Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer and Information Technology

First Advisor

David Whittinghill

Committee Member 1

Mihaela, Vorvoreanu

Committee Member 2

Victor Chen


Interpreting raw data in serious games and simulations can be a time consuming and uninteresting task without visualizations. This study proposes one possible solution for an interface that incorporates data visualizations for Whittinghill and Nataraja's (2013) MAEGUS simulation, a serious game used to increase the retention of wind energy and solar energy concepts in students, while still being fun. After the interface was designed and developed, a think aloud usability test was conducted to answer the following research questions: how do students use a series of information visualizations to operate a multi-variate game-based simulation and what are some the usability issues the students face in the simulation? A thematic analysis was then conducted to document and organize the responses.