Midway through Beaconing


1.1The Beaconing project has just completed its first review (the first 18-month Reporting period) with success. Thanks to the reviewers and the EU Project Officer, we passed with no corrections; all deliverables excepted. We are highly inspired by the feedback from the reviewers with regards to the value of work we have completed so far, specifically the development and integration outcomes.

Beaconing aims to support anytime anywhere learning by exploiting gameful and location-based techniques and technologies. We believe that a strong narrative that encapsulates a learning journey and the flexibility to contextualise learning in real geo-locations are key elements to engaging learners with various educational activities and challenges. And most importantly, we would like to support the teaching and learning community in discovering new ways for creating a more playful lesson plan populated with gameful resources without the need to code or script.

The project has produced individual components, which are deemed to be exploitable, such as the gamified lesson path (GLP) taxonomy, context-aware activity authoring tool, the GLP authoring tool and the gameplot editor. As a platform, Beaconing will allow you to reuse and modify existing lesson paths (shared by the community of teachers) and also create new ones. Please see a brief overview of the project and achievements so far:

 

Coordinating a project as large as Beaconing is indeed a mammoth task. The commitment from the work package leaders and the whole consortium is key to our success so far. It is by no means perfect but we have come so far as a consortium since the kick off in January 2016 (read year 1 reflections). Personality, professionalism and relationships are three key elements which I found essential on top of the relevant expertise. And a huge shout out to my coordinating team at Coventry University!

What I also learnt as the coordinator of the project is that individuality is key to collective creativity. In our case, components which are created based on the individual expertise of the different partners are now being integrated into the Beaconing ecosystem with functionalities that can be exploited individually or collectively. It is time to work closely with the user segments in the different pilot sites to identify sustainability and exploitation.

As part of our activities in the second half of the project, we aim to widen our reach to the different market segments. The pilot is currently ongoing and we are excited with the prospect of testing out our solutions with the stakeholders.

We will also soon announce an EU-Wide Location-Based event. Watch this space!!! We are coming to you!

Follow us on twitter – @BeaconingEU

Check out our publications so far

CreativeCulture in Borneo


FullSizeRenderSince the launch of GameChangers in 2015, the initiative has produced two spin-out projects- Mobile GameChangers and CreativeCulture funded by HEFCE and Newton respectively.

CreativeCulture was kicked off in February 2017, where the Malaysian team was involved in the Remix Play Summit. As part of the programme, the UK team recently visited the Malaysian site (7th – 18th August 2017) and spent 2 weeks with the local team developing the localised game design thinking programme for STEM education, carrying out workshop for educators in Kuching and visiting one of the project’s sites.

The UK team ran the Remixing Play into a GamePlan workshop with the local team prior to the site visit and the workshop with the stakeholders.

The workshop has led to a simple play-learn programme developed for the site visit, where we introduced a game-based learning activity to the teachers and students at Telok Melano (a remote/rural Malay fishing village). It was a great experience and a satisfying one, especially seeing the pupils enjoying the play-learn process. The teachers were also inspired and the school will now be one of the main sites for the CreativeCulture programme.

The site visit was followed by a workshop with the local stakeholders in Kuching. A call out for participation was published in the local news.

The workshop attracted just over 40 participants from various teaching and learning background (HE, schools, state ministry of education, regional/district education office, etc.). The participants had a lot of fun experiencing the Remixing Play process, where in less than 1 1/2 hours, they managed to create playful solutions to real challenges and some of them addressed STEM topics.

Slides used on the day:

The collaboration was further covered by the local press.

The project is putting out a call for teachers/educators in the Kuching/Sarawak area to be involved in the project. You may either want to explore the power of play and games in education, the game design process for learning or if you are already using game and play-based learning in your teaching, we would like to showcase your work. The local lead is Dr. Jacey-Lynn Minoi. Please visit the project’s website – http://mycapsule.my and email us at gamemaster@mycapsule.my

What is your story?


Screenshot 2016-05-06 18.57.38Understanding abstract concepts can be a bit tricky if they are not relatable. Personalising narratives around a topic or a subject contextualised the relevance and the applicability of the topic. Identifying with the potential of visual learning to help foster a more creative approach to interpreting abstract topics and concepts, we recently explored the use of images to provide cues and act as muses based on the concept of Experience Design – mapping three key elements: People, Context and Activities. Please see the infographic.

fundamentals-of-experience-design-stephenpa

As described in my previous post: “Personal interpretation of a concept or a topic is key to our knowledge development. By looking at a topic in different perspectives, collectively we can build this knowledge base- a base of personalised context and understanding. Story-telling and narratives have been key in our history from the oral accounts of events, written scrolls to printed books to highly animated and interactive medias.” Arnab S (2016)

Screenshot 2016-05-06 19.24.21Aiming to explore the power of creativity and personal experiences, we designed and developed a physical card-based game to facilitate this process. It is aptly named “What is your story?” – and it was developed under the Game Changers programme. This card-based approach allows you to create your own rules but the fundamental mechanics are:

  1. Choose the theme of your game
  2. All players draw one card from each element deck (People/Context/Activities)
  3. Using your cards as prompts, create a story or narrative concept based on the three key elements.
  4. May the best story wins!

Screenshot 2016-05-06 19.27.08To test the cards, we recently  ran a workshop at the DMLL Expo (see storify here) using the cards and we added additional rules:

  1. We provided poker chips/tokens to each player
  2. To encourage peer-review and rating, each player passed a token to the one they feel has the best story in that round
  3. The one with the most tokens was the winner of that round.
  4. The game was continued with different themes.

The main aim was to introduce a playful way to get learners to look at complex concepts in a more relax way. This approach can be used as part of an induction into a course to encourage learners to build narratives around their understanding. More rules can be added to the game-play. For instance based onExperience  Design, you can add more layers to the three elements, meaning you can explore the narratives around multiple cards from the different element decks.

Based on the feedback and requests for cards to be used in the existing practices of the participants (n=36), there is a great potential for the approach and we have ordered more card decks for use at the university.

FullSizeRenderWe will also run a similar workshop at the Revolutionary Learning Conference in NYC in August 2016. Released under CC By-NC 4.0, the cards can be reused, repurposed and remixed to suit the different learning outcomes. The next step is to provide a downloadable templates. We are also looking into using this to help students to create narratives around the cross-connection between the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics.

Some of the twitter feeds on the workshop at the DMLL Expo: