Johanna Pirker

Johanna Pirker
Graz University of Technology | TU Graz · Institute of Interactive Systems and Data Science

Doctor of Engineering

About

99
Publications
38,678
Reads
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689
Citations
Introduction
Johanna Pirker computer science researcher at Graz University of Technology. She finished her Master’s Thesis during a research visit at MIT working on the integration of simulations of electromagnetic fields into collaborative virtual world environments. She has long-lasting experience in game development and has worked in the video game industry. Her research interests include immersive environments, game research, HCI, data analysis.
Additional affiliations
October 2013 - present
Graz University of Technology
Position
  • University Assistent

Publications

Publications (99)
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Motivational Active Learning (MAL) is an innovative pedagogical approach based on MIT’s teaching format TEAL (Technology-Enabled Active Learning) combined with advanced motivational strategies based on gamification design aspects. The main idea of MAL is to enhance learning outcomes using motivational and social learning experiences. The lecture f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Organizing a Programming 101 course for a thousand computer science freshmen poses a challenge. One major problem is the high dropout-rate due to insufficient social interactions and the missing feeling of presence. Collaborative home assignments can help to overcome such issues. However, due to scheduling conflicts not all students are able to me...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Attracting and engaging computer science students to enhance their mathematical and algorithmic thinking skills are challenging tasks. In winter 2013 we introduced a new teaching format for a course, which combines theory in computer science with hands-on algorithmic challenges, mathematical thinking activities, and collaborative problem-solving. T...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Understanding basic physical concepts is not an easy task. The Technology Enabled Active Learning Approach (TEAL) is an innovative learning approach and successfully improves the conceptual understanding in teaching freshmen physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This approach requires specially designed classrooms, hands-on experime...
Conference Paper
There is a growing interest in virtual immersive environments such as virtual worlds for gaming, socialization, and also learning purpose. Frequently three major issues are mentioned, when using 3D worlds for educational scenarios: high technical requirements, low user acceptance and missing technical know-how. The last two issues can be decreased...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The hype around the series "The Queen's Gambit" led to a boom in playing chess. The game enhances strategic thinking, stimulates intellectual creativity, and improves problem-solving. These skills are increasingly in demand and also essential in the field of computer science (CS). Traditional teaching approaches are often insufficient to teach CS c...
Article
Full-text available
The field of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) is continually striving to use resources efficiently and manage complex processes. Now more than ever, there is a strong need for digital transformation in AEC. The improvement in the accessibility of consumer-based head-mounted displays (HMD) is attracting different entertainment and r...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The global COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the popularity of video games and online-gaming platforms. However, little research is devoted to understanding how the pandemic has affected gamers, especially live-stream broadcasters. Therefore, our study aimed to evaluate the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on established streamers on Twitch. By...
Chapter
In today’s world, there is a growing demand for professionals with skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. At the same time, teaching STEM subjects can be a challenging task, as students struggle to understand abstract concepts and complex phenomena in lectures and textbooks. This has given rise to a new approach to learning cal...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Researchers study the user experience in Virtual Reality (VR) typically by collecting either sensory data or using questionnaires. While traditional questionnaire formats present it through web-based survey tools (out-VR), recent studies investigate the effects of presenting questionnaires directly in the virtual environment (in-VR). The in-VR ques...
Preprint
Full-text available
In less than a year's time, March 2022 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the first documented game jam, the Indie Game Jam, which took place in Oakland, California in 2002. Initially, game jams were widely seen as frivolous activities. Since then, they have taken the world by storm. Game jams have not only become part of the day-to-day process...
Conference Paper
In less than a year’s time, March 2022 will mark the twentieth anniversary of the first documented game jam, the Indie Game Jam, which took place in Oakland, California in 2002. Initially, game jams were widely seen as frivolous activities. Since then, they have taken the world by storm. Game jams have not only become part of the day-to-day process...
Preprint
Full-text available
Twitch is a live streaming platform that was originally designed for gamers to share their gaming experiences. The viewer culture on Twitch supports a lively exchange between streamers and viewers and also among viewers themselves. While the potential of Twitch for game tutorials and instructions has been explored, its potential for university lect...
Preprint
In most games, social connections are an essential part of the gaming experience. Players connect in communities inside or around games and form friendships, which can be translated into other games or even in the real world. Recent research has investigated social phenomena within the player social network of several multiplayer games, yet we stil...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humans are social beings. It is therefore not surprising that the social distancing and movement restrictions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic had severe consequences for the well-being of large sections of the population, leading to increased loneliness and related mental diseases. Many people found emotional shelter in online multiplayer gam...
Article
Full-text available
Virtual Reality (VR) environments are computer-generated mediums that try to provide the user a sense of presence. The use of VR term in science has a long history, but an increasing number of commercial cost-effective VR devices are creating new possibilities and applications for it. Regardless of entertainment, as the most widespread market for V...
Article
Virtual reality shows a wide variety of potentials for education. Also, 360-degree-videos can provide educational experiences within such dangerous or non-tangible settings. But what is the potential for the teaching of 360-degree-videos in virtual reality environments Regarding the use of real VR settings in the classroom, research is still scarce...
Article
Full-text available
Skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are increasingly in demand. Theoretical knowledge and formulas alone are frequently not sufficient to understand complex phenomena. Simulations are a valuable tool to support the conceptual understanding by visualizing invisible processes. The constant interaction with the learning...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Virtual reality (VR) technologies have become more affordable and accessible in recent years. This is opening up new methods and opportunities in the field of digital learning. VR can offer new forms of interactive learning and working, especially for subjects from the STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) area. In this context w...
Article
In social and online media, influencers have traditionally been understood as highly visible individuals. Recent outcomes suggest that people are likely to mimic influencers' behavior, which can be exploited, for instance, in marketing strategies. Also in the Games User Research field, the interest in studying player social networks has emerged due...
Chapter
While traditional sport spectator numbers decline, the number of viewers in interactive media such as streaming platforms, video games, and esports continue to increase. In response, Pirker offers a characterization of the new generation of consumers and the technologies opening up new avenues for engaging and immersive experiences. She demonstrate...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Interactive and digital learning experiences are becoming increasingly important and used to improve various learning scenarios. In physics education, the use of digital simulations or virtual laboratories to support the learners' understanding is already part of most classrooms. Virtual reality experiences can be used to create even more exciting,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Presence in VR is a perceptual sense that leads to an automatic reaction of the brain-body system. An expected interaction in VR can lead to a higher sense of presence. In this work in progress paper we present a conceptual framework for innovative user interface (UI) design in VR with a focus on realistic interactions with the environment. We inve...
Preprint
In social and online media, influencers have traditionally been understood as highly visible individuals. Recent outcomes suggest that people are likely to mimic influencers' behavior, which can be exploited, for instance, in marketing strategies. Also in the Games User Research field, the interest in studying player social networks has emerged due...
Chapter
Full-text available
This article focuses on how video games may trigger empathy. On the one hand, globalization and our fast-changing, globalized world have resulted in an empathy deficit, a situation that calls desperately for a new approach to tackle the empathy issue. On the other hand, recent statistical data has shown that players in some countries today spend on...
Chapter
Immersion is an essential factor for successful learning. Immersive learning environments put learners directly into experiences and events related to the learning content. Virtual reality (VR) experiences give us new opportunities and ways for enabling immersive learning processes. In this chapter, we review different learning environments that us...
Chapter
Full-text available
The game sCool [10] is a game-based tool to support learners in STEM education. It is a multi-platform mobile learning game designed for school children supporting a flexible and easy integration of various subjects and different courses. Based on the tool sCool, we present a first integrated course, which encourages children to learn computational...
Conference Paper
In game jams, the jammer constellations and teams are essential elements for successful and engaging game jams and game jam outcomes. In this paper, we discuss and analyze group forming behavior in jam environments but also look at jammers who want to prefer to jam by themselves. In jam environments, especially the group forming task at the beginni...
Book
This volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 5th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Network, iLRN 2019, held in London, UK, in June 2019. The 18 revised full papers and presented in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 60 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on science, technology, e...
Chapter
In STEM fields, the primary goal is not to teach students how to recite formulas but to support the students’ understanding of underlying principles and phenomena. Students of fields such as physics should be engaged with hands-on experiments and interactive visualizations. In this work, we discuss how modern e-learning tools can support hands-on l...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper we present a case study of the mobile learning game sCool [1]. Based on previous work presented Steinmaurer et. al. (2018) [2] we expand-ed our study by a second experiment and additional aspects. sCool is a mul-ti-platform game that should encourage children learning computational thinking and coding in Python. The learning content i...
Article
Full-text available
Engagement and player experience in multi-player games is influenced by the people you play with. For that reason, grouping features and matchmaking facilities in games, as well as third-party services, have gained in popularity in the industry and player community as they assist in building and maintaining social relationships with like-minded pla...
Chapter
The broader availability of high-tech devices enables the research and application of enhanced and novel teaching technologies in STEM education, such as 3D learning environments. Also, automated assessment and guidance mechanisms should be considered that meet the requirements of modern competency-oriented curricula and support teachers in the cla...
Article
Social features, matchmaking, and grouping functions are key elements of online multi-player experiences. Understanding how social connections form in and around games and their relationship to in-game activity offers insights for building and maintaining player bases and for improving engagement and retention. This paper presents an analysis of th...
Book
Full-text available
This volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Conference of the Immersive Learning Network, iLRN 2018, held in Missoula, MT, USA, in June 2018. The 12 revised full papers and the two revised short papers presented in this volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 57 submissions. The papers are organized in topica...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter is an introduction to Social Network Analysis (SNA) with a focus on the context of player and in-game data. An overview of the key elements for network analysis is presented along with a discussion of the possibilities that can be realized through the use of networks and advice on using networks for Games User Research (GUR) to underst...
Conference Paper
Game jamming is a valuable tool and process to connect game developers from a range of disciplines such as art, programming, audio engineering, or story-telling. The Global Game Jam® (GGJ) thus fundamentally supports the process of connecting people, and forms a basis for studying teamwork formation and -mechanics. It is an annual event, where part...
Chapter
The way people learn has changed over the last years. New pedagogical theories show that engaging and active learning approaches are particularly successful in improving conceptual understanding and enhancing the students' learning success and motivation. The Motivational Active Learning approach combines engagement strategies based on active and c...
Chapter
Virtual and remote laboratories have been shown as valuable tools to support learners in understanding concepts. They provide an experimentation space in a safe, remote, and flexible way. However, the missing realism and lack of hands-on experience are often pointed out as a downside. This can also be described as a missing feeling of immersion and...
Chapter
Despite year-long efforts in education, studying and understanding physical phenomena still proves to be a challenge to both learners and educators. However, with the current rise of Virtual Reality experiences, interactive immersive simulations in 3D are becoming a promising tool with great potential to enhance and support traditional classroom se...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this paper we present a design model, PTD (Player Type Design), to create engaging gaming and non-gaming experiences for attracting different types of players to learning settings. Based on Bartle’s four player types, elements grounded on game design theory are introduced to design collaborative, competitive, explorative, and rewarding learning...
Article
Full-text available
Destiny is a hybrid online shooter sharing features with Massively Multi-Player Online Games and first-person shooters and is the to date the most expensive digital game produced. It has attracted millions of players to compete or collaborate within a persistent online environment. In multiplayer online games, the interaction between the players an...
Article
Full-text available
The emergence of new digital tools supporting immersive and engaging learning through Virtual Reality is opening up new paths for both distance, but also classroom learning. In this article we discuss the virtual physics laboratory “Maroon” and discuss experiences with Maroon in a cost-effective mobile setup with a mobile VR experience through Sams...
Chapter
A brain–computer interface (BCI) is a device that translates the users’ thoughts directly into action. Brain signal patterns used to encode messages are user specific. However, experimental paradigms used to collect neurophysiological trials from individuals are typically data-centered and not user-centered. This means that experimental paradigms a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Location-based applications have great potential to let users explore the environment in an immersive and engaging way. Digital scavenger hunts have a great potential as teaching and instructional guiding tool. However, many tools only guide users but are not designed as meaningful and engaging experiences. Adding more story-based and exploratory p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores the Leap Motion controller as gesture-controlled input device for computer games. We integrate gesture-based interactions into two different game setups to explore the suitability of this input device for interactive entertainment with focus on usability, user engagement, and personal motion control sensitivity, and compare it w...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Global Game Jam® is an annual game jam event promoting on-site and collaborative game development experiences. It attracts tens of thousands of participants, called "game jammers" or "jammers", from all around the world developing games at the same weekend to the same theme. The key characteristics of this event can be described on the one hand...
Conference Paper
The landscape of higher education is shifting as the expectations of modern students move towards increased integration of digital technology in their learning environments. As such, there is a strong need for Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLEs). Two examples of NGDLEs are Motivational Active Learning (MAL) and Task-Test-Monitor...
Book
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the Third International Conference of the Immersive Learning Network, iLRN 2017, held in Coimbra, Portugal in June 2017. The proceedings contain 17 full papers together with 4 short papers, carefully reviewed and selected from 80 submissions. This year’s special focus is “Honoring Tradition, Immerse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evaluating progression of players in a game can take a variety of forms, but ideally combines playstyle or performance analysis with one or more aspects of progression, e.g. through a level-or mission-based structure. Furthermore, visualization of the results of analysis are essential to ensure that action can be taken on them. In this paper behavi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper two key venues of investigation in game an-alytics are combined: behavioral profiling and social network analysis. Both venues of research are well developed but combined they permit pattern evaluation across player performance and networks. Here, competitive networks covering almost 3.5 million players of the hybrid online shooter ga...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes the evaluation of three different scenarios in the fully immersive room-based virtual environment DAVE (Definitely Affordable Virtual Environment) and a head-mounted display, the Oculus Rift. The evaluation focuses on comparing the two immersive environments and three different scenarios (observation, emotion in a roller coaste...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The landscape of higher education is shifting as the expectations of modern students move towards increased integration of digital technology in their learning environments. As such, there is a strong need for Next Generation Digital Learning Environments (NGDLEs). Two examples of NGDLEs are Motivational Active Learning (MAL) and Task-Test- Monito...