IPAR (Imaging, Preserving, analyzing and reporting) is a narrative-based detective-themed adventure game. In the game, the player assumes the role of an investigator: collecting evidence, answering questions, and drawing conclusions as part of a simulated investigation. Players are guided through a series of scripted steps, allowing them to gain practical experience and draw their own conclusions by answering subject related questions.
Developed alongside the game is an editor that can be used to generate new cases. Everything from subject matter to graphical elements to story can be set by the user to create an entertaining educational experience, and an reader that allows instructors to view the reports submitted by students for grading.
Develop a sequence of fun, entertaining, yet educational game-based digital forensics modules to enhance digital forensics curricula and help create a pathway for students in forensics programs from two-year colleges to four-year institutes (Curricular Goal). These innovative modules will be built into games in a real computing environment that has direct access to latest forensics software. In addition, the games’ integrated graphical visualizations will help entry-level students understand intangible and inaccessible abstract concepts, such as deleted/hidden/encrypted/over-written digital evidence.
Develop faculty expertise, targeting two-year college faculty, in digital forensics and security field through collaborations within and between partnering institutions (Faculty Goal).
Disseminate the game-based forensics course modules to community colleges and universities through workshops, tutorials/panels, websites such as the ATE Centers, published papers and conference presentations (Dissemination Goal).
Assess the effectiveness of the games-based course modules via a comprehensive evaluation plan utilizing an external evaluator and a variety of data sources (Assessment Goal). The Assessment and Evaluation (A&E) plan covers the effectiveness of each module in achieving its outcomes for students and faculty using a pre-post test comparison. The four major project goals listed above will be assessed through a well-crafted A&E plan.
Funded in part by the National Science Foundation under Award DUE-1400567, RIT faculty have been working with Onondaga Community College and Corning Community College to develop a sequence of entertaining, engaging, and educational forensic games, suitable for first year students in college. Following narrative and/or storylines of the game via interactive dialogs and visualized abstract concepts, students are motivated and engaged to obtain the necessary knowledge.
The forensic game framework is modular and flexible and can easily be applied to other areas of STEM programs. A GUI-based game creator is developed to assist easy creation of new games for different domains.