Students of an introductory course on equine science at NC State University have widely varying backgrounds in the subject matter. Many have worked with horses since they were very young, while others have no experience at all. The challenge here was to give all students the opportunity to easily review and understand the application of material covered in this online course in a way that would allow them to apply it to real life conditions. The instructor desired a mobile solution be developed so that students could study “on the go” when they might only have a few minutes to spend studying.
A mobile solution works very well with content that can easily be “chunked.” The content in this course covers a wide range of topics, including horse breeds, anatomy, careers, history, nutrition, equipment, and general care – a good candidate for a mobile solution. Chunking content is also important for an educational casual game – a game that only demands a few minutes of your time. Ultimately, a mobile game was developed where the diverse topics were presented in story form as individual mini games. Players take on the role of a ranch hand, initially working with the horses in the stables, learning the basics of horse care until they can afford to buy their own horse and enter in competitions in one of three career areas (depending on the type of horse they purchase).