While the NMSU Learning Games Lab was originally designed to give developers access to testers for formative evaluation, it has evolved into a powerful experience for learners. Our work with youth lab consultants is a synergistic endeavor – youth serve as game players, provide feedback on character design and art styles, provide user testing of media materials, and at the same time are exposed to new technologies and receive instruction and support in creating media products themselves.
Lab Research staff and faculty conduct several sessions or “Learning Games Lab Think Tanks” throughout the year, in which youth, or their official title “Game Lab Consultants” engage in a variety of learning activities as well as test and provide feedback on learning modules and games in development. Consultants” come in for 1- or 2-week summer sessions (and day or half-day sessions during the school year) to evaluate games, navigate new media formats, and do multimedia development of their own. Consultants have significant opportunities to increase their technological and media literacy, improve their written and verbal communication skills, participate in design and collaborative activities with other youth and developers, and explore technology and media-related careers.
Different groups learned about different strands of technologies. Please check out our vast array of resources for ideas and to view examples of past consultant's work.