Plenary Lecture

Towards an Automatized Construction of Personalizable Video Games for Education

Professor Boyan Bontchev
Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics
Sofia University

Abstract: Serious games can be effectively applied for learning purposes aiming at facilitating technology-enhanced education. In order to apply game-based learning for various curriculums in an easy and straightforward way, educators and pedagogues need software platforms for automatized construction and flexible personalization of such games. This speech presents an open software solution being under construction at the Sofia University in the scope of the APOGEE research project. The solution is built on the Unity 3D platform and is specially designed for specification, automatic generation and easy personalization of educational video games based on mazes. Thanks to the personalization of didactic content and to the various mini-games being able to be embedded into any maze room, the educators and other non-ICT practitioners can easily intend to apply different learning scenarios using the generated maze game tailored to the age, gender, learning style, and outcomes of the individual student. There will be presented the process of construction of smart and personalizable 3D video maze games with intelligent virtual players, together with the components of the APOGEE software platform. The talk is going to include demonstrations of two experimental video maze games generated by the first prototype of the platform and used for its validation - one about the development of the carpet handicraft in Bulgaria, and the other about the Bulgarian medieval history. The initial results acquired from these experiments are very positive and encouraging with regard to the usability of the APOGEE platform by domain specialists who are not IT professionals.

Brief Biography of the Speaker: Boyan Bontchev has obtained a PhD degree in Parallel Processing at Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) in 1993. He specialized at RWTH-Aachen (Germany) and University of Vienna (Austria) and, next, followed a career of software engineer and project manager at many private entities in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Bulgaria. Since 2012 he is Full Professor at the Department of Software Engineering at Sofia University, Bulgaria. He has participated in many research and industrial projects, both national and in the scope of EC FP5/6/7 and H2020, in the field of adaptive e-learning platforms, serious games, and semantic Web. Prof. Bontchev has been an invited speaker at many European conferences and is an author of more than 120 scientific publications.

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