SGSCC - Serious Games for Social & Creativity Competence
Tue, 01/01/2013 - Tue, 30/06/2015
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This project is dedicated to the appreciation and development of social competence in adult education, school curricula and professional development through the creation of serious games and other training materials that make use of computer and mobile technology. The project offers a social competence and creativity unit with appendix contains practices and exercises. The material helps the mainstream educators and trainers to teach effectively their learners with special needs. The appendix offers a plethora of worksheets, practical exercises and role play games. They are distinguished in three levels of difficulty depending on the stage of disability and learning capacity of the learners. Additionally the partners developed Illustrated handbook. This book opens the world of social relationships to people with disabilities and youngsters. The texts within the book are supported by hand-made illustrations to facilitate the understanding and acquiring of the social competence and creativity. The learners (people with mild learning difficulties) are faced with contextualised, unstructured problems that feed directly into the game play and will be asked to investigate how understanding and using social competence may help achieve meaningful solutions. The project consortium is using a contemporary 3D gaming environment populated by user-driven and non-player characters to create a range of realistic and engaging scenarios dealing with a range of social competencies. The main features of the games are: accessible and user-friendly interface with attractive and realistic avatars, audio support, subtitles, single and multiplayer modes. The end users will have an opportunity to develop a set of social competencies while playing tailored innovative serious games. Their trainers are supported by dedicated Trainers' Manual which describes the hardware/software requirements, usage scenarios, and instructional approach. It will help trainers and mainstream educators to install easily the games and to guide through their stages.
• To remove attitudinal & discriminatory barriers to social integration, education & employment for people with disabilities.
• To increase their integration (particularly those with mild learning disabilities) into social life & community by providing Lifelong opportunities as adult learners by increasing their social and creativity competencies.
• To ensure that the end user groups are included throughout each phase of the project through robust needs analysis to inform design requirements & narrative learning content & to retain their involvement through each phase of the project (testing, piloting, exploitation etc.).
As a whole the SGSCC project’s objectives meet the European priority “Reinforcing transversal competences, such as digital competence, bridging the worlds of education & work” by providing a new pedagogical approach & learning materials that consider all of the learning styles, are highly visual & interactive to engage & involve high numbers of learners.
The methodology began with a thorough in-depth empirical analysis research elaborated in Austria, Bulgaria, Flanders (Belgium), Lithuania, Serbia and Turkey. This data base serves as a guideline for the future development of educational games within the project and labour market context for young people with mild learning problems.
The data indicate that stakeholders assess the following 8 subcomponents of social competence as being suitable for improvement by means of educational computer games: Communication skills; Cooperation; Interpersonal conflicts; Self-evaluation; Self-control; Assertiveness; Self-efficacy and Motivation. Those constructs are the base for the already developed Social competence & Creativity curriculum, handbook and practical exercises. The material helps the mainstream educators and trainers to teach effectively their learners with special needs. The appendix offers a plethora of worksheets, practical exercises and role play games. They are distinguished in three levels of difficulty depending on the stage of disability and learning capacity of the learners. They are three levels of difficulty: for people without disability, for people with disabilities with basic social skills and the lowest level for people with mild learning difficulties.
This handbook was enhanced by additional product, which was not initially planned on the stage of proposal approval – namely the “Illustrative handbook”. This book opens the world of social relationships to youngsters and people with disabilities. The unique, hand drawn illustrations within the book, supported by brief, positive phrases, facilitate the understanding and acquisition of key social competence.
Based on the structure of the SGSCC curriculum the partners developed the “Inca Island” - a desktop game which guides you through the world of social competences through 6 game areas (elaborated in 18 rooms) covering the key social competences: Communication, Cooperation, Assertiveness, Self-esteem, Self-control and Conflict resolution. That game is using engine/system facilitation the creation, management and playback of game play, presented within a contemporary, graphically and aurally rich, 3D gaming environment. Interactive elements and animation that may be combined by a non-technical author to create a range of realistic and engaging interaction driven scenarios that can be played back within a real time game-play driven context. Inca Island is a 3D game populated with 18 puzzle rooms. The game can be played by a single player, or cooperatively in multiplayer mode. Each room relates to a key competence and must be solved by interacting with the environment, non-player characters and, in multiplayer mode, cooperatively with the other player. The game features a simple and user-friendly interface with attractive and realistic avatars, multilingual audio and subtitles.
Moreover the SGSCC partners developed An Android mobile game, Inca's Quest, where “600 years ago in an ancient land a young Inca left to solve a great mystery”. The player should help him in his adventure to find the 3 missing diamonds. There are 3 games available: Inca’s emotions (recognising emotions from facial expressions), Inca’s spirits (recognising one’s own strengths, qualities and skills) and Inca’s adventures (learning about relationships).
The trainers who are supposed to deliver the SGSCC curriculum to their beneficiaries are also supported by Trainers manual which describes the hardware/software requirements, usage scenarios, and instructional approach. It will help trainers and mainstream educators to install the games and guide them in their usage. All SGSCC results are available in English, Bulgarian, Turkish, Dutch, German, Serbian and Lithuanian.
- - People with disabilities (mild learning);
- - Disadvantaged groups;
- - Mainstream educators;
- - Trainers / teachers / facilitators within a labour market relevant setting;
- - Parents and relatives, friends of people with disabilities;
- - Career Counsellors;
- - Social workers;
- - Educational experts;
- - Decision makers in the field of education and training.
Good practice innovations
The complexity in terms of ICT, the pedagogical innovation of the new platform and expertise in working with the target group, requires an integrated approach, bringing together different types of communities and establishing solid frameworks for collaboration. The European angle therefore enhances the transfer of knowledge and technology between the different actors of the European research and innovation system, furthering the distribution of research excellence in the different regions of Europe. The project helps to improve the quality, attractiveness and accessibility of the opportunities for Lifelong Learning available by developing interactive games &3D stimulations by user-generated scenarios for acquiring transversal competencies such as social competence and creativeness to increase the social integration, personal development and employability of people with disabilities (mild learning disabilities). The interactive games and user-generated scenarios are focusing on improving the social, digital and creativity competencies thus directly increasing the employability, the competitiveness and the creativity of people with disabilities at the EU labour market and improving the quality of their. It is important to highlight that SGSCC addresses directly the needs of people with mild learning disabilities by creating innovative methods of learning (interactive web & mobile games of 3D simulations) fully accessible and tailored to the needs of the target group by use of collaborative learning, learning by doing, peer learning in the society.
Good practice achievements
- - Consolidated research needs analysis report
- - Social competence & creativity handbook
- - Appendix “Practical exercises”
- - Illustrative handbook for people with mild learning difficulties
- - Desktop and mobile educational games on social and creativity competencies
- - Trainers manual
- - Usability Evaluation Report
- - Project website
Additional project documents:
- Consolidated research need analysis report
- Games Design Document Incorporating Learning Object Descriptors (desktop & mobile)
- A set of 3D interactive simulations regarding social competences and creativeness
- Trainers’ manual
- Usability Heuristics
- Evaluation materials – Expert Review Forms, Observational Checklists, User Questionnaire / Interviews
- Dissemination materials – leaflets, posters, scientific publications, articles etc.
Project partners and other stakeholders
Plovdiv University “P. Hilendarski”, Bulgaria (Project Coordinator)
The University is built on the foundation laid by the Higher Teacher-Training Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, which opened in July 1961. Over 7,500 full-time and 5,000 part-time students are enrolled in the programs and courses delivered by the university's eight faculties. The full-time teaching staff consists of 34 Full Professors, 167 Associate Professors and 360 Assistant Professors.
Dr. Pretis – Social Innovative Network – Austria
Dr. Pretis- SINN is a private research and training institution in Austria dealing with issues of planning, performing and evaluating social projects primarily in the field of vulnerable groups (children with disability, social risks, and marginalized groups).
PhoenixKM BVBA – Belgium
PhoenixKM aggregates knowledge, expertise and experience in the field of accessible education, training, and employment, making it available to people with disabilities through well-defined initiatives (specialised consultancy, projects).
Hi.Te.Co. - High Technology for Cooperation – Lithuania
Hi.Te.Co. (High Technology for Cooperation) offers consultancy in advanced technology fields and provides a series of multimedia solutions for web and mobile applications.
Nottingham Trent University – UK
NTU is a Higher Education institution. Its main areas of activity are teaching of undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and research. NTU currently holds £ 23,000,000 in external research funding from diverse sources including funding councils, UK and International industries and charities.
Istanbul Il Milli Egitim Mudurlugu – Turkey
Istanbul MEM has responsibility for all schools in Istanbul. Istanbul MEM's main responsibility is improving quality of education and educational services. Istanbul MEM supports original and creative projects developed by anyone in educational technologies.
The Belgrade Open School – Serbia
BOS is a non-governmental, not-for-profit educational organisation, established in 1993. BOS contributes to the overall development of society through additional education and training of agents of social change, research and policy-development in order to build a modern society based on democratic values.
INTERPROJECTS – Bulgaria
INTERPROJECTS is a training provider, having its activities fully directed towards people with disabilities and elderly people. Their team has managed and participated in several national and international projects in the field of accessibility, career orientation and guidance, employment, mentoring, e-games and networks of employers of disability, education, and employment
Good practice testimonial
The training resources I think are fantastic as it turns out that they know what makes people who have disabilities the way they are and the problems they face in everyday life.’
‘It’s helping you get more confidence and telling you to stand up for yourself’
'Very good, seems to cover all areas. It's good that strengths are identified first.'
'Really helpful......it includes drawings which make it more interesting to read and the text is easy to read…’
Usability, evaluation and piloting process consists of two parts. First part is the analysis of the effects of social competence training as a whole package (educational workshops and educational games (desktop and mobile)), on the development of social competence and creativity. Second part of evaluation consists of usability testing for educational games as well as evaluation of handbook/training materials and quality of educational workshops. The effects of educational games (desktop and mobile) and educational workshops on social competence and creativity are assessed through pre-test/post-test research design. Data will is collected before and after social competence training. In order to ensure that the effects of educational games and handbook/training materials can be assessed, the SGSCC partners included a control group and randomly assign participants to experimental and control group. A dedicated questionnaire has been developed. It consists of eleven items: four items represent indicators of communication skills: specifically listening, initiating conversations, self-discovery and empathy, two items represent indicators for self-control: dealing with emotions and completing tasks which require effort. Cooperation, conflict resolution, self-esteem, assertiveness and creativity are each represented with one item. The purpose of this instrument is to increase participant’s awareness of different aspects of social competence and creativity and gives them an opportunity to monitor their own development. It is a part of the method for evaluating the effects of social competence and creativity training. Interviews are conducted in one-on-one conversation between trainer and beneficiary before the start of training of social competencies as well as after its ending. The questions have been paraphrased according to the level of understanding of the beneficiaries which have been interviewed. The interviewer gives concrete examples to clarify questions to the beneficiaries. Part of the evaluation process is the development of Case Studies where have been presented a beneficiary who can be considered as a typical case of the relevant phenomenon.
As evaluation tool the partners are using the tracking engine “Red Mine” where all issues, bugs and troubleshooting are listed. Beside issue tracking activities mentioned above, each national project team is responsible of creating usability testing report to include: Number and type of usability testing activities organized; number and type of end users tested, main conclusions, problems and suggestion correlated to conduct usability testing.