Half Professional, Half Classroom
This presentation details the history and practicalities of delivering a module in Stage 3 of a four-year undergraduate Bachelors in Game Design programme. The module has entered its third year of running, and receives constant student feedback as one of the most highly rated modules, in terms of learning, experience and engagement. The module contains elements of kinesthetic, flipped-classroom, inquiry and expedition-based learning.
In essence, the module is a “serious-games” module that links students with project holders in both private and public institutions. Project holders are generally chosen by lecturers on the basis of potential for social change, both at a community level and at a higher level. Previous clients have included applications for improvement of literacy, and applications for social change through creative collaboration.
The presentation will be given from a practitioner standpoint, detailing the history and difficulties of running such a module, including practicalities such as need for garda vetting, balancing academic obligations with product holder expectations, IP assignation and interacting with non-technical persons. The module involves multiple meetings between a product holder and student groups, as well as a onsite testing carried out by students with test audiences, often of a younger age group. The requirements for such testing are stringent and go further than vetting requirements, including social training for students before feedback sessions.
Module participants are also required to produce a working prototype to the specifications of a product holder, in consultation with said product holder. This allows module participants the ability to obtain professional, client-based feedback and introduces them to an industry of client-facing game design and development as a service.
Since its beginning, the module’s external product holders have expanded to include other departments within the institute, who are interested in collaborating with students to create applications for use within their classroom or laboratories.
The presentation will further point to examples of student feedback on the module, especially that of alumni or students in later years, and focus on what skills were obtained in the attendance of this module.