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Virtual Game Method in Higher Education
Start date: Nov 1, 2014, End date: Oct 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In nowadays world the human capital became the most important factor of the level of development of countries, regions and companies which reasons the efforts put in the raising the quality of human capital by the education. In EU strategy Europa 2020 education is one of the five aims of European strategy. According to the experience of teachers and research results the problem with education is not just the question of the content of learning but also the question of the most effective learning/ teaching methods. During the GAMES project we will work on the development and introduction of virtual games in higher education as innovative education method. The use the games is education (also called as edutainment) combines education and fun, involves students in education and allows to experiment with different aspects of eduction. One of the area where games are used is business education. A business game is a simulation or model of either the whole or a part of a business organization. Simulations and games are experimental training activities which incorporate and utilize the different mental abilities of the students. The students as players put themselves in the position of business managers in various aspects of company management. During the game, their task is to make decisions within their area of competence, and the quality of those decisions has an impact on the virtual company's performance. Business games force the participants to take a sequence of managerial decisions and later the players receive feedback regarding the consequences of those decisions. Business games are considered as a trial-and-error method which permits a deeper insight into business management problems. Simulations increase the level of organizational reality during training and provide the trainees with an opportunity for unstructured learning. All of these advantages of virtual games as teaching methods reasoned the application for the project. In the GAMES project we will reach the following objectives: - we will train teachers from partner organizations to teach with virtual games and to prepare own game scenarios, - we will develop the software (engine) of game produced in previous project by implementing new business logic to the software - we will develop own new scenarios of virtual games, possible to use in business and social care education - we will test the scenarios with students at partner organizations and make a survey on them about their perception on the virtual games as teaching tool - we will organize the conference to disseminate the GAMES project results and to make edutainment better known to the audience - we will publish a textbook on using virtual games in higher education. There will be 4 partners in the GAMES project from different part of European Union (Finland, Estonia, Poland, Spain). This geographical and economic diversification of partners assure the better effects of the GAMES project in the field of contribution and dissemination. Partner organizations represent different teaching areas (management, social care, labour market, statistics). We will undertake following activities: - trainings, we assume 2 workshops for teachers and 1 training for student - conference - improvement and development of the software for virtual games - development of own game scenarios - publishing a textbook and papers on edutainment and virtual games - testing new scenarios with students We will use the following methodology in the GAMES project. We will arrange workshops to introduce the virtual games as education tool to teachers. During these workshops: - teachers will be put at the position of students and will have to play a virtual game by themselves - we will lead an open discussion how to teach with virtual games - we will discuss how to prepare the own scenarios Another methodology implemented in the GAMES project assume own work of teachers (home based) on the preparation of data for scenarios (all partners), on improvement of the engine and setting up the parameters of scenarios into the software (partner from Poznan University of Economics). Later, to assess the quality of own virtual game scenarios we will test them with students (all partners). We will reach following results of the GAMES project: - teachers from partner organizations trained to teach with virtual games and trained to prepare own game scenarios - developed engine of the game (software) - new virtual game scenarios - trained students - textbook and papers on virtual games The direct impact of the GAMES project will be on the level of education in partner organizations by implementing the innovative teaching method (both on teachers and students). The indirect impact will be on all organizations, teachers and students to whom the project will be disseminate. Long term benefits will let to raise the level of education in partner universities and partner countries by implementing the virtual games as innovative education method.
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