Mini Games for Professional Awareness in Introductory Psychology

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Article in proceedingAcademicpeer-review


    Main problems with the current course Introduction to Psychology in our university is that students consider the content as too theoretical and insufficient in providing professional practice. Potential solutionsare expected to come from mini-games that have proven to enable more active and contextualized learning. In the context of course revision, the developmental research project that feeds this paper entails the design,development and evaluation of such mini-games. In this short paper on work in progress we argue why and describe how these mini-games provide students with practical, rich and safe learning environments as well asactive engagement with study specialisations and career profiles (section 1). Of core importance to our designapproach is to develop an overarching pedagogical scenario that connects authentic cases from practice tolearning activities in education which can be represented through mini-games. At the basis of our game playlies a multi-facetted problem family that is to be analysed and treated from the four main psychologicalperspectives that are offered as specialisations in our Master program Psychology. Competences practicedthrough practical assignments within the game (planned are about 16 mini-games that will each take 1-2 hours)are how to communicate with patients, how to conduct tests and therapies in actual practice, how to build andanalyse client files, how to deal with practical dilemmas, useless information and unexpected events, amongstothers. Besides describing the game design (section 2), this paper presents the experimental research design(section 3). For both effectiveness and cost-efficiency reasons, we intend to answer two research questionsthat appear to be relevant for advancing our knowledge about serious gaming in education by comparingexperimental variants of mini-games on their learning effect: Does the inclusion of more active learning fosterimproved professional awareness?; and Does the inclusion of more situated knowledge foster improvedprofessional awareness? At the time of the ECGBL2016 conference first prototypes of the mini-games will beavailable for demonstration and discussion.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of 10th European Conference on Game-Based Learning (ECGBL2016)
    EditorsT. Connolly, L. Boyle
    PublisherAcademic Conferences Ltd
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)978-1-911218-10-4
    ISBN (Print)2049-0992
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event10th European Conference on Game-Based Learning - Paisly, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Oct 20167 Oct 2016
    Conference number: 10


    Conference10th European Conference on Game-Based Learning
    Abbreviated titleECGBL
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • mini games for learning
    • pedagogical scenarios
    • authentic cases
    • experience psychology
    • professional awareness


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