ARIS introduction: wandering Waterman

The University of Vermont's undergraduate edugaming class used a mobile, open-source location-based game system to find an education professor, vending machine snacks and the all-important computer lab "selfie". And all first thing in the morning before coffee.


  1. We wanted to introduce the class of pre-service teachers to this versatile and promising augmented reality platform. So we had them play a game then talk about how they could see using it in their future classrooms.
  2. ARIS, the augmented-reality interactive storytelling platform, allows users to create their own location-based games where they interact with real-world objects via QR codes, GPS locations, interactive characters and video. Hey, pre-service teachers, does this sound like a great tool for the classroom? 
  3. Our ARIS game, "Waterman Wander" took place on two floors of the Waterman Building on the UVM campus. First stop: Education professor Penny Bishop's office. It went a little something like this:
  4. Quest 1: Find Professor Bishop
  5. After that, the game directed players to the vending machines, where they scanned a QR code in order to choose their favorite snack:
  6. ...which is where we ran into problems. One QR code + 20 players? 
  7. But everyone was a really good sport about it regardless.
  8. Last quest: to the computer lab! Where players were told to look for a sign:
  9. type their answer to a simple question about the hours of the lab into the Decoder, and take a selfie in the lab. 
  10. For which players earned badges and a (virtual) shower of confetti. But what does this mean for learning?