Executive Summary

Note:  Kay McLennan's Data Detectives Game was a finalist
(3rd place) in the U. S. Army's 2013 Federal Virtual Challenge 
(formerly the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge) 
in the"Critical Thinking/Adaptability" category
(see http://fvwc.army.mil)

The Data Detectives Game entry is focused on the critical thinking skills needed to reason about the world and/or a particular environment. Using a museum-like movement path floor plan in a virtual world, students first encounter an ice breaker reception area, a critical thinking skills benchmarking station, and different interactive tutorial stations. The skills taught in the tutorial stations include how to evaluate data, graphs, comparisons, generalizations, and cause and effect. Next, students/players apply the critical thinking skills gleaned to a case study game set in a fictional city (New London). The object of the case study is to evaluate whether the fictional New London would make a good city to launch a new product. Players are given what is known about the demographics and doing business in New London and are charged with verifying the accuracy of the information and evaluating what is discovered against a set of optimal parameters. The use of a multi-player “Clue Analysis Center” provides a means for “mapping” the clues found, with the additional features of a shared whiteboard, calculator, and findings scoreboard. As each clue is found, the relevant clue information block is rezzed in the player's clue analysis cubicle. Also, the instructor station enables the rezzing of all of the clues (to augment the play of individuals/teams) and other monitoring. Finally, after the game is complete, players exit the game space into a hall that includes a wrap-up discussion area, a post-game critical thinking skills assessment center, and extra student enrichment materials.

Clue Analysis Center Station - A Key to Teaching Critical Thinking Skills*

*Where Willingham (2007) suggests since "[c]ritical thinking strategies are abstractions..." then "[a] plausible approach to teaching them is to make them explicit...," the Data Detectives Game utilizes a Clue Analysis Center (with four different stations) to help student-players keep track of each clue found as well as to help student-players analyze the clues. 

Instructor Manual & Student Handbook

View (and/or download):

(click on the underlined link above to read/download)

Measuring Critical Thinking Rubric (for the Data Detectives Game)
(click on the underlined link above to read/download)

(click on the underlined link above to read/download)


The Data Detectives School submission is located on the tulaneSCS_02 island in MOSES (Military Open Simulator Enterprise Solution).   Also, the "media on a prim" (MOAP) and mesh models used in the simulation necessitate the use of the MOSES 3 client viewer (see a picture of the MOSES 3 client viewer below). 

  • To obtain a copy of the MOSES 3 client viewer (and if needed, a MOSES avatar), go to the MOSES site at:  http://brokentablet.arl.army.mil/.                        
  • Next, click on "Enter" and click on "Download" and "Download MOSES 3 client here" to obtain the MOSES 3 client viewer. 
  • In addition, if needed, click on "Account Management" (and "External Account Management Site") to create an avatar.  Note:  If you have any questions/difficulties related to creating a MOSES avatar, send an e-mail to arl.sttc.open.simulator@us.army.mil.
  • After you login to MOSES, open the map and search for "tulaneSCS_02" and teleport to the following coordinates = 108, 210, 24 (so your avatar will be at the entrance to the simulation).

Note:  Your start location in MOSES will be on one of the orientation islands.  In turn, open your viewer map by clicking on the map icon in the lower band of your viewer (see the red circle #1 below).  Next, enter tulane_02 in the "Find" text box (see the red circle #2 below) and enter 108 + 210 + 24 in the three text boxes, moving from left to right (see the red circle #3 below).  Finally, click on the "Teleport" button (see the red circle #4 below) and you will be transported to the Data Detectives simulation.

Next, see the Data Detectives Instructor Manual (plus the Data Detectives Student Handbook) and the machinima video clips below -- for more information and how to use the Data Detectives tutorial centers and Data Detectives [application] game.

Software & Hardware

The hardware needed to access the Data Detectives simulation in MOSES includes a computer with a fairly advanced graphics card, the MOSES 3 client viewer (discussed above), and a DSL or faster Internet connection.

Machinima Video Clip & Slide Show Overview of Submission

Data Detectives School.mp4

More Details

The highlights of the Data Detectives School (tutorials and game) simulation include:
  • Integrated new user tutorials;
  • A museum-inspired guided path through the critical thinking skills tutorials;
  • An instructor and student view of each component;
  • More realistic mesh non player characters (also known as NPCs);
  • Extensive use of media-on-a-prim capabilities to create in-world tools;
  • Individual clue analysis boards to focus students'/players' attention on the different clues and how the clues are interrelated;
  • Dual instructor clue analysis center controls to speed up or equalize game play; and
  • An instructor manual plus a student handbook.