Saturday, November 08, 2008

Holding Of Colleges Deploys Serious Games To Improve Education in NL




Via: ROC WB

ROC West-Brabant is a holding of 9 colleges for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the South of the Netherlands.

ROC WB manages preparatory vocational education programs for around 26,000 students at over 50 locations, with the main objective of qualifying participants for the demands of the labor market.

The college works together with colleges abroad and is a member of the European Forum for Vocational Educational and Training (EFVET).

The ICT Department of ROC West-Brabant focuses on educational renewal through new technologies. It is situated at the headquarters in Etten-Leur, where it manages 5,000 terminals and 200 servers.

Currently, the ICT Department is working on the deployment of games in education.

On Wednesday, November 14, 2007 ROC WB officially launched its first educational Serious Game:
Enterprise – The Entrepreneurs Game.

Enterprise is the first in a series of four games. The remaining three games being developed this year are English, Mathematics and English / Mathematics.

Enterprise is an online multiplayer game in which you start, maintain and build your own business company. You will receive a virtual seed capital of € 20.000. Your challenge: run your business successfully. You will play against various players running their own businesses, who will be competing against you. Because you are all operating in the same market you will have to try and develop your own distinctive strategy. The game will stay exciting right up to the end, because it continually introduces new events that influence market conditions.

Enterprise is a co-production of Games Factory Online (GFO), who produces and publishes educational games for consoles, PC and mobile; Ranj Serious Games, a creative studio specialized in SG development, ROC West-Brabant and M&ICT that co-funded the project.



The Entrepreneurs Game in 7 steps


Step 1: Registration

Before you can start playing this game you will have to register your code. You will then receive your own account name, that is linked to your company. During registration you can select 6 personal characteristics, 3 positive and 3 negative. On the next screen you can select your business sector: Gardening, Beauty Parlour, Media Services or ICT.


Step 2: Moving your company

After registration you will end up at the main menu. Here you will find links to your company profile, city districts, funds, messages, high score and off-button. First select a city district. If you click a city district the screen will show information on both the population composition and the competition within this specific city district. Move to the city district where you want your company to be based by clicking Move company and then select the location you wish to move to.


If you don't want to move to another city district, click the city district where your company is based. The standard location is the city district "Downside".


Step 3: Company profile

The next step is your company profile. Go to the Company profile page. You can select three categories: Simple, Normal and Deluxe. The prices are based on the number of employees. The more people you employ, the higher the inventory cost will be.

Step 4: Employees

Employees! No company can do without. In the Employees overview you can go shopping at the job market, but you can also offer training courses to your current employees, raise or lower wages, and even fire them (although in this case you will have to take into account redundancy fees).

Step 5: Marketing

It is essential that your company name is known to the market. For this, go to the Marketing page. You can distribute flyers in various city districts, sponsor teams, hang up posters, place an ad in the local newspaper or even start a TV campaign through the regional TV station.

Step 6: Prices

For setting the prices of the services supplied by you go to the Prices page. Here you can check the average price of a service, but you can also select the price you want to ask for this service. The page will also show the expected returns.

Step 7: Funds

The table on the Funds screen shows the profit you made during the past few months. Here you can check your profit, but you can also see the returns made on each of the services offered by you. The total expenditure paid by you is divided into Employees, Inventory, Rent and Other cost, the latter being Training, Redundancy fees and Marketing.

In Class


The configuration of the Entrepreneurs Game allows it to be played within a single course of 8 to 9 weeks.
The game may be used in various ways. Each week, for instance. This will allow students to apply their theoretical knowledge directly in virtual reality, to reinforce the relation between theory and practice. It's also possible to play the game at the end of the semester.

Teachers will be able to manage up to a maximum of 120 students in their role of mentor or coach, without any additional work. The experiences gained from the game will help them to finetune their learning material to specific student queries. In a way, this game will create a need for knowledge with students, enabling you to teach in a demand-driven instead of a supply-driven manner.

The game can be played anytime and anywhere, meaning that the learning curve will keep rising also in the students’ free time. Students will continue to train their competencies without any further effort from the teacher.

The unique features of the Entrepreneurs Game:
  • Developed in collaboration with Schools for Vocational Education and Training, and Universities of Applied Sciences
  • Based on entrepreneur competency profile
  • Applies to most businesses
  • Includes training and manual
  • Strengthens the relation between theory and practice
  • Various game modes: Normal Play and Battle Mode
  • Allows unlimited number of player groups
  • Covers full 8 to 9 week semester
  • Simulates realistic incidents
  • May be played during and outside contact hours