Making Games in Collaboration for Learning (MAGICAL) is a multilateral project, co-funded under the European Commission's Lifelong Learning Programme Key Action 3 for the Development of Innovative ICT-Based Content, Services, Pedagogies and Practice for Lifelong Learning. MAGICAL is a 33-month project, which started on 1 January 2012. The project consortium is led by the Institute for Education Technology - C.N.R. (Italy), and includes three other European institutions with expertise in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL), teacher training, and Game-Based Learning (GBL). The project partners are Manchester Metropolitan University (UK), the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), and Tampere University of Technology (Finland).
MAGICAL explores the potential that digital games offer for developing transversal abilities such as digital competence, reasoning skills and creativity. The project tests an innovative ‘learning by doing’ approach to Game-Based Learning that encourages students not just to play educational games but to collaborate in groups to create their own digital games. Learners in primary and secondary schools (including those with learning difficulties) will work together using Magos - a bespoke digital game development environment with specific features that support collaborative authoring processes. Magos aims to be rich in functionality, simple to use, flexible and motivating, encouraging learners to work together to create and share games that are engaging and fun to play.
The real educational benefit to this approach lies in how development tools such as Magos are adopted and used to support learning processes. To leverage their potential effectively, educators need to design and orchestrate learning activities through carefully thought-out pedagogical scenarios. To this end, a prototype course on collaborative game creation will be developed within the project and delivered to student teachers and professional educators. A key output from this course will be a practical toolkit for developing similar training courses in different contexts; the aim is to promote the transfer of MAGICAL’s methodological approach in education at large.
Experimental activities involving learners in the different partner countries will be supported by this pedagogical planning, supported by the use of a specific scenario design tool. The activities and their outcomes will be carefully analyzed to determine the overall effectiveness of the actions undertaken and to investigate their impact on the development of key transversal skills. This will lead to the aggregation of a set of best practices produced in a practical reusable form. These, together with MAGICAL’s game tools, the course toolkit and other outputs will be made freely available to the wider educational community in an ongoing effort to promote wider take-up of collaborative game making in education.
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- 1 January 2012 - 2014
- European Commission