The digitalized roleplay, that we have named CASE technology, has a lot to offer. CASE means Computer Assisted Simulation for Education. I CASE a web platform creates an extremely engaging and immersive learning universe where the academic content is built into the negotiations, arguments and necessary peer influence amongst the students.
The web platform guides participants through dynamic sequences of conflict with in-build possibilities for choices. All participants are active all the time with the teacher having an advisory role.
This is possible as the CASE platform solves a number of complex communication tasks for students and teachers. Initially, it is telling all participants what their task is here and now. The platform allows participants to meet without too many detours and help them focus on what brings them and the game forward.
Progress is built into the platform. Tasks must be solved in the current round of the game, otherwise you lose points. Tasks will follow the team’s decided strategy - and will for instance include meetings with others to find allies and in what order to meet with them.
CASE builds on traditional role plays. Participants become gradually more engaged by a number of dramaturgic finesses and they have to be active not to interrupt the games for the fellow players. Further, the CASE platform makes it possible to control and dose information so the participants get information when they need it. This will give them a much better chance to keep track of the greater picture of the game and act in a rational way even if they are in a complex and by and large unknown universe.
From the perspective of the participant the platform is an assistant that you communicate with through laptop or smartphone, so you can stay updated on new developments in real time. This helps them to be less insecure or confused by information they do not understand or cannot use in the moment and enhance their ability to act in a rational way. This improves their motivation and learning outcome.
As the role game is web based it can easily be adjusted to different contexts and different educational settings - and to more informal learning settings. It can be played using one language or more, for instance with exchange classes.
It can be easily updated and adjusted to fit current topics, technological progress and alterations of the media habits of students. As the interactions of students on the platform will be registered it is possible to measure the outcome for students of the learning process for research or for improvement of the platform itself and the related educational material.
CASE is known from ToughRoad - a game on trade and globalisation that is played in Scandinavia and in the Netherlands. See ToughRoad in three minutes here: http://www.toughroad.org/en
In 10 years, when students
have forgotten everything
we taught them about the EU,
they will still remember this role play.
Cool to experience and to show the rest of the school that even social sciences can make things blow up, not only physics and chemistry.
ToughRoad is an extremely promising example of the future learning methods for youth education. One of the unique aspects of the game is the combination of a role play in the physical world with a complex, economical computer model. The game can stand alone as an entertaining event, but it will be sensible to combine it with an academic course, where the students have to work with scenarios within eg. international trade, geography, ethics, foreign languages or mathematical modelling.
… More students were more actively engaged than in the ordinary teaching classes. It was also especially nice that students, who usually do not have the motivation for school work took part so enthusiastically. The students' academic variation was more or less wiped out, all worked in the game as equals. One of the students said: "This is the funniest and most important thing we've done in school this year." Another "I did not realize I would be so fun to keep on trading a full day."
I was impressed by how well the computer kept track of all the interactions and transactions even though it seemed chaotic to begin with - the digital aspect was indispensable in keeping up the flow of the game and letting the students focus on what was important. The students had an amazing day learning about global structures (..) We got so many positive responses from the students afterwards. And I've never seen all the teachers work so well together to make this a great day for all.