We are fascinated by the potential of games to function as tools for both education and for motivating behaviour change. This continues to be a major focus of both practical and theoretical work we do at LiSC. Educational game design is an emerging area – there are currently very few practical recommendations on how to recreate the motivation seen in entertainment games when designing educational games. At LiSC we are interested in understanding both the game features that must be included in educational games and the teaching methodologies that are compatible with gameplay. We have been involved with two recent EU-Funded projects based around developing games for the purposes of education and behaviour change.
DREAD-ED was an EU LEONARDO Life Long Learning Programme concerned with the research and development of disaster readiness education and training programmes. The project adopted a blended strategy in which classroom teaching was complemented by tutor-supervised online game playing.
Our role in this project was to design the serious game that forms the core of the user learning experience. In doing so, we created a board game and specified the design of an on-line multiplayer game. The game generates an environment that accurately models the challenges faced by emergency managers when making decisions collaboratively under stressful and dynamically changing circumstances.
Learn to Lead
As well as technical skills related to their area of business, effective leaders require competencies in “people management”, resource management and organization. Effective training in these areas is scarce and is usually available only in high quality MBA programs or in major corporations. The goal of Learn2Lead is to design, implement, and test a novel, online game-based approach to training in team leadership, suitable for use in SMEs, small government offices, NGOs etc.
The role of LiSC is in the design of the educational game on which the training programme is built. In order to do so, we have been working closely with our partners at ISTC-CNR (http://www.istc.cnr.it/) in order to develop a game that rigorously trains players in the skills and knowledge needed to become an excellent leader.