Educational game shortlisted for global award

November 17, 2021
A new educational mobile game by Northwestern Qatar Professors Spencer Striker and Anto Mohsin has been shortlisted for the Best Educational App by the 2021 Reimagine Education Awards.
The game, Dr. Sara: Disease Detective, was developed through a grant from the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Innovation Center. It engages users in a character-driven simulation of the work of an epidemiologist, Dr. Sara, who goes on a mission to investigate and solve infectious disease outbreaks in hotspots around the world.
Users playing the game take part in a series of interactive visual novel-style dialogues to connect seemingly unrelated discoveries on the nature of the outbreak and race against time to search for the index case. While searching for clues and a cure for the disease, users learn about how infectious diseases spread and the process of contact tracing and social distancing.
Mohsin, who teaches science and technology studies courses at Northwestern Qatar, says the mobile game will help make societies better informed about scientific information and discovery processes. “I hope the game will inspire students to develop an interest in science, medicine, technology, and public health,” said Mohsin.
“I hope the game will inspire students to develop an interest in science, medicine, technology, and public health”
- Anto Mohsin, assistant professor in residence
In designing and developing the game, Striker worked with students to incorporate game-based learning techniques to ensure that users engage in fun and immersive gameplay, while also actively learning about the subject. “Students and users playing Dr. Sara: Disease Detective work toward a goal, choose actions, and experience the consequences of those actions; they actively learn and practice the right way to do things and  the result is active learning instead of passive learning.”
This year’s Reimagine Education Awards included more than a thousand entries from around the world, with eight shortlisted to compete for the award. Shortlisted apps in the final stage will be judged on their usefulness, overall quality, uniqueness in the market, user interface, and design.
The awards will be announced on December 10, 2021.