Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks. QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. It allows users to travel to virtual places to perform educational activities (known as Quests), talk with other users and mentors, and build virtual personae. The project is intended to engage children ages 9–16 in a form of transformational play comprising both online and off-line learning activities, with a storyline inspiring a disposition towards social action. Quest Atlantis provides students entire worlds in which they are central, important participants; a place where their actions have significant impact on the world, and a place in which what one knows is directly related to what they are able to do and, ultimately, who they can become. Explore our site and learn more about this exciting project.
Over the last four years, more than 50,000 children on six continents have participated in the project, submitting over 50,000 Quests and completing over 100,000 Missions, some of which were assigned by teachers and many of which were chosen by students to complete in their free time. We are in 22 states, 18 countries, more than 1000 classrooms, and the number of schools asking to participate grows daily. We have demonstrated learning gains in science, language arts, and social studies. Equally important have been reported personal experiences, with teachers and students reporting increased levels of engagement and interest in pursuing the curricular issues outside of school. Students and teachers conduct rich inquiry-based explorations through which they learn particular standards-based content, and at the same time develop pro-social attitudes regarding significant environmental and social issues. Rather than just placing work and play side-by-side, QA strives to make learning fun and to show kids how they can make a difference.