GameChangers goes on tour: Part 1 @CUScarborough


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The GameChangers programme is an exploratory and experimental programme at Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab, where we explore the application and implication of play and games in teaching and learning, specifically in HE. And we are currently going on tour!

As part of the two new spin-offs of the programme, the mobile GameChangers part-funded by HEFCE aims to expand the initiative’s remit to include the other Coventry University campuses (Scarborough, London and Dagenham).

We are currently in CU Scarborough engaging with staff and students (20-21 March 2017) it has been an exciting visit so far. Students are very engaged with the playful approaches of the different play and game-based workshop tasters we are running, such as Thinking with your hands using Lego, Game design and narratives via our associate (Coventry FabLab), Remixing Play into a GamePlan, narratED (What is your story?), etc.

We visited the Sixth Form college in the afternoon on our first day and the reception was also very encouraging. GameChangers was indeed a hit there, especially with the arts and media (graphics) students.

Mobile GameChangers also allows us to investigate new educational “geography”, which includes mobile and ‘pop-up’ creative spaces for fostering creativity and innovation in learning. We will be back in Coventry next (22-23rd) and will also visit our London Campus in May!

A big shout out to the team Helen Keegan, Luca Morini, Oliver Wood and Peter Coleman!!! ACE!

See you soon!

Post-digital transformation via playful and gameful approaches


Living in a digital age includes facing head on options on sophisticated offerings,  cacophony saturations of noise information, divided attention, etc. We tend to be influenced by the latest fad trend and pressure from having to comply to the digital norms can be a bit overwhelming.

However, being too over-driven by technology and the latest trends in digital engagement can take away the value from the “experience” that these technologies intend to foster in the first place.

So how do we cope with this? No real answer really – try switching off and hide in a tranquil forest somewhere? This actually reminds me of yo-yo dieting. I believe in enjoying stuff in smaller portions.

Oh what am I getting to with this Friday brain-fart  post? Well, I’ve been thinking about post-digital transformation of mindsets that will help mould a practice that will act as a conduit between old custom and practices into new and exciting territories. It is about taking inspirations from old and tested practices and remix them into new solutions. And how such practice can help us repurpose rather than re-invent (?).

How can we do it playfully? Taking inspirations from the methods that I have tested, implemented and published within the GameChangers context, I am wondering if collectively these approaches could help individuals to discover and reflect on their playful experiences and use these to inform the design of the experience they wish to facilitate – either for their customers, students, patients, clients, etc.  Note that some of these methods that I developed are currently being adopted and adapted by others. Most recently – the Remixing Play approach (also see workshops at OEB17, Trinidad and CEDEP) was adopted by Adi Montas in her MBA workshop in Guatemala (2017).

With these perspectives, I have drafted a concept that I will test with real participants. The transformation process should start with the discovery and onboarding stage to ensure that they will invest in the process – mindsets transformation is not a short term feat- so the more they invest in the initial experience, the more they will invest in further activities. The draft idea is as presented below:

It would be interesting to hear any feedback on this. I am currently working on some strategy with some European partners on ways to implement this with different stakeholders.

What is your story? Cards – get them here


Screenshot 2016-05-06 18.57.38The ‘What is your story?’ cards were developed based on  Experience Design concept. It is my firm belief in focusing on a more human-centred design of solutions to real challenges.

Emphasising on understanding what experiences we want to facilitate will help us design effective solution or product. When you create an engaging interface to your services, you will be able to onboard your users better and faster and they will engage with your ‘content’ more. Personal investments in the onboarding stage will help them to invest more in what is on offer. However, it is key to ensure that level of participation is maintained with continuous engaging experience.

When I collaborated with Lauren Heywood on the design of the cards, we decided to remix the experience design approach into a more generic and playful solution for using story telling and narratives to enhance individual creativity towards collective intelligence. When used in a group of four for instance, creating narratives around the same set of cards will showcase the richness of ones experience and background that influence the stories they tell. And collectively, a shared narrative or solutions can be achieved.

 

And these cards have been used by peers internationally  and in many different iterations. They were designed to be generic enough to allow you to formulate your own games, workshops, tutorials, and best of all, they are free to download and use (CC by NC 4.0).

Please tweet us if you are using or adopting these cards. Would love to hear from you!

Tweet: @sarnab75 #GChangers #PlayRemixed

‘What is your story?’ NYC


We had such a great time at the Revolutionary Learning conference (17-19 August) in NYC. The weather has been glorious but most of all, the various sessions at the conference were very thought provoking and exciting. And it was a pleasure to finally meet Ian Livingstone CBE in person!

As briefly discussed in one of my previous posts, playful and gameful learning has been our key interest in remodelling teaching and learning practices in higher education. Even though our current work includes K12 education and further education, the conference has validated our aim to further emphasise playful and gameful practices in higher education. You can have a look at my previous posts to read and view snippets of the work that we are carrying out in the area.

We showcased one of the outcomes of the playful and gameful GameChangers programme at the Revolutionary Learning conference. The aim of the workshop was to help participants recognise that non-digital means for playful learning is still valid in today’s teaching and learning practice. And in particular, the ‘What is your story?’ cards have been designed to be used as a tool to promote creativity in personalising our interpretations of various abstract topics and concepts. And they can also be used to facilitate positive and constructive debates around the different interpretations of the same visual cues. Description of the session- here.

The participants enjoyed the experience and reflected that the same approach could be used in various contexts and settings. Snippets of the workshop can be viewed below.