Utah State University's Department of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences has partnered with the Department of Art (Graphic and Interface Design Emphasis Area) for the creation of the Interactive Design for Instructional Applications and Simulations (IDIAS) Institute. The IDIAS Institute builds on USU strengths in instructional design, interactive simulations, and interface design to inform technology research and develop commercially viable and innovative products.

Expanding upon recent advances in consumer game technology, the team is working on several "serious game" projects. Some of the areas of the R & D effort include:

  • training and education of emergency response personnel (e.g., security, firefighting, medical and other emergency response teams)
  • measuring and evaluating environmental changes through simulation
  • increasing the effectiveness for virtual and distance education
  • creating instructional training materials for a variety of certification programs including a GreenRetrofit construction project
  • creating instructional materials for K-12 that focus on STEM education
  • creating instructional materials for children, K-12, with special needs

The team is focused on R & D efforts that involve interactive multi-player simulations and games and mobile applications to teach a variety of content areas to a wide audience. In addition, the founder of IDIAS holds several patents on the functionality of the proprietary game engine called HEAT.

The IDIAS Institute's instructional designs, data-driven simulations, interactive immersive graphics, and user-centered interface designs leverage USU's academic and development strengths within digital media while fostering the University's mission for educational outreach.