augmented reality Learning Experience strategy & Design

Amplify Perception Academy QUEst


Back in 2012, Amplify Education launched a brand new ELA Quest team to aim building a series of new type of learning experience with appropirate use of technology. We ask ourselves about the following question:

How might we enable students to naturally engage in difficult writing and reading activities?

My Role

I took a creative lead to help strategizing the learning experience, translating learning experience into digital user experience, art directing the augmented reality development, and designing visual interface design.

UX Challenge

As we built the learning concept, we wanted students to experience a variety of activities from reading, writing, collaborating in a drawing, experiencing AR breakfast as a neuroscience condition simulation, writing drama script, participating in a debate, we needed to come up with a way to weave all these experience. We came up with an idea of a special field trip to ‘perception academy’ where students would spend a day at this institution. UI design needed to speak a language of this institution rather than depicting scientific look and feel.

Design Process

Learning Experience Strategy

ELA learning typically happens through reading and writing, but we hardly use other media or senses. We crafted our strategy of "what if to maximize using different type of senses and media to create rich in-class project-based / inquiry based learning experience. 

Quest journey map & app architecture

I led an effort for creating experience design strategy and build journey map as well as app architecture.

3D design for augmented reality simulation

I helped building an experience strategy for how AR would play a key role in this learning experience.


This Perception Academy Quest is consist of 6 experience.

Part 1: Audio Experience

The Quest is structured like a medical thriller: On an ordinary morning, students are involved in a minor school bus fender bender on the way to school. They experience the crash via audio recording though their headphones. While “walking” the rest of the way to school, they hear narration detailing the eerie “symptom” of altered perception—something is clearly amiss, but students don’t yet understand what it is.


Part 2: Breakfast (Augmented Reality Three-dimensional Simulation)

At school, augmented reality simulation distorts students’ breakfast on their tablet, offering more evidence of the mind-bending changes going on inside them.


Part 3: English Language Arts (ELA)

In ELA, they read case studies in Sacks’s book, which detail the powerful forces that have commandeered their perception—they are suffering from neurological disorders, the result of brain trauma. 


Part 4: Recess (Debate & Discussion Game)

During Recess, they play a card game that helps them confront their new limitations. One student picks a card, and determine YES or No whether he/she can perform that task on the card with restriction he/she has as a role. Then, remaining students would determine to AGREE or DISAGREE and they go through few rounds of debate/discussion.


Part 5: Drama (Practicing Problem Solving Skills)

Next, students pair up to imagine how people with different disorders might solve problems together, and dramatize these interactions as a scene of dialogue.


Part 6: Final Assembly (Collaborate Writing Assignment)

The Quest concludes with a collaborative writing assignment in which students use their knowledge of all five disorders and create a scenario that explains the circumstances of that morning’s bus accident.



This learning experience product leveraged the power of digital technology to provide teachers with a resource that they wouldn’t have the time, specialized knowledge, or technical know-how to create on their own. This app facilitates students tackle challenging texts by creating a prepackaged, collaborative learning experience that sharpens critical English Language Arts skills for middle schoolers.

We ended up building a series of linked activities that focuses on brain disorders and how they affect what we perceive and how we respond to the world around us. Students move through the periods of a school day as though they had one of the perception disorders described in Oliver Sacks’s book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. This Quest helps them master the challenging neurological concepts in Sacks’s non-fiction text. Perception Academy makes the study of the brain so compelling and accessible that it builds students’ confidence and helps them approach difficult non-fiction texts with less anxiety.

Amplify Education

Takao Umehara, Experience Design Strategy,  Lead Visual Design, UX/UI Design Direction
Jean Pierre Dillard:  Concept Development, Art Direction
Chris Kalb: Illustration, Concept Development
Chris Leathers: 3D Modeling
Anna Ziegler, Nicco Moretti: Content Authoring, Lesson Guide, Overall Concept
Nicole Stein, Dan Russo, Te Yi Liu, Eli Burmin, Beth Goebel : Engineering
Sarah Smirnoff: Project Management