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About The Project

Digital Bridges project develops a game-based learning environment for social services training. This educational game provides realistic practice scenarios for students and practitioners in a simulated environment which is built in 3D. The game offers real advantages for learners - situations and procedures that might be difficult or even impossible to practice in real world can be rehearsed in the virtual environment without the fear of failure. This improves capabilities of learners to manage these situations in real life situations.

The project examines the viability of a games-based approach to providing realistic practice learning scenarios. Developing an educational game is an interdisciplinary project. Initial consultations between staff in games development, psychology, Social Work and Childhood Practice show agreement that a games-based approach could potentially be useful in this area.

LINK (PDF): Needs and meeting the needs

Click on the titles below to read more.
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Digital Bridges is an Erasmus+ project which is carried out by six partner organizations from five European countries (Scotland/UK, Finland, Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania). The project is lead by the University of the West of Scotland.

Stakeholder and user requirements analysis:
· To establish the attitudes of HE Social Work and Childhood Practice students undergoing vocational training towards the use of games as a component of a blended learning approach to practice learning.
· To undertake a systematic review of the literature around the use of computer games for learning in the education sectors associated with this project.
Cognitive task analysis:
· To identify the component cognitive skills, knowledge and competences required in developing a comprehensive and usable understanding during practice learning.
Design and implementation:
· To develop a generic game platform for supporting practice learning. This would include a mechanism for presenting real-world scenarios content relevant to Social Work and Childhood Practice in HE/FE and vocational training, a game kernel, content handlers and builders. The game will be developed to be multi-lingual to support teaching in different European languages.
Teacher training:
· To provide training for the teachers, mentors and assessors who will use the game. Introducing an educational game requires training for those who will use the game. · To establish an online Community of Practice with teachers, practitioners and other stakeholders, to liaise with in developing the game and in piloting the game via contacts from the consortium members. · To develop Best Practice Case Studies to provide guidance to teachers about how to best use the game in their teaching.
Piloting:
· To perform a large-scale pilot of the game with Social Work and Childhood Practice students, professional workers and their teachers, mentors and assessors across many European countries.
Evaluation and quality assurance:
· To evaluate the effectiveness of the game in supporting Social Work and Childhood Practice students and professionals in practice learning.
Exploitation and commercialisation:
· To assess the commercial value of such a game.
Impact:
· 500 VET students and social services professionals trained using the game;
· 200 teachers/teacher trainers trained;
· Community of Practice with at least 500 members

Project Intellectual Outcomes

Requirements Specification for the Digital_Bridges Platform (O1-A1)
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Pedagogical Framework for Simulated Practice Learning for Social Workers who Interact with Vulnerable People (O1-A2)
right_arrow Download abstract (PDF)
right_arrow Download full document (PDF)

Curriculum for Simulated Practice Learning for Social Workers who Interact with Vulnerable People (O1-A3)
right_arrow Model curriculum (PDF)
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Game Design Document (O2-A1)
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Simulated Practice Educational Game (O2-A2)
right_arrow http://tinyoaks.ictthatworks.org/game/TinyOaks.html
Please note that the Unity Web Player needs to be installed to run this. The Unity Web Player can be downloaded from: https://unity3d.com/webplayer

Pedagogic Guide, draft (O3-A1)
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Teacher Training Materials, draft (O3-A2)
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Policy and Practice Guidance (O5-A1)
Will be added later...

Quality Assurance Strategy (O6-A1)
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Development of an Immersive 3D Simulated Practice Environment for Social and Health Care Training (O7-A3a)
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An Assessment Engine: Educators as Editors of their Serious Games’ Assessment (O7-A3b)
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Presentation about the project
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Multiplier events
right_arrow UK 27 August 2015
right_arrow Finland 30 November 2015
right_arrow Italy 15 December 2015
right_arrow Lithuania 25 November 2015
right_arrow Bulgaria 7 December 2015

Moodle learning environment
right_arrow http://tinyoaks.ictthatworks.org/

Partnership

University of the West of Scotland, UK

Context Learning, Finland

Education and Innovation Centre, Bulgaria

Melius, Italy

Scottish Social Services Council, UK

Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Contacts

Address University of the West of Scotland (School of Computing), High St. Paisley PA1 2BE, United Kingdom
Phone +44(0)141 848 3000