Description:
 
Background
StudyCrafter has been developed in response to several challenges that the social and behavioral science face and the opportunities that game design and crowdsourcing technologies and techniques provide, namely: 
- engaging participants; 
- broadening participation: through the appeal of games; 
- context: context of tasks matter. Games immerse participants in situations believably; 
- encouraging replication: with Studycrafter studies can be replicated with a few button clicks; 
- increasing complexity: with crowdsourcing, it becomes possible to consider more complex research designs. 
However, while game design and crowdsourcing technologies are promising, the core problem is that the average person is not able to apply them. StudyCrafter aims to change this. Anyone should be able to make a gamified research project - be it a survey or an experiment. 
 
Technology Overview
The platform’s technology is most closely associated technically with MIT’s Scratch: similar to Scratch, the platform has an editor with which users can create content and a website where a community of users is built by allowing users to copy their work, comment on each other’s work, and discuss what they are working on. 
The current website is built with Wordpress and has various well-known aspects: a discussion forum, a FAQ, credits. It also makes use of the Buddypress system, a Wordpress plugin that enables a Facebook-like system where users can have a profile and connect with other users. What is different is that the site has a so-called custom post type called “projects.” Each project post is associated with a StudyCrafter project that someone has created. Users directly edit these posts on their own. Additionally, they can add another custom posts associated with each project. 
Powering the whole platform and connecting the editor with the website is a MySQL database. All projects and data from playing projects are stored there. Users automatically retrieve a CSV with results from their projects and on the project posts, statistics are also automatically produced. 
 
Benefits
- The ability to conduct gamified research 
- Empowering everyone to easily conduct gamified research with a user-friendly editor 
- Making it easier to recruit participants - ones that can be all over the world 
- Easily and automatic collection for analysis of data from gamified research projects 
- Empowering comparison of projects to provide recommendations and perform meta-analyses
 
Applications
- In courses to teach research methods (or game design) 
- Used by professional researchers (broadly defined) to conduct research 
- Used by hobbyists (or citizen scientists) to contribute to research 
- Used by companies to develop training assessment programs 
- Used by educators to develop online educational assessment programs
 
Opportunity
- License
- Partnering
- Research collaboration
Patent Information:
Category(s):
-Communications
Software
For Information, Contact:
Colin Sullivan
Commercialization Consultant
Northeastern University
col.sullivan@northeastern.edu
Inventors:
Casper Harteveld
Keywords:
Crowdsourcing
Data Mining
Game Technology
Internet
Multimedia
Research Tool
Science/Research
Software