Anbar knew an online science lab with a video game appeal would be a breakthrough for student learning. The easiest part? Getting the most innovative school in the nation on board. ASU Online gave professor Anbar the green light to explore this area of interactive education.
He worked together with Lev Horodyskyj, an instructional designer with a gaming background, and Smart Sparrow, a technology company, to create ‘HabWorlds’. HabWorlds, which stands for Habitable Worlds, introduces science to nonscience majors by exploring the possibility of life beyond Earth.
HabWorlds was professor Anbar’s solution to getting his students to engage with science on a problem-solving level, using logic and reason. Students must look for hypothetical habitable planets, and test their ideas through a simulator.
In one example, students are told about the different types of stars, and then are asked to hypothesize which one lives the longest. Being able to Hypothesize a possible answer is key to students gaining critical problem-solving skills, which is the point of the science lab. Lastly, students run a test on their hypothesis and are told if they are correct or not.