This site is the home of the NCSU Game2Learn Lab research group directed by Dr. Tiffany Barnes. Here you can find the latest information on the research projects the lab has been working on.


Lead by Dr. Tiffany Barnes, the Game2Learn group researches the impact of games and data-driven adaptation on learning through a number of innovative approaches. We build games and interactive tools for learning in math and computing, building social networks, promoting exercise, and visualizing interaction data from games and learning environments. We are particularly motivated by finding ways to embed data-driven artificial intelligence and educational data mining techniques into game and learning environments to support learners and improve our understanding of learning. We investigate these data-driven techniques to support learning primarily in our Deep Thought logic tutor, but we are extending our techniques for novice programmers in the Bots programming game and the Snap programming environment. We are particularly excited to be building new collaborations to apply our data-driven automatic hint generation and student work visualization and analytics to new games and tutors for physics and probability. Check the research page for more information.

Opportunities to Participate

The Game2Learn Lab has many students and is always looking to recruit hard working, skilled and motivated students. There are numerous ways for you to become a member of the Game2Learn research group. If you are an undergraduate student interested in doing a senior project for Dr. Barnes, please see the open positions section below. For Masters or Doctoral students interested in working in our laboratory, check the research projects page and contact Dr. Barnes directly with information about which project interests you the most. Also for post-doctoral students interested in educational software, educational data mining, or other similar topics found on the research page, contact Dr. Barnes for additional information and the currently available opportunities for working with the Game2Learn research group.

Game2Learn High School Internship

The Game2Learn Lab at NC State University values broadening participation in computing and helping all students become literate in 21st-century computing skills including programming, AI, Data Analytics, and computing for social good. Our unpaid high school internship program allows high school students to embed themselves within our research lab environment helping K-12 teachers develop Snap!-based educational tools and games for use in their classrooms. Each summer, over 20 local high school students participate in a 6-week internship program designed to hone their computing skills and see how computing is used to help solve socially relevant problems. In 2019, interns partnered with over 50 high school and middle school teachers in Science, Math, English Language Arts, and Social Studies in order to create coding infused activities to be used in active classrooms during the upcoming school year. In summer 2020, this program was successfully transitioned into an online program which allowed 30 interns to create over 100 computing-infused activities for teachers. Through this program, we also conduct research on how to best provide computer science learning experiences through internships and support the creation of computer science curriculum.

Find out more details about our internship program
Contact Information:
Dr. Veronica Catete vmcatete@ncsu.edu
Amy Isvik aaisvik@ncsu.edu
Pivot Academy

Drawing on the expertise of award-winning US educators in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Math and Learning Management System applications, Dr. Cateté has partnered with Mothering Across Continents to bring Seymore Papert's Constructionist Learning to secondary students in Rwanda through the Pivot Academy Program. Pivot Academy focuses on giving students the chance to learn through project-based learning, including low-cost demonstrations and tablet-based experiments. This three prong program incorporates teacher professional development, student learning, and accessible lessons for reinforcement learning aligned with the country's mandated national STEM curriculum and IB standards. NC State students can participate in this program through a Rwanda Alternative Spring Break trip co-hosted by the Women & Minorities in Engineering program.

Contact Information:
Dr. Veronica Catete vmcatete@ncsu.edu
RET (Research Experience for Teachers)

The CS research focus is socially relevant computing and analytics including serious games, interface design, critical infrastructures, novice programming environments, intelligent tutoring systems, machine learning, and data analytics. The RET immerses 14 participants (8 in-service, 3 pre-service, 3 REU) in a vibrant community in teams of 4-5 to contribute to ongoing research. Plans for developing curricular modules linked to the research experiences include workshops on equitable and culturally relevant CS curricula, and intensive workshops with peer feedback for development of modules. Plans for sharing modules with K-12 teachers include teacher presentations and sharing in national digital libraries. Activities include orientation, mentor training, weekly workshops, 2 research/curricula presentations/RET. Our objective is to create a collaborative culture, promote individual research contributions, and create culturally responsive and inclusive curricular modules.Teachers to be recruited include high school STEM/CS teachers serving schools with significant representation from underrepresented groups, through NC Dept. of Public Instruction. We will recruit pre-service teachers from NCSU College of Education and other education departments, and CS REUs from STARS Computing Corps. The intended impact on participating teachers is to increase their CS knowledge, efficacy, research and presentation skills; and to increase retention and engagement of their students. The intended impact on broadening participation of underrepresented groups in CS is to create high levels of student engagement particularly for females, African-Americans/Blacks, Hispanics/Latinx and new knowledge about CS and careers. Plans for academic-year follow-up and outreach activities and dissemination include RET Teams and mentors support teachers in classroom implementation; pre-service teachers observing classes; and two workshops to reinforce pedagogical and research knowledge gained.

Supported by NSF REU Site: Socially Relevant Computing and Analytics
Award Number:2055528
Contact Information:
Dr. Tiffany Barnes tmbarnes@ncsu.edu
Dr. Veronica Catete vmcatete@ncsu.edu
Dr. Collin Lynch cflynch@ncsu.edu
SRCA REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates)

The Socially Relevant Computing and Analytics REU Site at NC State University immerses a diverse group of undergraduates in a vibrant research community of faculty and graduate students working on cutting-edge socially relevant and analytic programming,improving learning and healthcare outcomes, educational technologies, and diverse forms of interaction with and through computers. The SRCA REU at NC State recruits broadly, but focuses on providing opportunities for students from underrepresented groups with limited research opportunities through the STARS Computing Corps. The project's focus on relevant cutting edge technologies is a proven focus that can improve retention for minoritized students and women.

Supported by NSF REU Site: Socially Relevant Computing and Analytics
Award Amount:$405,000
Start Date:03/01/2020
Award Number:1950607
Learn More
Contact Information:
Marnie Hill mehill6@ncsu.edu

Spring 2018 Lab Paint and Play