Think of a subject for a serious game in UM education! This appeal – under the heading of ‘Leading and Learning’ – was sent out by e-mail to students and staff last week. The deadline was 24 January. The idea came from a somewhat unexpected corner: the University Council. It explains why professor Wim Gijselaers, who is co-ordinating the Leading in Learning project, knows nothing about it. Gwen Noteborn, who was responsible for Second Life education at SBE for years, is also surprised.
"How can we improve education through gaming? That is what we want to know," says student and project initiator Constanze Müller, also a University Council member. The twelve best ideas will be turned into games during a 48-hour game jam in March. The best game, to be rewarded with the Leading and Learning Cup as well as five hundred euros, will be introduced throughout the university.
Noteborn, co-ordinator of ICT innovations in education, supports the serious gaming in education initiative, but wonders how well this plan has been prepared. "I don’t see how you can develop a game for the entire university, one that works in medical as well as in economic education. Coming up with something that is unrelated to a specific block, is not very useful. The game must connect with the content. Some blocks will be more suitable than others. It would suit distance education or some of the more boring subjects. The additional value of a game is the social interaction or competition."