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 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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