Central foundation-girls-school-case-study-v1.0

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Case study of an educational workshop delivered in Tower Hamlets (London). The workshop was anchored around the games-ED (http://www.games-ed.co.uk) product Sustainaville. The case study shows the benefits and outcomes of using collaborative games based learning.

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Central foundation-girls-school-case-study-v1.0

  1. 1. Sustainaville Games Based Learning: Central Foundation Girls’ School Case Study March 2011 “The key learning is what things you will need to do to be sustainable.” “I liked how I was able to make a choice on what I could change and improve.” “I learnt how to develop a sustainable town.”Author: Mary Dees (mdees@games-ed.co.uk) Tel: 0161-427-8684 www.games-ed.co.uk Copyright games-ED (The Pixel Fountain Ltd – www.pixelfountain.co.uk)
  2. 2. Sustainaville Games Based Learning: Central Foundation Girls School Case StudySummaryThe following case study looks at the use of the Sustainavillegames based learning product in a secondary school. The productwas developed by pixelfountain (www.pixelfountain.co.uk) 1 underits games-ED (www.games-ed.co.uk) brand. The workshop wasdelivered in Central Foundation Girls School, Tower Hamlets(CFGS). The class was made up of a year 8 tutor group agedbetween twelve and thirteen. The workshop was held on 9th March2011.The workshop and learning approach proved a real success andachieved significant learning improvements – 88% improvement in subject understanding and between a 57% and 65% improvement inpersonal, learning and thinking skills. The pupils enjoyed the challenge of running a virtual town. They said that they took away importantmessages about the need to look after people and the planet. They also came away with a sense of perspective - “Be grateful for what youhave.”Central Foundation Girls’ SchoolCFGS is a large successful inner city school serving an area of high social deprivation. It is a Performing Arts Specialist College and hasrecently been awarded a second specialism in Citizenship and English. A very large proportion of the pupils have a minority ethnic heritageand the proportion of pupils who speak English as an additional language is high.Background to Sustainaville Games Based LearningSustainaville is a games based learning product that looks at the issue of sustainable development. The game requires the class to worktogether in sub-teams to deal with social concerns such as crime, environmental matters such as climate change and economic problemssuch as unemployment. The sub-teams play the roles of utilities, enterprise, housing & regeneration, local council, health sector,community & voluntary, education & skills and transport. Just like in the real world the pupils have to work with limited budgets. They alsohave to deal with incidents such as floods and cuts to rural transport.Sustainaville is played by the whole class on a laptop and projector and can be used in schools, colleges and universities. Sustainavilleutilises the games-ED approach that ensures educators remain in control and that the learning outcome is as important as the fun.The WorkshopThe workshop was run over a 50 minute lesson where the pupils played one virtual year in the life of the community. The Sustainavillegame uses a plan > do > review phases. The phases created natural breakpoints in the game play to enable reflection to take place. Theapproach supported multiple learning conversations. The learners talked in their sub-teams, between sub-teams, at a class level and withthe facilitator. The game anchored these conversations. A natural set of questions (shown in the table below) flowed during the course ofthe plan > do > review phases. It is through these questions that learning flowed.“It was fun to work in a group and run a town because we could improve the community.” PupilPlan: Strategy / Planning: Do: Decision-making / Negotiating: Reviewing the Situation (Reports & Score):o What are our individual goals and o What will happen if we buy that? o Have we achieved what we wanted to? what are our collective goals? o What will happen if we don‟t buy that? o What could we have done better?o What should we prioritise? o Will you buy that, if we buy this?o How can we achieve win-wins? Do: Facilitator inputs the purchases: o What have you bought? o Why did you buy it? o Does anyone have other ideas?1 games–ED products build on pixelfountain‟s serious games and education experience to specifically develop games based learning forthe education market.Copyright games-ED (The Pixel Fountain Ltd) [2 of 4]
  3. 3. Sustainaville Games Based Learning: Central Foundation Girls School Case Study“[I liked] the power and decisions in our hands.” PupilOutcomesGames based learning might sound trivial, but Sustainaville enabled complex learning material to be put into context. The pupils becamethe leaders of a virtual town and made all the decisions. The process engages the pupils and accelerates the learning process.Learning Improvement Sustainable Making Decisions Cause & Effect of Working Together Development Decisions Average understanding before 3.4 4.6 4.4 5.2 (out of 10) Average understanding after 6.4 7.2 7.4 8.2 (out of 10)o 88% improvement in understanding of sustainable development.o 57% improvement in decision-making skills.o 65% improvement in understanding the cause and effect of decision-making.o 61% improvement in group working.The pupils got to develop personal, learning and thinking skills. Sustainaville goes beyond learn by doing by emphasising the situation andthe roles of organisations; this can be thought of as learning by being.o Learn by Doing (Skills): Decision-making, negotiation, engagement, communication and group working.o Learn by Being (Knowledge): Environment, enterprise, attitudes, society, diversity, culture.Learn by doing AND learn by being are supported by reflection, scaffolding and assessment:o Learners were able to reflect and make tacit knowledge explicit. They built abstractions.o Facilitators guided and nudged the pupils as and when required.o Assessment in the form of score and visual reports provided immediate feedback.Comments from the Assistant Head who observed the sessionWhat did you like most about Sustainaville workshop?The students were engaged in the activity and enjoyed seeing the results of their decisions.How do you think we could improve the workshop?Allowing groups to input their data directly and interact directly with the website.Key themes from the pupil’s quotes (What did you like most about the workshop?):The pupils enjoyed the constructivist learning style, for example:o “[I liked] the power and decisions in our hands.”o “I liked how I was able to make a choice on what I could change and improve.”o “[I liked] the improvements in the village.”o “[I liked] seeing how it changed the village.”They enjoyed the roles and situation, for example:o “It was fun to work in a group and run a town because we could improve the community.”o “I liked that we worked together to make the community good.”o “I liked the game we played because we worked together and it was a good game.”o “I liked it when we had to work in a group and play a game to improve the area.”.They enjoyed decision-making budgeting and spending money, for example:o “That we got to choose what you needed to change.”Copyright games-ED (The Pixel Fountain Ltd) [3 of 4]
  4. 4. Sustainaville Games Based Learning: Central Foundation Girls School Case Studyo ““I liked having control over Sustainaville and being depended on by citizens I loved the maths part when adding prices.”o “I liked the decisions.”Key themes from the pupil’s quotes (How do you think we could improve the workshop?):“More money.”“A larger group playing it.” “A 3D virtual world with 3D characters you can interact with.” “More options and more money.”“More games and more activities.” “More simple and easy to understand.”“More fun.” [This is probably because we only played one round – the most difficult bit, the subsequent rounds would be more fun.]Key themes from the pupil’s quotes (What key learning messages will you take away?)o “To vary/equal things.”o Always be grateful for what you have.”o “The choices.”o “How to develop a sustainable town.”o “The key learning is what things you will need to d to be sustainable.”o “Recycling and pollution.”o “To do this in citizenship lessons.”o “Interesting facts about unemployment.”ConclusionThis workshop was the first games based workshop for CFGS and the learning improvements from just one lesson and one „virtual‟ year ofthe game were remarkable. The school have purchased a licence of Sustainaville to use within their Citizenship Curriculum so thosepupils now have a chance to build and consolidate that knowledge through playing more years in the life of the virtual community. Thegame also have potential to be used in Geography, PSHE, Enterprise and Business and through outreach to Primary Schools.Copyright games-ED (The Pixel Fountain Ltd) [4 of 4]

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