Open university (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2023 Proceedings
Publication year: 2023
Pages: 51-54
ISBN: 978-84-09-49026-4
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2023.0020
Conference name: 17th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2023
Location: Valencia, Spain
We see growing evidence that students experiencing professional challenges during training by playing scenario-based serious games will also engage better within future careers. Such ‘professional games’ when well-designed are able to provide immersive learning scenario where students learn to actively acquire and apply their knowledge and skills in authentic contexts. Entrepreneurship like transversal skill is becoming more crucial for economic growth and employment, and the more conventional didactical approaches appear less ineffective. More effective approaches should include experiential and task-oriented learning from real business problems and contexts.

The serious game TYCON (how to become a tycoon in construction) was developed as such a more effective didactical approach in the context of entrepreneurship training for construction workers (at European Quality Framework levels 3 to 5). The game offers an immersive scenario that requires players to carry out authentic tasks to solve problems in authentic construction business contexts, in order to acquire more of five main entrepreneurship competences.

We have conducted an empirical study to compare professional awareness about entrepreneurship before and after gameplay, and collected and analysed computer logging data on game behaviour. We also administered a questionnaire after gameplay to inquire about game appreciation.

Main findings show that the awareness gain from gameplay is indeed significant (with mean scores on a knowledge test increasing from 45% to 61% correct answers), and that the games were appreciated (mildly) positive on important game features (flow, authenticity, motivation, usability, learnability and attractiveness). We also discuss limitations of the study and recommendations for future research into professional games for awareness raising.
Serious games, instructional design, entrepreneurship, evidence-based study.