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Game Based Learning to Alleviate Early School Leaving
Date du début: 1 sept. 2015, Date de fin: 31 août 2017 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Early school leaving and lack of student engagement are challenges faced by educators in schools around Europe. This Strategic Partnership proposes targeted efforts that challenge traditional pedagogies and encourage the use of innovative game-based learning (GBL) methodologies in English and Maths classrooms. This Erasmus Plus Strategic Partnership will enrich the educational and skills portfolios of local and European educators and will promote synergies, sharing of best practices, cooperation and cross-fertilisation between the fields of education and technology. This partnership aims to bridge the gap between educators, game design, learning design and learning experiences. The project outputs are meant to enhance the digital competences of educators whilst engaging potential early school leavers via innovative GBL learning scenarios. This project compliments existing programmes in Malta and Europe that aim to reduce early school leaving by adding the essential element of GBL which is still nascent and has not been piloted on a large scale in Europe. A synergistic working relationship will be created between European partners from Malta, Austria and Sweden that will strengthen cooperation between organisations and also facilitate the exchange, testing, and development of best practices in the field of school education. A team of eighteen Secondary School educators from Malta, Austria and Sweden will work in collaboration with a team of seven academics and ICT professionals from Donau University in Austria and the GamED group from the University of Malta to create a GBL methodologies guidebook and an online interactive toolkit. The learning materials created through this project are based on international best practices and will be adapted to the English and Maths classrooms with a special focus on potential early school leavers. Educators participating in this partnership all face the challenges of early school leaving and the lack of professional development opportunities related to innovative, ICT-based methods of instruction available to them. Through a collaborative effort, the partners will develop a set of GBL strategies that will encourage students to continue their studies and may also help to increase the uptake of ICT careers. Piloting of the GBL scenarios and the GBL toolkit will take place in selected Secondary Schools in Malta, Austria and Sweden, whist specialised professional development sessions for educators will run simultaneously. It is envisaged that through the use of innovative GBL methodologies and eventual deployment of the toolkit in classrooms, hundreds of educators will become 'agents of change' and hundreds of at risk students ages 13-16 will become more active participants in the educational process. Participating educators and students will benefit from specialised training during two 5-day training activities in Malta and Austria. During these training activities, educators will learn the latest GBL methodologies based on international best practices from experts in the fields of GBL and Game Studies from Donau University in Austria and the GamED group from the University of Malta. They will also have the opportunity to intensively train on the GBL toolkit. A total of seven dissemination events are planned in Malta, Austria and Sweden and are targeted towards stakeholders, educators, decision makers, students, parents and the general public. In addition, two transnational meetings between partners will be held in Malta and Sweden during the Preparation and Closure phases where project progress and outcomes will be discussed. Educators will benefit positively from this project by attending innovative GBL training sessions that will equip them with an essential set of tools and a toolkit that will enhance their professional competences portfolio. At the same time, students at risk of early school leaving will become engaged in meaningful and stimulating GBL activities that may encourage them to continue their studies. At project closure, results will be analysed and a recommendations and best practices document will serve as an evaluative tool for future initiatives and plans for the GBL toolkit's expansion into other European countries. An extensive dissemination plan ensures widespread awareness-raising events and trainings that will occur long after project closure in order to ensure maximum project penetration and sustainability. Project outputs, including the GBL methodologies guidebook and project results will be available as a free download on the project web page in each partner country. Through successful project execution and a wide range of dissemination, GBL methodologies and practices can be integrating into school curricula in other European countries. This partnership promotes dynamic competence building within the teaching community and is expected to be a catalyst for change for hundreds of educators and students in Europe and beyond.



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