Bookmark is an educational game designed to encourage critical reading in middle and high school level students. While completing their assigned reading, each team of students creates a deck of cards, where each card is either an argument about the text or a literary element found within the text to help support an argument. Then, in class, teams move around a game board and compete with one another, using their decks to create chains of reasoning in support of certain arguments.

Technologies Used

Front End: JavaScript, Bootstrap

Back End: Java, MySql, Apache Tomcat

Development Context

I proposed Bookmark's original concept to the Game Design Research Group at the University of Virginia towards the end of the Spring of 2015, with the intent of using the game as my undergraduate capstone project. Design began immediately, reaching out to teachers and organizing mock-up play-tests to experiment with the game's structure, and development began in earnest during the Fall of 2015 and continued through the Spring of 2016.

My Role

Bookmark was developed by myself and two other students under the guidance of our project adviser, Professor Mark Floryan. I served as the project lead, guiding the game's design and taking on much of the programming work. I participated in development throughout the entire stack, with a slight leaning towards the back-end. Throughout development, I reached out to teachers within the university and in nearby high schools to refine the game's concept and ensure compatibility with a classroom environment. I helped organize a play-testing session early in the game's development using physical cards to validate the concept, and later to examine the usability of the virtual interfaces and analyze the game's continued effectiveness.

Related Works

Bookmark served as my undergraduate capstone project. The technical report can be found here.