Kick-off CONNEXT Flanders

In the end of January [ew32] organised first two LearningLabs as part of CONNEXT for inclusion project. They marked the kick-off of the project in Belgium, Flanders. The LearningLabs were the first phase in the development of a new Serious Urban Game® that focuses on the topic ‘Trust in education’.  

LearningLabs are co-creative workshops in which input is asked from the target group. To get some insight in the relation between youth and education today we start by asking the opinion of the target group themselves. What do young people think about their education? What makes school fun or less fun for them? How do they like to be addressed by the teacher? Do they think their education is preparing them for their future?

Through activating methods we bring several theories into practice. Participants get to talk about motivation, involvement, different ways to communicate and ways to give and handle feedback. This way, while giving their opinion about school, they’re simultaneously evaluating these theories and whether these might help in improving their overall school experience. The central question is: how do they experience it?

The first two labs took place with two class groups that gave away not being satisfied with the school’s approach. The groups came up with different ‘superlikes’ and ‘superdislikes’ and formulated some advice towards the school and the teachers. Needless to say it wasn’t always fun to hear for the teachers… But feedback goes both ways. So the voice of the teachers must be heard in this workshop as well! It’s about gaining trust on all levels.

We’re currently planning the next labs so we can gather a lot more input. After these LearningLabs we’ll get started applying game-mechanics in a series of GameLabs. In those sessions we will attempt to gamify the input we received. The goal is to come up with a game that can help youth and teachers feeling more ‘at home’ at school.

Text and picture: Jolien De Ridder, [ew32], Belgium/ Flanders