Relevance to objectives: 5 - As an information source. However, the simulation of Mission
Control and Flight Director's duties, I would rate as a 3 (see below: Game: Winning...) As an
interactive learning tool, I would rate relevance a 1- A student could spend a great deal of time
without gaining any new knowledge.
Provides practice of relevant skills: 2 - I felt that SSA did not take advantage of skills such as
creative thinking, planning, math, or use of scientific formulas.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 3 - Information is detailed and would be excellent for reports.
As for Flight Director simulation, I would question its' ability to hold the attention of experienced
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 4 - Information regarding shuttle flights (missions, crews,
and payloads), both space centers and VR tours is extensive. The experiment on the shuttle flight
has no relevance. The experiment could have at least used more scientific concepts.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): 5 - Excellent sound, graphics and effects.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than chance): 3 - Flight Director simulation
was not dependent on learning; however, a focused, motivated student would find the program
full of information.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate depiction): 4 - Although a Ph.D. is not
required as would be for an astronaut, the depictions are accurate for example: the launch
countdown is actually 20 seconds.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results): 4 - 1998 Invision Award - Shuttle Academy
CD-ROM wins Silver in the Entertainment category. 1998 Texas Interactive Media Achievement
Awards - Shuttle Academy CD-ROM wins top honor in the Games and Entertainment category.
No test results or comments were found by this reviewer.
Clear directions for play: 4 - For someone not familiar with games, there is a definite lag time to
decipher what to do. For those professionals, they may become distracted quickly.
Effectiveness of debriefing: 3 - Closure is not a strength of this program. Details and accurate
information for research are available, but only with work.
The best part of SSA is the detailed information on the Space Shuttle flights
within the Chronology section. Two other strengths lie in the movie
clips and VR tours. I would recommend this as a computer lab or library
purchase for an information resource.
Weak Points: My primary concern addresses the simulator. The Flight Director does not have many controls and is not as interactive as I had thought it would be. Another challenge I had was within the blueprints of the History segment. They were impossible to read; the print was too small.
Reviewer: Mary Wells
Position: Graduate Student
Computer System Reviewed on: Power Macintosh G3, 233, 64mb of RAM