Activity: Game-making as a group learning assignment
Teaching- Learning Approach:
Brief description of the activity
In this activity, students will need to think about how to work on a particular topic related to their profession through games, which they will need to design themselves. These games can either be devised for other students or patients/social work clients. The students should therefore explore the topic in depth, choose the game format that best suits the topic (e.g. board game, role game, escape game) and plan the dynamics of the game. Games will then be tested and further developed with other students and/or stakeholders (e.g. patients/clients, healthcare and/or social work professionals, teachers).
Activity plan: step by step
Before the activity
Things to take into account prior to the activity:
During the activity
Step 1. Form teams and choose the topic. According to the number of students, organise them into teams (3 to 5 in each team, ideally). They should think of a topic related to their profession that they will want to work on with the game they will create.
Step 2. Research and game design. Once the topic is chosen, students should do their research about it in order to find the best way to work on it. They should also decide whether they will work on the topic with other students or with patients/social work clients. That is, for whom the game will be devised. Thereafter, they should research types of games to find the one that suits their topic best. They can also draw on previous games they played with.
Beyond deciding the type of game, they should also decide:
- Dynamics of the game: how will the game develop?
- Story telling
- Aim of the game: what should be done to win the game?
- Organisation of participants or teams: is there a minimum/maximum number of participants? Should participants be organised into groups?
- Rules of the game
Finally, they should provide themselves with all the materials necessary to build the game. They should also design and print a brochure with all the instructions. This can either be done in another session or as an assignment.
During this session, the teacher should go through the different groups and guide them through the research they are performing, as well as helping them design the game.
Step 4. Pilot testing and improving the game. In another session, students should meet with each other and/or with stakeholders (patients/clients, healthcare/social work professionals, teachers) to pilot test the game. They will facilitate the game and observe whenever rules are not understood, whether the aim of the game is clear, whether it actually aids in working on the topic that they chose, etc. Participants of the game will provide feedback related to all these issues. They will also propose solutions to the problems that they encountered in order to co-develop the game further. After this discussion, students should apply the improvements to their game.
After the activity
After the activity, it’s time for self-reflection. Ask students to think about how they worked as a group, whether they encountered any difficulties and/or conflicts and how they solved these, whether it was easy for them to think of ways to work on topics related to their profession, as well as and whether it was easy to facilitate the game, etc. This can either be an individual reflection or a group discussion.
Role of teacher(s)
Transversal skills are difficult to evaluate, particularly among big groups of students. Therefore, in this section we propose a tool for students to self-assess the development of these skills. The tool is divided into three dimensions: suitability of the learning activity, level of achievement of learning outcomes, and transferability to professional settings. You can adapt the dimensions and/or indicators that you use according to your teaching-learning context and needs.
Evaluation tool to self-assess the development of skills during the activity
For each of the following statements, select the best answer on a scale from 1 to 4, where 1 means “Not at all” and 4 indicates “Yes, totally”. N/A means “not applicable”.
|DIMENSION 1. Suitability of the learning activity|
|I found this learning activity adequate in terms of time|
|I found this learning activity adequate in terms of resources (material resources, physical space, etc.)|
|I found this learning activity adequate in terms of content|
|I found this learning activity engaging|
|I found this learning activity challenging|
|I found this learning activity disruptive in comparison with other learning methodologies|
|I found this learning activity useful to learn [add the subject]|
|I found this learning activity useful to retain knowledge|
|This learning activity motivated me to deepen my knowledge of [add subject or hard skill]|
|This learning activity allowed me to feel emotions that would be rather difficult to experience with other learning methodologies|
|I would recommend this learning activity to others|
|DIMENSION 2. Level of achievement of learning outcomes|
|This learning activity helped me to improve…|
|…my ability to [add a row for each learning outcome of the activity that you performed, both related to hard and transversal skills]|
|DIMENSION 3. Transferability to professional settings|
|After this learning activity…|
|…I will be better able to apply what I learned to my reality (everyday life, classroom, professional life)|
|…I feel more capable to perform in a professional setting|
|…I feel I can make better choices regarding professional situations|
|…I feel more prepared and self-confident to address professional situations|
OPEN QUESTION – Use this space to explain whatever you think is remarkable from the learning activity, including strengths, weaknesses, improvements, potential uses, feelings or dilemmas you encountered during the activity.
Download evaluation tool in pdf here.