Evaluating the Usability and Ease of Use of a Mobile Game to Enrich Understanding of Hawaiian History and Culture for 4th Grade Students [4/20/2017] by Kim Mah (Featured LTEC Master Student)

Written by Mae Dorado (TCC 2017 guest blogger, online LTEC Masters Student)

Lucky we live in Hawaii! LTEC student, Kim Mah captivated the audience with her usability study and power point presentation featuring beautiful landscapes, lush scenery and a place she frequents because of her passion for her work.
As the session began, Kim started with an engaging activity featuring three beautiful scenic pictures, she asked the audience to identify which picture represented the Kawai Nui Marsh. Unknowingly, many in the audience did not realize that all three pictures displayed were all representative of the Kawai Nui Marsh, the largest wetland in Hawaii.
As a social studies teacher in Kailua, Windward Oahu, Kim aligned her project to the implementation of social studies performance standards to teach her 4th grade students about the culture and history of Hawaii, understand change, continuity and causality. A truly engaging experience, Kim’s mobile gaming project is called, “Kualii’s Journey: A Search for Hauwahine”.
Through the use of a virtual reality web-based game, Kim uses Aris (an open source tool for creating mobile learning games) to capture the story of a young chief named Kualii who sees the future and his search for a guardian goddess, Hauwahine.
In Kim’s Journey…She sought to implement an enriching and culturally sensitive experience for students to understand and appreciate Hawaii’s history through the beautiful scenic areas of Na Pohaku O Hauwahine, Ulupo Heiau, and Kawai Nui Marsh found right in their backyard.
Kim continued to engage the audience with polls about their personal experiences in Social Studies and explained about her personal motivation to sharing the culture of Hawaii’s history with her students.
What she wanted the students to get out of their experience?

  • Na Pohaku O Hauwahine; unique geology and culture where native plants of the Hawaiian Islands flourish,
  • Ulupo Heiau; ancient and historic site with beautiful landscape and plush greenery, and
  • Kawai Nui Marsh; also known as, ‘The big water’ with a rich habitat of plants and animals is very significant to the history of earlier chief, kings and wars.


Primarily providing a means for her students to capture and record their experience, have hands-on learning, find a connection to their beautiful community in Kailua, would help to make the experience meaningful, by gaining knowledge to develop confidence in their lives. Lucky we live in Hawaii! To learn and admire this beautiful scenery in a game is amazing…and seeing this makes one appreciate the beauty that is Hawaii.
Kim Mah can be reached at kimmah@hawaii.edu.

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