IO1 - collection of methods on building creativity skills in adult education

Whithin the Intellectual Output 1 members of the teams of the Game- ED project partners created a collection of methods for building creativity skills in adult education. The collection is one of the final outcomes of the research conducted by the project partners, which included the earlier stages of identifying and defining the project’s main reference concepts (e.g. adult learning, competence, skill, creativity, etc.), a questionnaire-based survey and needs analysis related to 21st century skills conducted among adult educators and adult learners, and a literature review focused on identifying the state of the art of research on methods for building creativity in adult education at the national level in each project partner country.

Both the needs assessment and the literature review revealed the need to develop creative skills in learners of all ages, which are essential for personal and professional self-innovation, flexibility, adaptability, progress and development in the current and future labour market. It has also shown that adult educators are in need of up-todate, innovative, interesting and attractive training and teaching materials that can support them. The needs analysis showed that adult learners require flexible, adaptable training, available both in person and online, based on new, innovative and attractive teaching materials that motivate and stimulate them to continuously engage in lifelong learning, which is the basic requirement for personal and professional development. Based on the research carried out in the initial phase of the project and the results of the literature review and needs analysis, the project partners have selected a number of methods that will be used to promote creativity in adult education.

IO2 - best practices in game-based learning methods in adult education

The second intellectual output of the GAME-ED project – BEST PRACTICES IN GAME-BASED LEARNING METHODS IN ADULT EDUCATION – is a continuation of the work and results carried out by the participating organisations in the first output. The resulting document consists of two main parts: a literature review of good practices in the field of game-based learning that have been implemented at national level in each partner country – the theoretical approach – and a compendium of best practices in the field of game-based learning used to enhance the 21st century competences and skills of adult learners – the practical approach. The literature review thus includes articles and other works describing good practice in the field of game-based learning methods in adult education in each of the partner countries. The review has shown that the researchers involved in the Game-ED project, who work in the field of education with a focus on game-based learning, have the necessary experience to build on their current research with previous work. At the same time, it has also shown the need for an authentic, up-to-date compendium of best practices in the field of game-based learning, making the Game- ED project activities and intellectual outputs highly relevant, useful and timely.

In the second part, the project partners selected a set of best practices involving play-based learning methods that can be used to develop competences for the 21st century. In reviewing best practices from each of the countries involved in the project, the partners found that there are a variety of interactive teaching methods, so the main challenge for them was to identify, select and present methods that focus on activating the thought processes associated with creativity: analytical and critical thinking; imagination; information extraction, reorganisation and restructuring; creating new ideas and products; transforming outdated products into new, innovative ones; giving new shape and form to old but useful resources.

This collection of methods for fostering creativity in adult education, which has been developed as a result of the work on IO2, is intended for adult educators and adult learners, as well as for all current and future educators/athletes at all levels of education working with learners of all ages in a variety of settings and activities. This is possible because the methods presented in this document have one distinguishing characteristic – flexibility.  Although the focus of selected methods in this collection is on adult education, the methods are adaptable to any educational setting and can easily be adapted to the needs of learners of all ages.

IO3 - methodology for the selection of game mechanics suitable for creativity development

The third intellectual output of the GAME-ED project – METHODOLOGY FOR THE SELECTION OF GAME MECHANICS SUITABLE FOR CREATIVITY DEVELOPMENT – is dedicated to game mechanics. In this IO the working team analysed what game mechanics are and how they work in order to link them to specific learning objectives, with the aim of making the functioning of game mechanics understandable for adult educators. We also wanted to find an answer to the following questions: What types of game mechanics can help students achieve specific learning objectives? What types of game mechanics can be used to develop creative skills? So what is game mechanics? It is a set of rules and procedures that guide the player and how the game responds to the player’s moves or actions. Game mechanics are the essential game activity that players perform repeatedly in a game. Every game has a game mechanics. The mechanics determine how the game should work for the players. However, not every game has its own game mechanics, many games have the same basics, for example, there are many word games that involve making and/or guessing words composed of individual letters. This report describes the methodology for developing serious games for lifelong learning contexts that can help students achieve specific learning goals. The methodology has been developed based on scientific evidence from the field of educational game research and development over the last 15 years. Designing and developing effective games is a very challenging task because it requires a good knowledge of the didactic aspects of the learning process as well as the technology of game development.

While there is no exact method for developing a game, we can divide the process into several phases that are common to all games. The first phase usually starts with the selection of learning objectives, target audience, game mechanics and story. Learning games also need to be interesting and fun, otherwise the full benefits of game-based learning cannot be achieved. We need to be able to integrate the activities that lead to the achievement of the learning objectives into the mechanics of the game we are developing, so that when players and learners achieve the objectives of the game, they no longer even notice the learning objectives. Over the last two decades, several methods and procedures have been developed to link selected learning objectives and game mechanics. In the following report, we present the most important work in this field that has had a major impact on the development of methods for game design, as well as examples of how the methods developed have been applied in practise. Based on these methods and the examples presented, we have analysed several examples of good practise that we presented in the first two IO’s of the project. In this way we laid the foundation for the development of the learning game that is being designed and developed as part of the project GAME-ED.

IO4 - creativity developing board game

Many games can stimulate creativity, but games are not made with development in mind, or even when development is considered, it is not usually based on a solid scientific background. Simply playing board games does not necessarily promote creativity or not in an efficient way. Games can promote development if they are designed to do so and are used in an efficient way with a perspective of self-development. For adults, time can be an important factor in the context of adult learning. Efficiency depends largely on time. Therefore, efficient tools and methods are needed for adult education to develop skills. Many games are only conditionally suitable for adult learning because they are not time efficient, e.g. when the duration of a game can be several hours.
In the project, especially in IO4, the plan was to develop a board game that encourages and develops creativity, creative thinking and other skills. It was also intended to develop a time-efficient game with scenarios and game mechanisms that would allow a complete game to be played within 45 minutes.
aIO4 was dedicated to the actual development of the board game developed by our partners in the project. The IO itself was dedicated to working on the game concept and its implementation, with the project’s main partner – Fontanus Center – playing an important role in the overall development of IO4. The game developers reviewed all the information that the partners had gathered during the project and conducted additional research. In the course of IO4, a board game emerged based on a set of concepts, rules and regularities established by the developers and the partners of the project. The game was tested several times during the development phase and evaluated after each test. This allowed the developers to gather a lot of information from the players and make changes to the game based on their comments.

The game is intended for use in non-formal and informal learning. Adult learning, due to its nature, often takes place in non-formal and informal education rather than in formal education. There are different contexts in which adults spend the time of their lives that is relevant to them. They can all be opportunities to play games and use them for self-development.
Partners aim to develop a board game for creativity development for most of these contexts (e.g. adult education courses and workshops, work environments, home life environments, leisure activity environments).

IO5 - guideline for the identification of board games appropriate for creativity development

In the context of game mechanics, the partners in this intellectual output identified, classified, tested and evaluated board games as innovative tools for adult education. At the beginning of 2020, more than 4200 board games were available on the market. However, despite the huge number of games published, their game mechanics are mostly unknown or unclassified. Therefore, the team in this IO aimed to test several board games and classify the game mechanics of the selected games. The partners concluded that board games are feasible and developable if they use game mechanics that require players to make decisions and take responsibility, and if the random factor in the game is low. When random factors play a large role in a game, players have to rely on luck and cannot use their skills to succeed, so they cannot use the game to develop competencies or skills. However, there is no list of which board game uses which game mechanics to use board games in adult education.

This guide will try to answer the question: What kind of board games should target groups choose to develop their creative skills, in terms of the game mechanics used? In the game testing phase of this IO, several board games were tested. Based on the results obtained in the test phase, the partners created and modified the game mechanics-skills matrix. Later, the test team was expanded by external institutions and organisations.  

And here it is! The final product of our project - the game itself

You can print out the game plan in any of the partner languages (Romanian, Hungarian or Slovenian) or in English. There are also all the cards needed for the game. So we invite you to print out the game and the cards and play.
We would also like to ask you to send us your feedback!