Friday, 11 March 2011

Project plan (1): Aims and objectives

  • To develop a prototype Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that allows 'new students' to Staffordshire University to view our mainly passive information led web content. It will allow new students to understand what exists on campus beyond their immediate faculty. It allows them to familiarise themselves with both campuses not just the one they will be studying at. It will allow them to see where, for example the Accommodation Office and Finance Office are, where buildings are located, where faculties are, what other facilities the campus has - (cash machines, Student Union, cinema, cafes, library, chaplaincy) in a fun, interactive and stimulating way.
  • Make our website more customer focused and interactive by re-designing URIs to bridge to the the Alternative Reality Game (ARG) and to make our CMS system allow for systematic content/data management. The key developments include: website structure in hierarchical data model, user journey in mind map, URI syntax, HTML + RDFa pages and ARG .
  • Produce (via photography and mapping technology) a 3D image of our campuses.
  • Use mind mapping for information and journeys via distinctive sub sets of students, e.g. local/international. This information will be derived from an understanding of the FAQs students ask. These can then be mapped within our ARG.


  • To produce the project on time and on budget
  • To be relevant to the audience
  • To keep key stakeholders informed on progress as it develops
  • To provide relevant, well thought through mind map information to our creative partner to make sure the ARG is stimulating, relevant, rewarding and sticky to our audience.
  • To allow for future creative and technical developments to be added at a later date - such as improvements to the Avatars and internal imagery.
  • To, via JISC roll this prototype out to other HE/FE's
  • To improve the users experience on-line
  • To maximise the effectiveness of our content management system, (CMS).
  • To programme our URLs and URIs in such a way that they can be pulled out at the right moment within the game by the player
  • To re-organise our URIs according to a specially designed URI syntax


To provide a University Alternate Reality Game (ARG) that can be re-badged and used as a basis for other institutions to make their web copy more customer focused and relevant.

It is a proven fact that we retain more information when we are obliged to interact with it and seek it out, as opposed to be presented with static and passive content. Our game will allow students to navigate around the virtual University world, digesting information in a visual way, absorbing the key messages and clicking on highlights to find out more.

Staffordshire University would like to provide JISC with an open approach to ensure both the details of the project and the results are shared among other institutions. It is hoped the model and methodology will be easy to understand, integrate and tailor.

To provide Staffordshire University with a bespoke product that will maximise CMS and could, if successful be rolled out to other areas of the website.



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