The Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences is interested in quantitative analysis of student interactions with computer-based learning environments to derive new insights about how students learn best.

ALLS News and Events

ALLS Summer School 2019

June 10-11, 2019, Arete, Ateneo de Manila University

The ALLS Summer School was led by Dr. Xiangen Hu, professor at the University of Memphis and Dean of Psychology at the Central China Normal University. He conducted a two-day workshop on conversation-based intelligent tutoring systems as well as a public lecture on Advanced learning theories, technologies, applications, and impacts using an adaptive instructional system (AIS).

Full details here.

ALLS @ PCSC 2019

The 19th Philippine Computing Science Congress (PCSC 2019), held last March 2019 is organized by the Computing Society of the Philippines. This conference aims to enable local and neighboring computing educators, researchers, ICT professionals and students to interact and to share their work in computing, computer science, computer engineering, computational science, and information and communications technology (ICT). The conference features special lectures by prominent researchers and educators in the field of information and communications technology (including computing, computer science, computer engineering, computational science, and related disciplines). It also features contributed research papers on computing and ICT.

Maureen Villamor and Dr. Didith Rodrigo received the Best Paper Award [PDF] and Research Award [PDF] for their paper, Analyzing Gaze Patterns of Individuals in Programming Pairs [PDF]. Congratulations to the authors!

ALLS @ SOSE Interlinks People’s Choice Award

Congratulations to the two ALLS groups who won the 2019 SOSE Interlinks People’s Choice award!

(1) Developing a Virtual Reality Psychological Horror Video Game to Raise Awareness on the Nature of Schizophrenia
Carlos Joaquin B. Alcantara, Kurt Sigmund A. de Leon, Joaquin Paolo C. Jacinto, Walfrido David A. Diy

(2) Simulating Flood-related Disaster Scenarios Using an Augmented Reality Sandbox
Faine Mabry A. Fonseca, Raphael S. Remorosa, Aaron Cole T. See, Paolo Antonio G. Gonzalez, Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo, Ph.D

Dr. Rodrigo Attends ICIET 2019

Dr. Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo presented the paper entitled “Exploring Active Learning for Student Behavior Classification,” co-written by Cristina E. Dumdumaya and Yancy Vance M. Paredes, at the 2019 7th International Conference on Information and Education Technology. The conference was held from March 29 to 30, 2019 at the University of
Aizu in Aizuwakamatsu City, Japan.

ALLS and ACED host “Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension”

On Saturday, February 2, 2019, over 200 public school teachers attended the workshop entitled, “Strategies for Teaching Reading Comprehension” hosted by the Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences (ACED) and the Ateneo Center for Educational Development (ACED).

In the morning, Ms. Anne Shiela Choi of the College of Education of UP Diliman gave a talk entitled, “Using Think Alouds to Develop Reading Comprehension.”  She was followed by Ms. Erika Jenny M. Rocena who gave her talk entitled, “Communicative Language Teaching Strategies.”

In the afternoon, a team from ALLS led by Dr. Didith Rodrigo, Marika Fernandez, and Dominique Manahan introduced participants to Ibigkas!, a drill-and-practice game for phonemic awareness, synonyms, and antonyms.  Ibigkas! comes as a mobile phone app and a deck of cards. Participants were able to download the app and were given copies of the cards for them to use in their classes.

The slides of Ms. Choi are downloadable here.  Ibigkas! is available free of charge from the Google Play Store and the App Store.  The printable version of the Ibigkas! card sets can be downloadable from the ALLS website.

ALLS @ LAK 2019

On March 4-8, 2019, Michelle Banawan attended the 9th International Learning Analytics and Knowledge (LAK) Conference in Tempe, Arizona. LAK gathers esteemed researchers and experts in the field of Learning Analytics like Dragan Gasevic, Ryan Baker, Ken Koedinger, Ulrich Hoppe and a lot more.  This year’s LAK was hosted by the Arizona State University.  Michelle presented her paper entitled “An Investigation of Academic Performance, Mindless Reading and its Indicators” in one of the pre-conference workshops, i.e. Predicting Performance Based on the Analysis of Reading Behavior: A Data Challenge. The PDF version of the paper is published in LAK’s companion proceedings and in the workshop website : https://sites.google.com/view/lak19datachallenge

She also met and discussed grouping experiments, deployment of affective studies and other publication outputs for the JOLLY project for both Ibigkas ang Learning Likha with Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh of the University of Pennsylvania. She would like to acknowledge the Commission on Higher Education, the JOLLY research grant and the Ateneo de Davao University for the funding support.

ALLS Summer School 2019


Advanced Learning Theories, Technologies, Applications, and Impacts Public Lecture and Workshop
Register at: http://bit.ly/ALLSSummerSchool2019


This year at the IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE), Cesar Tecson presented his paper which evaluated the intelligent tutoring system, Intelligent Learning System for Automata (ILSA), on users’
achievement goal orientations using analyses based on user experience and feature significance.

TALE is the IEEE Education Society’s flagship Asia-Pacific (IEEE Region 10) conference, catering to researchers and practitioners with an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education – with a particular emphasis on electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering, computer science and allied disciplines – as well as those interested in the innovative use of digital technologies for learning, teaching and assessment in any discipline. The target audience of the conference is diverse and includes those working in the higher education, vocational education and training (VET), K-12, corporate, government, and healthcare sectors.The conference was hosted by the University of Wollongong Australia and Charles Sturt University from December 4-7, 2018.

ALLS Hosts Senior High Students

On 19 December 2018, ALLS hosted a team from St. Paul’s College Pasig, including Ms. Paola Grajo, and five Grade 12 students, Jenny Lim, Theresa Magsajo, Bea Mallari,Bianca Mallari, and Althea Manansala. They consulted with Dr. Rodrigo about their senior thesis project that aims to develop a  hypermedia learning system that will be used for teaching ratio and proportions to Grade 6 students.

ALLS Gets Accepted into WICCTTEE 2018

We are pleased to announce that the paper “Portraits of Underprivileged Filipino Second Language Learners: Towards the Development of Computer-based Educational Game” has been accepted as a short paper.

Congratulations to Rex Bringula, Jaclyn Ocumpaugh, and the JOLLY team!


The CSP organized this conference to enable local and neighboring computing educators, researchers, ICT professionals and students to interact and to share their work in computing, computer science, computer engineering, computational science, and information and communications technology (ICT). The conference features special lectures by prominent researchers and educators in the field of information and communications technology (including computing, computer science, computer engineering, computational science, and related disciplines). It also features contributed research papers on computing and ICT.

ICE 2018 is organized by the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP)– Special Interest Group in Computing Education (CSP SIG-SpICE) and Cebu Institute of Technology University (CITU), Cebu City, Philippines. ICE2018 will be hosted by Cebu Institute of Technology University, Cebu City, Philippines, this coming October 4-6, 2018.

We are pleased to announce that 4 submissions from ALLS have been accepted for the ICE 2018. Below is the complete ALLS lineup:

  • Melquizedek Borbon and Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo . A Mobile Augmented Reality Application With User-defined Virtual Elements. [PDF]
  • Jonathan Casano, Ma. Mercedes T. Rodrigo and Eric Cesar Vidal. Using an Alternative Bluetooth Low-Energy Fingerprinting Algorithm to Position Augmented Reality Game Models in a Signal Dense Environment [PDF]
  • Rejeenald Flores, Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo and Jenilyn Agapito Wheel-spinning in a Novice Programming Context within a Meaningful Gamification System.
  • Jun Rangie Obispo, Ma. Mercedes Rodrigo and Francisco Enrique Vicente Castro. Incidence of Einstellung Effect among Programming Students and its Relationship with Achievement.


The JSET-AECT 2018 Summer International Research Symposium, to be held on September 7–9, 2018 at the Future University Hakodate and Takuboku-Tei,  aims to advance the work of researchers who are actively involved in the field of educational technology. It will bring together experienced and young researchers in this field to exchange and share their research results and engage in a lively discussion on issues related to their research topics.

At this symposium, the keynote speakers will introduce approaches to the design of learning environments in order to describe the factors in building a learning community and in cultivating their community of practice. These approaches can also be applied effectively to schools and local communities in order to identify the current issues and problems. For example, one approach, in particular, emphasizes the pedagogical concepts of “collaborative meta-learning” and “social motivation.”

During the symposium, Eric Cesar E. Vidal, Jr., ALLS Researcher and Ph.D. Student, will be presenting on his project entitled, Mobile Augmented-Reality Game Engine for Instructional Support.

MAGIS (Mobile Augmented-Reality Game Engine for Instructional Support) is an engine for producing location-based augmented-reality (AR) educational games using a smartphone or tablet.  Augmented Reality refers to real-time superimposition of virtual objects on the real world (Azuma, 1997), such as through a smartphone camera feed augmented with 3-D graphics on the smartphone’s screen.  Location-Based AR additionally considers the user’s real-world location (Reitmayr & Schmalstieg, 2003), i.e., using the smartphone’s GPS.  Location-Based AR offers a new form of learning environment where learners physically travel to locations relevant to the learning content, such as historical monuments or museum exhibits. MAGIS facilitates the development of location-based AR educational content, using a narrative-based adventure game format (Neitzel, 2005).

MAGIS has been used in two released games, Igpaw: Intramuros (Rodrigo, Caluya, Diy, & Vidal, 2015) and Igpaw: Loyola (Vidal et al., 2018 {to be published}). MAGIS’s technical framework is composed of a game scripting language, a mapping subsystem to facilitate user location tracking, a device-sensor-based AR tracking module, and an analytics subsystem capable of monitoring users’ learning progress (Vidal, Ty, Caluya, & Rodrigo, 2016). These modules are coupled with Vuforia’s vision-based AR library and the Unity game engine.

MAGIS is currently being upgraded to support newer AR technologies such as Google ARCore and Apple ARKit, as well as integrating Hand Gesture Recognition as a novel way of interacting with AR.  Usability studies are being performed on MAGIS-powered games (e.g., Rodrigo, Vidal, Caluya, Agapito, & Diy, 2016) to measure their impact on student learning and engagement.

ALLS @ 15th DOST-ERDT Conference

The 15th ERDT-DOST (Engineering Research and Development for Technology Department of Science and Technology) Conference, co-located with the 11th AUN/SEED-Net Regional Conference on Energy Engineering (RCEneE), will be hosted by the University of the Philippines Diliman at the Manila Hotel on 27-28 September 2018. Topics to be covered by this conference will include environment and infrastructure, information and communication technology, manufacturing and machinery, and semiconductors and electronics.

We are pleased to announce that the paper “Open-Sourcing a Framework for Developing Mobile Augmented Reality Games” has been selected for a presentation during the conference.


MAGIS (Mobile Augmented-Reality Game Engine for Instructional Support) is a framework for developing educational games that makes use of user’s location to provide relevant AR (augmented reality) content. It has been used in the production of two mobile games, Igpaw: Intramuros and Igpaw: Loyola, both educational adventure games that let players tour and learn about the walled city of Intramuros and the campus grounds of Ateneo de Manila University, respectively. In this paper, we discuss the steps taken to facilitate the open-source release of the MAGIS framework, with the intent of enabling the general public to create their own games using this framework. This discussion includes the technical issues encountered and the results of a training workshop that was made open to the public.

MAGIS @ Cebu

The Ateneo Laboratory for the Learning Sciences conducted an instructional workshop for the Mobile Augmented Reality Game Engine for Instructional Support (M.A.G.I.S.) Game Engine at the University of San Jose-Recoletos on July 27 and 28, 2018. The M.A.G.I.S. Game Engine was used to create instructional augmented reality games such as Igpaw: Intramuros and Igpaw: Loyola, both of which are available on the Google PlayStore and Apple App Store.

Melvin Luis Mendoza, Japheth Samaco, and JM Santo, three members from the MAGIS development team, conducted the workshop for a total of 17 participants composed of students and faculty from the university. Most of the participants kept up with all of the discussions. They were able to modify the sample game provided with their own content, which was the workshop’s main exercise. In addition, some of the participants were able to deploy their modified games to their phones.

Overall, the workshop was successful in sharing the MAGIS Game Engine to more aspiring augmented reality game developers. ALLS and the MAGIS team would like to thank University of San Jose-Recoletos for their participation in the workshop, and their hospitality during the team’s stay in Cebu.

Science for the People: Innovation for Collective Prosperity

The Department of Science and Technology recently concluded “Science for the People” in celebration of the National Science and Technology Week this 17th to 21st of July, 2018. The theme of “Innovation for Collective Prosperity” hosted at this platform showcased our country’s achievements in science and technology as well as their intended applications of its products and findings. The institution urged all Filipinos to apply creativity in technology as a critical factor in solving many of the country’s problems and in improving the lives of its citizens.

ALLS, represented by Joal Rose Lin, Jose Isidro Beraquit, Japeth Samaco, Nicole Bugayong, John Michael Santos, and Luis Raphael Tomas Lim, were assigned to exhibit the Igpaw Igpaw: Intramuros, Igpaw: Loyola, and reADMU.txt.

ALLS @ Grand Challenges in Computing 2018

The Grand Challenges in Computing (GCC), held on July 27-28, 2018 at the University of the Immaculate Conception, Texas St./Bonifacio St., Davao City, is an annual conference organized annually by the CSP-SPICE. This year, in partnership with the Computing Society of the Philippines-Special Interest Group on Information and Computing Education (CSP-SPICE), the University of the Immaculate Conception had hosted GCC. The two day conference featured special lectures from prominent researchers and educators in the information and communications technology and contributed research papers on computing and ICT.

ALLS representatives, Dr. Maria Mercedes Rodrigo, Cesar Alipiz Tecson, and Michelle Banawan, were included among the panel of reactors.

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Image may contain: 10 people, including Michelle Banawan, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor


ALLS at the National Academy of Science and Technology 40th Annual Scientific Meeting

The theme was “Science-based Transformations for Sustainability and Resiliency” at the 40th Annual Scientific Meeting organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines on July 17 – 21. The gathering seeks to help ventilate, discuss, clarify and expound science and technology issues and to use the results to formulate policies and other functions. According to the institution, the event also serves to provide analyses and science-based solutions and policy recommendations to the government, the private sector and society at large.

ALLS, represented by Joal Rose Lin, Jose Isidro Beraquit, Japeth Samaco, and Nicole Bugayong, was part of the Ateneo contingent.  We showed the Igpaw: Intramuros, Igpaw: Loyola, and reADMU.tx


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