Stichting PraktijkLeren Vocational Schools tested two RAGE powered games, Space Modules Inc. and IT Alert!, developed by Playgen, in several cities in the Netherlands.

Space Modules Inc. seeks to develop and practise communication skills, such as empathy, politeness, efficiency, and  was tested among students aged 17 to 22, mainly from the first year of studies and no expected background skills. It is planned to be tested again in October 2018 with a similar design but some changes.

The hypothesis is that the game improves communication skills and contributes with retention of learning. Teacher debriefing and a structured team lead to better learning than self-debriefing and/or an unstructured team.

Testing the games not only involves playing the games. The pilots aim to check learning results (improved communication, retention…) as well as which are the learners’ efforts involved and which the costs for the organisation.

In the case of IT Alert!, three subgroups are planned that differ on the debriefing method.

First year students play Space Modules Inc. and second year Students, IT Alert! The language of the game is Dutch, and the experiment is conducted in the classrooms of the participating vocational education schools.

Space Modules is played on a mobile device owned by the student, in the classroom or at home, and IT Alert! on a PC. Both Android and iOS are supported. IT Alert! requires networked computers with headsets for voice communication.

Evaluation of the pilots for both games focuses on three levels of the evaluation pyramid: Reaction, Learning and Costs and Benefits

At the Reaction Level the aim is to test usability (easy to play), study ability (guidance, feedback, objectives), user motivation (interest, effort, competence); and flow.

A pre-post test method is used to test learning effectiveness of the games. For Space Modules Inc.  this is done via pre-test/post-test performance. In the case of IT Alert!, this is done via in game-data that objectively measure collaboration skills learning such as empathy, and politeness, plus self-assessment on soft skills.

A preliminary analysis is conducted on the costs and benefits of integrating applied games in courses (is it a worthwhile investment?) through a semi-structured interview with education providers.

More information on these tests can be found here.

Posts are written and signed by its authors. RAGE Project does not responsabilize for the opinions and comments published in them.