Serious Games challenging us to play a better education
Via: play think learn - The IMAGINE Project
The Increasing Mainstreaming of Games in Learning Policies (IMAGINE) project aims to draw together and examine the results of previous games-based learning projects and initiatives.
The recently-published IMAGINE Report Final provides lots of examples of projects in the area and can be found as described below:
Date: 22.9.2009Compiled by Maja and Paul Pivec
FH JOANNEUM University of Applied Sciences
The report undertakes the task of identifying Game-Based Learning (GBL) projects within the European community and provides a description of good practice case studies spread across all levels of education.
The aim was to provide a summary of available research on GBL and a comprehensive valuation of work carried out to date to be used as a foundation for further work, and to increase mainstreaming of games in learning policies.
The methodology employed to identify projects for assessment within this desk research included the compilation of a database of European GBL projects by all the Imagine project partners, and use of the extensive research completed for the Games in Schools report (http://games.eun.org/).
The SIG-GLUE Quality Commission identified and defined the criteria to analyze and to evaluate games used for learning. The evaluation criteria was developed and explained in detail in a downloadable guide (http://www.sig-glue.net).
Teachers and trainers can also evaluate the quality of games using this report and use the criteria to establish if the selected resource can be considered as a quality learning resource.
Of the 82 projects identified, only 56 were included as they were found to have referenceable material. A selection from these projects are mentioned within the report and further linked to more detailed information within each section, providing additional descriptions. In short, examples are chosen because of completeness of results, usefulness of output, and perceived sustainability.
Executive Summary Excerpts
Identified projects have been usefully categorized by target audience, technology used, and project outputs. These categories are further broken down into types of audience (primary/secondary, tertiary, life-long learning and industry), technology (mobile, web-based, computers and recreational), and output (literature, methodology and GBL resources). A section on sustainability has been included, and conclusion and recommendations are tabled.
The majority of the projects reviewed targeted primary schools, both students and teachers. All sectors of the community had representation including the elderly, the disabled, at-risk people, and some projects were specifically aimed at women. The spread of projects across technologies is consistent with what is in use in schools. The use of mobile platforms appears to be on the increase as does web based technology. Although the majority of projects reviewed focus on resource as an output objective, many of these only create prototype games for use within the project. Only a select few go on to commercialize the resulting product, or to create a community that lives on after the project has ended.
Examples of notable mention are as follows (in no particular order):
- Discover - http://www.discoverproject.net/
- Games in Schools - http://games.eun.org/
- eMapps – http://www.emapps.info/
- ElderGames - http://www.eldergames.org/
- eCircus - http://www.e-circus.org/
About the IMAGINE Project
IMAGINE (Increasing Mainstreaming of Games In Learning Policies) is a two-year project funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) : Leonardo da Vinci & Studies, Indicators and Dissemination
IMAGINE will cover all LLP participant countries. The work programme has been designed to reach the maximum number of interested participants and to effectively inform all relevant players.
The main target audience is policy makers: people working at key levels of national ministries responsible for school education, adult and lifelong learning, vocational training (employment), skills agendas, regional and local education authorities and other bodies responsible for strategic developments concerned including those agencies which promote ICT in schools.
The outcome will be a substantial community of policy makers with a high level of commitment to pursue the implementation of games-based learning across a large number of countries and all three levels of education covered.
A number of case studies are available at http://www.imaginegames.eu/eng/Case-Studies, among them the Learning Game.