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EHC Mission usability issues

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EHC missions 1, 3, and 4 are saved games, while mission 2 is a scenario. If you are going to download them manually, they go in different places in the folder structure.

EHC Mission 2 allows you to start over, while the save games must be manually copied over. This would be a show-stopper right there for many teachers - too complicated and confusing.

I'm unsure as to why missions 1, 3 and 4 cannot be resettable scenarios like mission 2, but I AM sure that for multiple students on a single PC, having to shut the sim down, re-copy files, and restart will be inconvenient at best for teachers.

EHC2, when launched from the website, just takes me to the main menu. I must launch this from the scenarios menu.

EHC4 when launched from the website, just took me to the main menu. I downloaded EHC4 and put it in the saves folder - THEN it launched from the website OK


* EHC3 launched OK from the website, but I already had it manually installed in the folder structure.

* In the VAB, after you close the Mission Control window (with the instructions), there was no way to get the instructions back.

* The "simple rocket" instructions lacked a parachute in the first list of parts. The next screen did include a parachute in the "they skipped that part of your training" instructions.

* The "do you remember how to calculate acceleration?" part of the Mission Control Window is completely unhelpful. What if the student has NOT ever had that topic, or has forgotten it? This needs to not be coy, and be more helpful. This is another show-stopper point.

* In EHC3, I was unable to exit the VAB, and had to close the app down.

EHC3 Lesson Plan

* The list of parts in the lesson plan is different from the list of parts in-game first list, and uses different names for items.

* The lesson plan does not contain the formula alluded to in the in-game Mission Control window, and needed for the Function Tool.

Function Tool

* The only instructions on the Function Tool window are "Drag and drop elements below" - this is simply inadequate.

* A HELP button with detailed information on how the tool works, with examples, would greatly enhance usability.

With the instructions unavailable, and now knowing how to create the formula (that I knew, but students might not) in the Function Tool, I quit the mission out of frustration. My wife, a teacher, would not have lasted nearly as long as I did.

You guys have some usability issues with these missions, and a lot of teachers are not going to put up with the hoops they have to jump through to use them.

As a teacher, I would want to download ONE installer for all these missions, run it, and be done with it. I'd want missions resettable, in-game. I'd want the simplest of instructions on how to use in-game tools - in-game. I'd want any lesson plans to include formulas and any other necessary information relevant to the mission.

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Thank you for your feedback! Sorry for taking so long to respond.

First of all, the Earth History Campaign missions are supposed to be launched directly from the website. This is because we wanted to make it easier to integrate them to learning management systems and the like. I don't know why that doesn't work for you. Have you tried running "registerurlhandler.cmd KSP.exe" in the installation directory manually? Are you perhaps using an older version of KerbalEdu? EHC missions are only fully compatible with version 1.0.4e711. Copying them manually is there just as a backup measure and we know there are many issues with that currently.

The reason some of the missions are savegames and others scenarios is that some features used in the ones that are saves won't work in scenarios. We are continuing to look for ways around that. It would be nice if they all could be scenarios, then we could have them easily restartable. If we can't make them all scenarios, we should probably create our own in-game menu for launching them and hide them from saves (put them to some other folder), or just hide them from saves and have them only startable from web.

We are also looking into how to fix the problems you pointed out in the missions themselves.

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Thanks for the feedback! Marko already addressed a lot of the usability issues (we really wanted to make the missions as easy to launch as possible, hence the website launching). Just wanted to chime in from the pedagogical perspective.

We do recognise that KSP is challenging to scaffold: how much reading can you include in the game before players stop reading them (our testers at the office are really impatient, simulating attention span of a teenager really well!) or how much of the explaining can you leave to the teachers who usually aren’t too comfortable with game mechanics themselves.

It’s also interesting to see how much hand-holding players need versus how soon you start to compromise the sandbox nature of the game. This is something we constantly need to consider with Minecraft as well. I guess it’s also a cultural difference how detailed you want the lesson plans to be but we’ll try to be more elaborate with them, too, to better cater for different teachers.

It’s a big balancing act and hopefully we’ll hit the mark better in the future. Feedback such as yours helps tremendously.

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