Welcome to Mooving Cows (TM), a digital serious game where players practice appropriate cow-handling skills in routine milking parlor and freestall pen environments.
Why a video game?
- “Serious games” have produced positive learning outcomes in contexts such as professional and military training, educational classrooms, and in health-behavior education.
- Serious games result in better learning and retention compared to conventional instructional approaches.
- Games allow players to experience situations that would be challenging to create otherwise, due to barriers such as cost, time, or safety.
- The setting will be safe for both people and cows. Animal welfare is further enhanced by replacing the use of live animals with simulated ones as players practice their skills.
- Played on mobile touchscreen tablets.
- Tutorials to introduce key concepts step-by-step, with voiceover narration.
- To maximize accessibility, the amount of written text is kept to a minimum.
- Available in either English or Spanish. Users can switch between languages at any time.
- Active learning – “learning by doing”.
- Opportunities to learn by making mistakes.
- Visualization to help convey concepts.
- Immediate feedback on players’ actions, plus end -of-level feedback.
- Certificate of completion, which can be used for documentation of continuing education.
How can I play or get access to the game?
Version 1.0 of the game is complete. However, it is currently private for research purposes. We plan to incorporate additional feedback from end users to improve Version 2.0. Eventually, we plan to make the game available in app playstores for both Android and Apple tablets. We envision this learning tool will be free for all dairy farms in the U.S. We also hope to make it available for educational purposes. In the meantime, to learn more, you can contact Dr. Van Os by email at: jvanos (at) wisc (dot) edu. In 2023, I plan bring tablets with the game to conferences such as NMC, ADSA, and WDE.
- Project lead: Jennifer Van Os
- Project co-lead: Nigel Cook
- Collaborators: Dominic Ledesma, Markus Brauer, Olufunmilola Abraham
- Programmed by: Filament Games
- Funding: UW-Madison Research Forward Initiative
- Special thanks to all those who gave feedback on the prototypes for Version 1.0, including those who work on or with Wisconsin dairy farms. Full credits appear at the end of the game.