Level Up Learning

About this idea

The interest in game-based learning has accelerated considerably in recent years, driven by clear successes in military and industrial training as well as by emerging research into the cognitive benefits of game play. Developers and researchers are working in every area of game-based learning, including games that are goal-oriented; social game environments and games developed expressly for education. At the low end of game technology, there are literally thousands of ways games can be and are already being applied in learning contexts (2010 Horizon Report: K12 Edition).

The Level Up Learning project aims to utilise game based learning for education. Within game-based learning, learners work towards a goal, choosing actions and experiencing the consequences of those actions along the way. Learners make mistakes in a risk-free setting, and through experimentation, they actively learn and practice the right way to do things. This keeps them highly engaged in practicing behaviours and thought processes that improve the learning experience.

Level Up Learning is a 2D platform game in which the player’s objective is to collect all information within a level via collecting “Info coins”. The Info coins each present the player with information about a particular subject, this information is customisable and can be tailored to that player’s course. When the player has collected all info coins within a level they are then quizzed on the information within them. If the player answers the end of level questions correctly they will be awarded points forming an overall score.

Currently we have a pilot for a gamified course induction for a Foundation Degree in Computing.  We want the initial start to their course to be informative and engaging, introducing them to their course but also new ways of learning. We have found that Gamifying curriculum content gives students the boost in motivation they need to become active participants in the learning process.

We want to further develop this concept into a multi-course learning experience with advanced features such as custom content, student tracking, leader boards, and in game assessments.  It is our aim to create games with a motivational factor that encourages player curiosity and gives players control of their own learning. The game will run within a website allowing it to be accessible on any computer with the Unity Web Player installed, the game will also be built so to allow it to run on older computers. We plan to develop the games within the space of a year allowing for development, testing, optimisation and fixes.

Virtual Services is a section within South West College that specialises in developing educational/simulation games for use within the college’s curriculum. Our team includes experts in games development and design who have designed several educational games for use within the college.