iGBL2011: Where do we go from here…

Last week, the Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning (iGBL) was held at Waterford Institute of Technology. It featured over 16 presentations on Game-Based learning and provided attendees with a deeper understanding of the different challenges and opportunities for GBL in Ireland.

The morning started with an opening note from Dr Paul Barry (Head of school of science at WIT) and a keynote from Michael Hallissy (Digital Hub). The conference then split into two streams in the morning and afternoon, followed by a roundtable to identify the future of GBL in Ireland.

The feedback has been very positive so far, and participants seem to have appreciated a friendly atmosphere, interesting discussions, and thought-provoking presentations.

The roundtable organised at the end of the conference was particularly conducive to constructive and innovative ideas and the overall feeling from this rountable was that we need more connections between all GBL stakeholders in Ireland, including teachers, lecturers, researchers, and companies. It was felt that we need to create more links, notably by using social networks and create forums where all interested in GBL can discuss and share best practice. There is also a need to identify and develop specific streams (e.g., industry, primary and secondary education or second chance education ).

The following ideas were brought forward at the roundtable:
Promoting GBL:

  • Identify and contact all stakeholders involved in designing/evaluating/using GBL in Ireland
  • Create a Facebook group
  • Identify and use successful case studies on GBL
  • Need for guidelines on how to use GBL
  • Some teachers may require training on GBL
  • It would be great to involve book publishers in the group
  • Create local, and county-wide groups of teachers interested in GBL, organize meetings and share best-practice (i.e., social network of best practice)
  • Organize workshops on GBL

Creating GBL solutions

  • Develop customizable GBL solutions that allow teachers to focus on specific part of the curriculum within time constraints
  • Some existing educational games, may, due to their poor design, have put off teachers initially interested in GBL.
  • GBL solutions should be easy integrate
  • Teachers should take part in the design of educational video games
  • Connect developers and teachers
  • Using coding day for education or game jams to create links between developers and teachers and produce GBL solutions
  • Create a database of gaming courses in Ireland
  • Liaise between teachers and developers to verbalize/explain/define requirements for GBL application

Prepare for iGBL2012

  • For next year, it would be great to include more attendees and presentations from primary and secondary schools teachers
  • Identify issues (and corresponding solutions) faced by teachers who would like to use GBL
  • Second day with workshops on how to employ GBL in classrooms
  • Showcase of GBL software where instructors can understand and test the potential of GBL for their teaching
  • Game-Jam with where game development/design students can create an educational game based on a specific theme
  • Any idea is welcome!

So what’s next….

Judging from the iGBL2011, there is a significant interest in GBL in Ireland but we may need to create more opportunities for all GBL stakeholders in Ireland to network and discuss.

What can you do to help?

  • Join our Linkedin Group and share ideas on GBL
  • If you know anyone interested in GBL or involved in GBL, let them know of our tweeter hash tag #igbl and Linkeding group (Game-Based Learning Ireland)
  • Share your experience of using GBL
  • Share resources on GBL
  • if you think you can help with any of the tasks/ideas/suggestions listed above, please let us know

Thanks again to all of you who attended iGBL2011, and looking forward to talk to you on Tweeter, Linkedin, or this blog…


3 thoughts on “iGBL2011: Where do we go from here…

  1. John

    Patrick You should get the presenters to write a short blog post about the presentations as a taster. John Heffernan@johnmayo


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