Our quest for success: Using a multidisciplinary students-as-partners model to develop an innovative online learning game


  • Meredith G.H. Burling Ryerson University
  • Lina Rahouma Ryerson University
  • Arla Good Ryerson University
  • Joleine C Kasper Ryerson University
  • Samantha Kranyak Ryerson University
  • Kieran Ramnarine Ryerson University
  • Kosha Bramesfeld University of Toronto Scarborough




game-based learning, food security, multidisciplinary, students as partners


In their review of the students-as-partners literature, Mercer-Mapstone et al. (2017) found that only 5-6% of published research articles on student-partnership models focused on multidisciplinary partnerships. This case study, authored by five undergraduate students and two academics, sought to examine the utility of using a multidisciplinary students-as-partners approach to advance the development of an online learning game focused on food insecurity. The multidisciplinary nature of the partnership facilitated perceptions of an equitable partnership, contributed to innovative design ideas, and conferred several benefits to the collaborators beyond those traditionally seen in the students-as-partners literature (Mercer-Mapstone et al., 2017). However, the multidisciplinary nature of the partnership also posed unique mentoring and coordination challenges that should be considered when adopting a multidisciplinary approach to teaching innovation.


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Author Biographies

Meredith G.H. Burling, Ryerson University

Meredith is studying an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication at Ryerson University. She has a passion for visual communication and graphic design. Prior to this experience, she has worked for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company marketing their fiftieth-anniversary gala. Her graphic design work was published in the Ryerson RUBIX Showcase which displays scholarly innovation and design from Ryerson University faculty. Currently, she is the website designer and social media lead for the Newmarket National Ten Minute Play Festival.

Lina Rahouma, Ryerson University

Lina is a student in the Nutrition and Food program at Ryerson University. I found myself very passionate about social justice and food security so I am currently working on my food security certificate. Besides school, I volunteer for Students for Syria, a charity that my friends and I began, in which our main goal is to support Syrian children in their immersion in the community through their participation in educational activities that target improving their English.

Arla Good, Ryerson University

Arla Good is a Postdoctoral researcher working in the field of social and community psychology at Ryerson University. As the research supervisor of the Food Security Quest, I was given the opportunity to watch our amazing team of student research assistants harness their passion for food and nutrition and develop the captivating characters and stories that make up the game.

Joleine C Kasper, Ryerson University

Aanii! My name is Joleine. I am Ojibwe from Berens River, Manitoba. I am in my final year of study for the Bachelor of Applied Science in Nutrition and Food with a minor in Business Essentials. I am strongly passionate about community services, and have a particular interest in food politics and the intersectionality of nutrition and health. Along with my involvement in the School of Nutrition and the Centre for Studies in Food Security, I have been involved with Ryerson Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) and the Indigenous Student Association (ISA) on campus.

Samantha Kranyak, Ryerson University

Sam finished her degree with Ryerson’s RTA School of Media. Although I love filming, editing, and VFX, I have a great passion for the visual arts that goes beyond the teachings of my program. My ultimate goal with art is to create a narrative that benefits society in a way that reduces stigma and teaches people different social concepts and ideas unknown to them. This production allows me to do that. I was recruited into this project as the concept artist and illustrator for all of the character design, as well as creative direction.

Kieran Ramnarine, Ryerson University

Kieran Ramnarine is a computer science student at Ryerson University with experience in video game and virtual reality development. Teaching and developing interesting empathy based games is his passion. This project will mark his first video game release, with many more to come. For this project he did the Unity3d programming and assisted with story development.

Kosha Bramesfeld, University of Toronto Scarborough

Kosha Bramesfeld has a PhD in Social Psychology from The Pennsylvania University. She has been an educator and researcher for over 15 years. She is particularly interested in the use of learning techniques that create immersive learning experiences that allow people the opportunity to examine complex social phenomenon from multiple perspectives and viewpoints.


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How to Cite

Burling, M. G., Rahouma, L., Good, A., Kasper, J. C., Kranyak, S., Ramnarine, K., & Bramesfeld, K. (2019). Our quest for success: Using a multidisciplinary students-as-partners model to develop an innovative online learning game. International Journal for Students as Partners, 4(1), 99-108. https://doi.org/10.15173/ijsap.v4i1.3928



Case Studies