would be good if development on the project went further would be to have different designs for the prototypes, For example the ‘squirrel’ could have a cartoon version, a close to real life version, a clip art version etc.

The project is a good idea itself and in my opinion, could really take off in primary schools and secondary school to develop I.T intelligence. It is also fun to play around with, and see what prototype you can create, it would be very good if you could save them to ‘My Documents’ and perhaps eventually be able to have a moving wallpaper.

http://modelling4all.nsms.ox.ac.uk/Model/?frozen=KnFJ204TxwU3I-jW78ts7f&MforAllModel=1’ prototype created

Epidemic The Game

I found the game quite confusing, however eventually I was able to grasp it. I think this would be better for a higher level of education, if not simplified.

It is a very good idea, and could ultimately boost I.T education, however it would be much better, and fun to do, if the little prototypes looked a bit more realistic such as clip art etc.

Another way to make it better would be to add more prototypes such as ‘fish’ as seen in the tutorial video for the behavior composer.

It could be very good for scientific education; a way to improve would be, to be able to purchase more scientific things such as vaccines, and antibiotics, but in the normal section not just advanced. If this was available I think more schools would see it as appropriate and use it. In my opinion another way to improve the game would be, to be able to choose what virus, infection or disease you want. For example ‘Swine Flu’ as most people can relate to it, and change the behavior of the virus to match the behavior of the virus in real life, For instance if it spreads slow in real life, it spreads slow on the game, also if it take long to cure it’s the same on the game etc.

I think the graphs are a good feature as they look very professional, and shows you another method of calculating who has the virus, who doesn’t etc.

I created one with lots of different features. The serial number is ‘1460’.

Could not play as a note said, after the fist few goes ‘Procedures: ADD-COPIES expected 2 inputs’.

Building Sugarscape

The actual Sugarscape model is quite hard to find, but if you read the help guide carefully, it becomes easy, This could be improved by perhaps adding a button or link to the homepage, like the ones for ‘Behaviour Composer’ and ‘Epidemic – The Game’ this would help the software a lot better, it would also stand out and be more noticeable.

I found this one a lot more complicated and difficult, and didn’t fully understand the program, It could be improved by essentially instead of having all of the micro-features there just do it category by category, for example you do movement first whilst all the rest are hidden, then once completed the next one shows. This would be a lot simpler for people to understand, and grasp also before you run the software if you have missed something out, there should be a notice saying for instance ‘the size must be determined’ etc. so it is virtually impossible to mess up.

Once I added all of the settings, I only got a black screen, with a small red arrow, so I couldn’t grasp this one.

A way for people to understand more would be, create a tutorial video, just like the ‘Behaviour Composer’ this would educate people well on how to use the software.

I think a great route to take would be to sign up to facebook, then add the individual games onto there so people become aware of them, then expand from their and show it to universities, schools etc.

You could put this onto the Oxford University webpage, and ask schools to show it on theirs too. Then the project will spread wider and expand.

Overall

The overall website is very good, the games are helpful, and could educate people on I.T and Science. Which is very good, the software is held with good structure and is easily accessible by anyone. Overall the project is doing extremely well, and a few adjustments could lead to a big future potential.

I think it’s very good to have on a website, a place where the reader/audience has a place to leave their own opinion on things and software. This is clearly accessible by the ‘Bugs & Suggestions’ and ‘Discussion Group’ areas in the community section, also facebook and twitter is a great way to attract people from all age groups.

Another great part of the site is the ‘Video Tutorials’ as if someone has a problem, they are able to watch it and get guidance.

(http://modelling4all.nsms.ox.ac.uk/about/index.html) is a great page, if people don’t understand the purpose of the project and don’t fully understand the software.

Having quotes on the homepage is really good as it drags the audience in, and gets them attracted to the project. For example ‘

Modelling4All, combined with the support of Ken and Howard, enabled me to produce easily and quickly an absorbing and stimulating computer practical for my undergraduate students

.’

Finally the site isn’t overcrowded which is good, because certain prospects stand out, as there is less to focus on.

If people don’t view the video on the homepage, then it is quite hard to locate on ‘YouTube’ however the video is very good, as its in depth, step by step on how to use the software, which is incredibly helpful.

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