Imagery and research

Can games bridge the gap between work and school?

There's a lot of talk about the potential of games and gamification in various uses. While there's still only scant real research, many of the observations point to the potential of gamification in motivating and involving people; whether in business apps, game platforms, or learning solutions.

In a recently published piece, we looked at the potential of a game in bridging a known gap: the one between education and the working life. Although nearly everyone knows that it's not a good idea to keep studying separate from work, it is also incredibly difficult to break the old boundaries.

In a EU funded project, we had students and teachers in three separate schools work with real business projects from six small businesses. Everyone - students, educators, entrepreneurs - worked together in an online game platform that was designed to ease cooperation.

Student feedback was positive. They perceived the project as fun and were happy to have something very real and concrete to work on. But the entrepreneurs were even happier - they were delighted to have a short learning opportunity with a limited time span, and that gave them new ideas and angles.

This is an issue that needs further research, but the results are clearly promising. Games can help pave the way for a closer cooperation between school and work.

The article is available on the eLearning Papers site for free download.
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