MATSUE, JAPAN – Researchers from the Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences (ALLS) attended the 31st International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE) 2023 from December 4 to 8, 2023 in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Japan. The ICCE 2023 is a flagship conference series of the Asia-Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE), and the theme was “designing new technologies for education in a big social change world.” ICCE 2023 was conducted fully on-site, after a few years of being conducted online in 2020-2021 and hybrid in 2022.

In photo: Representatives from ALLS at the entrance of Kunibiki Messe

Pre-conference workshops were held from December 4 to 5, 2023. Said workshops covered themes such as innovative technologies in education, ICT trends and learning analytics. The papers authored by ALLS researchers presented during the workshops were the following:

  1. The 11th Workshop on Technology-Enhanced STEM Education

AquaFarm Ace: A Game on the Intensive Aquaculture Process of Oreochromis niloticus by Gerick Jeremiah Niño Go and Angela Nicole Yap

AquaFarm Ace is a 2D Time-Management simulation game on the intensive aquaculture process. The player takes the role of an aquaculturist as they go through the various stages of aquaculture. The game showcases hatchery, transportation, grow-out, and brood stock stages in the aquaculture stages of Oreochromis noliticus. This study aims to contribute to the scholarly community of aquaculture and serious game design with its results showing that AquaFarm Ace contributes to raising awareness of aquaculture and can play a key role in highlighting its increasing demand in the aquatic scene in the Philippines to alleviate the socioeconomic problems such as food and job security.

  1. The 12th International Workshop on ICT Trends in Emerging Economies (WICTTEE 2023) 

Factors Affecting Sustainable Use of Minecraft-based Lessons Dominique Marie Antoinette B. Manahan and Maria Mercedes T. Rodrigo

The study examined the factors that affect the sustainable use of Minecraft-based lesson plans. The teachers cited logistical impediments, scheduling impediments, lack of technical resources, lack of curricular alignment, changes to teaching modalities, limited time for practice, and anxieties about classroom management as barriers to sustainable use of WHIMC.

In photo: Delegates from the Ateneo de Manila University attend the welcome reception at Hotel Ichibata

Main Conference

ALLS presented a variety of studies during the main conference which was held from December 6 to 8, 2023. Joseph Benjamin Ilagan, Jose Ramon Ilagan, and Maria Mercedes T. Rodrigo (or Dr. Rodrigo) presented a paper entitled An agent-based modeling and simulation tool as a learning aid for diffusion of innovations. The study explores the use of agent-based model simulations and a conversational intelligent tutoring system front-end to teach the concept of diffusion of innovations to technology entrepreneurship students. A related study by the same authors featuring a chatbot prototype for evaluating student tech startup ideas using a large language model was accepted under the workshop on The Applications of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI) in Education. This study is part of a larger study on the use of conversational tutors and computer simulations, which was also presented as part of the conference’s doctoral student consortium (DSC), a venue where PhD students can seek valuable feedback from experts in domains involving computer use in education. Clarence James Monterozo and Dr. Rodrigo presented the study entitled Do the Same Rules Apply? Transferring MOOC Success Behaviors to University Online Learning. The study replicated the methods and findings of a study on the behaviors of successful completers of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to university online learning students. Specifically, it studied discussion forum behaviors commonly associated with completion in MOOCs. In the work Preparation for Future Lockdowns: A Comparison of Student LMS Activity During and After COVID-19 by Ezekiel Adriel Lagmay and Dr. Rodrigo discussed how student activity on Canvas changed when onsite classes resumed. Dr. Rodrigo, Jonathan Casano, and Mikael Fuentes presented a poster entitled Relationship between Students’ Minecraft Re-engagement Metrics and STEM Interest. This was a continuation of the series of studies that ALLS has been undertaking regarding Minecraft’s capacity to stimulate student interest in science and engineering. The poster found no relationship between indicators of re-engagement with Minecraft and with results of a STEM interest questionnaire. Finally, Dr. Rodrigo and Christine Lourrine Tablatin presented one short paper entitled Visual Attention Patterns in Processing Compiler Error Messages. This was, again, the continuation of a larger study on novice programmer attention patterns, as measured using eye tracking. The study found that high- and low-performing students exerted similar visual attention to compiler error messages but the former tended to spend more effort than the latter on the actual line with the error.

In photo: Dr. Maria Mercedes T. Rodrigo given her speech as the incoming APSCE president and as the ICCE 2024 conference chair

There were hundreds of other studies presented by various researchers and educators from 26 countries during the conference, which had the themes of artificial intelligence, computer-supported collaborative learning, gamification and technology enhanced language learning, among others. 

The ALLS team not only shared their research but also immersed themselves in a symphony of global perspectives. This gathering wasn’t merely an exchange of ideas; it was a harmonious convergence of minds, fostering connections that transcended borders. Amidst this scholarly event, the team found not only answers but also new questions, kindling a flame of inspiration to explore uncharted realms in education. The conference wasn’t just a venue; it was a crucible of wisdom, igniting a passion to innovate and illuminate the path forward for education on a global scale.

The conference ended with the introduction of Dr. Rodrigo as the incoming APSCE President, and the invitation to ICCE 2024 which will be held in Manila, Philippines.

For more information about the ICCE 2023, visit

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