Research & Development

Aalto Drawing is the result of the Gamifying Learning in Visual Communication-research project. It is a collaboration between the Department of Art (Aalto Arts) and the Department of Computer Science (Aalto SCI), set in motion by professors Perttu Hämäläinen and Martti Raevaara, with the goal of creating a gamified, fully online course in drawing and visual communication with automatic assessment. Aalto Drawing is funded by Aalto Online Learning. The project officially started in September 2017.

Development process

To create Aalto Drawing, we started by developing the technology behind it and the automatic assessment and evaluation (links in Publications). In these early stages we collected a base of 1300 drawings that were used to create a "human-like" scoring. At this stage we also did a lot of testing to get the UI right, and developed different types of exercises. We also created a survey, and some interviews, of student and staff needs to inform the syllabus, so that the course would cater to all Aalto student needs. Thank you to everyone who participated!

The main part of the content creation was carried out in the summer and autumn of 2018. We are still adding some of the finishing touches to the content during the pilot and working out some final bugs. 

So, is Aalto Drawing a game?

We call Aalto Drawing a gameful platform in the definition of Deterding et al.(2011). What we mean by that is that it was created with strategies of game design, allowing for game-like and playful interactions, but not forcing users to "play" Aalto Drawing - it can be used purely as a study tool. It is also a very apparent use of gamification, in that it has a well-defined non-game goal (eg. you will receive a study credit for completing it). 

Now, definitions are a bit fuzzy in this area, so we don't mind it if you call Aalto Drawing a game.

Pedagogy of Aalto Drawing

Students of the Art Education Major have had a strong presence in the project. We have developed Aalto Drawing with our pedagogic knowledge in mind, to make sure it is first and foremost a good learning experience in addition to it being a gaming experience.   


Publications and presentations

Aalto Drawing has been presented and demoed at CHI Play 2018, SyysGraph 2018, Otaniemi Night of the Arts 2018 and Media Lab XMas Demo Day 2018. 

CHI Play Student Game Competition Finalist 2018
You can find our CHI Play student competition paper on the technology we settled on here Fair and Encouraging - Developing an Automatic Assessment System in Aalto Drawing

Thesis works
Daniel Forsberg also worked on developing the evaluation technology through deep neural networks and machine learning. You can find his thesis here: Automatic Assessment of Drawing Skill with Deep Neural Networks by Daniel Forsberg

Last modified: Friday, 7 December 2018, 4:17 PM