By Academy of Entrepreneurship (AKEP)

Following the creation of the “videogame for competent adventurers” that aims at encouraging the development of soft skills of students and graduates in order to improve their employability prospects, the COMPETE! consortium organised an online “Train the Trainers” activity to get trainers and professors acquainted with the concept of videogames as pedagogical tools, and at the same time present the game and the training package that accompanies the game.

During the 3-days training (February 21-23, 2022), trainers and professors from Italy, Greece, Spain, Lithuania, Belgium, and Denmark had the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the notion of videogames as a teaching strategy to allow learners to gain, reinforce and nurture their knowledge on specific topics.

Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) presented the developed game that focuses on three soft skills: stress tolerance, problem solving and communication, but also includes elements related to team working, emotional intelligence and creativity. Demetra Formazione made an introduction to the training package that comes together with the videogame, Eduplius delved more into games and how they can be a useful tool for learning, and the Academy of Entrepreneurship (AKEP) provided the participants with an analysis of the soft skills explored in the videogame and the skills that can create clusters to further facilitate access to the labour market.

The training activity ended with the presentation of RELIVE, a game about cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The main purpose of this game is to increase the awareness about this topic and push people, especially teenagers and young adults, to take a CPR class and be prepared to intervene in case of need. After this presentation, under the guidance of a facilitator, both the trainers and the partners participated in a collaborative and co-designing activity aiming at integrating the COMPETE! training program with innovative methods and tools.

On their part, the Greek trainers were very satisfied with the training activity as a whole. More specifically, “It was very efficiently organised, the duration was well calculated and the content was educational as an introduction for the use of videogames in training”.

After having attended the training activity, they believe that videogames appear to have the potential to facilitate significant learning, however, it is important for a trainer to choose carefully the games they want to use as videogames cannot replace a trainer or a curriculum, but sensible use of the appropriate games can complement an educational program.

As for the game, they find the instructions clear and easy to follow and the content of the game leading to the development of soft skills.

“The strength is that it introduces a new aspect of videogames however it must tackle the fact the videogames provide a perspective that is far from real, although the skills are needed in a real world”.

For the trainers, its only weakness is that the lack of more vivid graphics and features (e.g., pop-up features) which can attract and maintain attention of the participants. The training package proved that “gamification of training is a new aspect of learning in the digital world, however, there is not enough investment on using videogames in the academic or post academic learning process”.

The Greek trainers really appreciated the fact that different interactive tools were used to keep participants more engaged. They feel that video games can be well used for the development of certain skills and can make learning a fun and enjoyable process’.