Gamification in non-formal education and youth work
Throughout the GamifyEU project, we had the chance to produce and implement many various learning and development activities to achieve the goals of bringing young people of Europe closer together and strengthen their relation to the Europe itself.
Due to the many challenges caused by the pandemic, we had to re-create each activity and transfer most of it online, therefore we had to be very creative and innovative to be able not only to achieve the main goals, but to keep young people on board and engaged as much as possible. We have focused on co-creation and learner-centered approach, using many relevant online platforms and digital tools to support the exchange and facilitate the learning through different digital and online methods as small group work, discussions, moving debates, stimuli and content (videos, texts, illustrations, sound) reflection and expression, drawing and writing, presentation, simulations, real life practice and various creative processes.
It is important to mention that, whenever the situation and conditions allowed, we experimented and implemented the hybrid and blended types of activities, where the national teams could occasionally meet in person, and then exchange the views with their European peers online. We have selected number of examples of such activities and methods that we believe could be useful for the readers of this publication. The exercises and methods are extracted from variety of different online activities done to inspire or showcase ways how to approach the digital transformation and gamification in working with young people on specific topics covered by this project. Some are selected because of the interesting and creative ways the digital tools and platforms are used for achieving the goals, some because of the innovative and interactive methodology applied and some because of specific topic that they are presenting.
We hope you will find the inspiration in them and try to apply them in your work, maybe build on them or even try and invent your own!
Youth exchange aimed at building bridges between young people in 5 countries sharing their thoughts and dreams about the future of Europe, especially in the light of COVID19 and its impact. Participants have learned about the EU, its milestones, values and principles, EU youth goals, different aspects of human rights, intercultural learning and understanding, as well as planned their follow up activities on a local level. They also played new Engage, Connect, Empower storylines and gave feedback to developers regarding potential improvements.
WHY IS IT INTERESTING:
The youth exchange was imagined to be composed of activities that happened with the national groups in each partner organisation and the ones that happened online on different virtual communication platforms, where all the groups came together, exchanged their opinions and ideas, had a chance to directly communicate with each other in a facilitated way. The virtual Youth Exchange was preceded by physical or online activities on national level where groups had their preparatory activities with their organisations and team leaders, as well as got support for their participation in the activities of the European exchange.
This was one of the first activity that we have reimagined from what originally was planned. To do that, we have used 2 main platforms that served as our gathering and communication spaces. One of them being Zoom and the other Discord, the free online communication platform based on channels and mostly used by young people into gaming, that we have repurposed for our needs. We have created specified channels for each national group and channels that followed the modules of the Exchange itself that allowed fast communication, sharing different files, using of popular elements as memes, tags and emoticons etc. Of course, we had to be very creative with the digital tools and visual aspects of the exercises, to be able to motivate and really involve young people in an online part of the activity. Interestingly enough, we also tried our best to make the virtual communication as informal and as smooth, mimicking the natural conversation that you would experience in the physical trainings.