This week, I had the pleasure to attend the GBL summer school 2011, an event organized in Autrans, a peaceful and welcoming village located in the French Alpes, a few kilometres from Grenoble.
The event was held for a week and provided phd students with a fantastic opportunity to network, learn more about GBL, and present their work and views on GBL.
Participants included lecturers, researchers and phd students from European countries (e.g., France, Spain, Greece, Italy, Australia, or England).
Most days included keynote presentations in the morning, followed by workshops in the afternoon. The themes of the presentations and workshops included adaptive games, new technologies, the user experience, evaluation, and virtual reality.
I found these themes highly relevant as they addressed many of the issues faced by researchers and also showed future trends. Students also demonstrated very interesting work and ideas in their posters, with topic such as collaborative learning, authoring tools for teachers, increasing creativity through gbl, adaptive multiple user systems, scenario-based learning, risk management training, multi-modal approach to language learning, user profiling, mixed reality games, interactive tabletops, factors impacting on motivation or 3D virtual environments.
I particularity enjoyed discussions with researchers and students on their work. It was great to see the enthusiasm and drive of all students attending this event. Overall, this summer significantly highlighted the need for user-centered environments that empower user to teach and learn, and provide experiences that are both educational and entertaining.
Informal feedback from attendees tends to indicate that this summer school was a success, that it has managed to provide students with feedback on their work, an overview of the issues and challenges faced by GBL researchers, and useful ideas for their future work.
I believe such events are extremely important for students, who may feel the need to discuss their research with other students and researchers, but may lack opportunities to do so. Some students may not feel confident enough to talk to other researchers at conferences, and summer schools may just give them this opportunity.
More importantly, this event may be organized every year and all participants will continue networking virtually on Linkedin.
Thanks to the organizers for their incredible work and efforts.
Thanks to the students, for their ideas, enthusiasm, and the fantastic work they have produced so far.
Overall a fantastic event that I would highly recommend!