After every communication with the project partners for EU-Fairplay took place digitally so far, it was time to meet offline. For this reason, our small delegation traveled to Tampere, Finland from 27 Nov 2022 to 30 Nov 2022 to hold a networking event with the project partners. Since the GALA Conference 2022 was hosted in Tampere by the Serious Game Society in cooperation with Tampere University from November 30 to December 2nd, which focused on the implementation of serious games as teaching and learning methods, the Who’s Who of our science industry gathered there accordingly. For this reason, it made sense to hold a network meeting to get to know the partners of our project personally on the one hand and to engage in a collaborative exchange on the other.
After the visit to the university on Monday, where Kristian Kiili – scientist at the University of Tampere and co-organizer of the GALA conference – showed us the premises, we sat down again for the preparation and finalization of our workshop. This was followed by a meeting with some of the partners who had already arrived to have dinner and get to know each other. Interesting conversations were held and exquisite delicacies were enjoyed.
Tuesday started very early as we all met in a separate seminar building at the university, where we held the first part of our workshop on educational equity through learning games. Professor Roger Azevedo from the University of Central Florida opened with a presentation on how game mechanics can be used to teach significant social challenges to society. The attendees received the presentation well and led to a lively discussion of the topic.
Afterward, Professor Azevedo received a small culinary specialty from Dresden. We introduced ourselves and our project to everyone in detail and summarized the project’s progress so far as well as our vision for the future. To lighten the atmosphere, we interspersed an icebreaker session with short, interactive games that led to interesting and lively conversations.
Lunch was served directly in the university’s canteen before we changed rooms to listen to two more presentations by researchers of the university and to hold the next part of our workshop.
In the first speech, Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen introduced her research on perspectives on educational equality in technology-based assessment research. The second talk was given by Antti Koskinen presented two studies that addressed individualized game-based learning. Both talks received interested feedback and also ended with culinary gifts from us.
The final phase of the session consisted of a co-creation workshop, in which the group was divided and assigned to specific topics. Next, research questions, issues, and solutions to the assigned subcategories of educational equity were to be identified and discussed through Digital Game-Based Learning. The resulting findings were documented and presented to the entire group. With so many creative minds, a variety of exciting results were generated.
After this long but highly productive day, we deserved our evening dinner. For this, we went to a stylish restaurant with a view over Tampere where we sat in a cozy round. There was a lot of laughing and story-sharing and our network meeting came to a wonderful end.
Author: Richard Joos