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This January, UON hosted the Winter Game Jam, a four-day games development event where students battled it out with a brand new challenge: the Rexy Wheel, a digital controller designed for training video camera professionals.

In this short film, Games lecturer Vikaas Mistry discusses how Game Jam is about giving UON students experiences that will prepare them for new developments in the game industry, and to think outside of the box. 

Rob Portus, the Rexy Wheel’s inventor, shares how it was really exciting to see what they’ve done ‘in just four days, they all created games that with a few tweaks have the potential to be marketed commercially.’

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Using gamification technology to enhance interprofessional collaboration, negotiation, conflict resolution and leadership.

Alison Power (Registered Midwife) SFHEA, MProfPrac, MSc, PGCTHE, PGCPE, Associate Professor (Learning and Teaching), Faculty Lead for Interprofessional Education, Academic Integrity Officer was successful in a bid for the University of Northampton ‘Learning Enhancement and Innovation fund 2021-2022’.

Screenshot of video: Introduction to GAMING
Screenshot of video: Introduction to GAMING

Alison Power was supported by Anne Misselbrook E-Learning/Multimedia Resources Developer to develop the Xerte resource.

Development timeframe was June to September 2021. The learning and teaching resource for up to 300 final year students to engage with in interprofessional groups, was required for a synchronous online session on 6 October 2021.

Anne identified needs, completed a Checklist and provided Alison with examples of Xerte learning resources. Alison was introduced to the Xerte interactive page types and learnt in the 1-2-1 training provided by Anne, that the ability for learners to collaborate with OneDrive documents in Xerte, use a drag and drop activity, link to resources and watch videos were possible.

The Xerte function called ‘Shared Settings’ enabled Alison and Anne to co-edit the Xerte in the Editor.

Alison invited colleagues Robin Sturman-Coombs and Devon Rossetti to contribute and join virtual meetings.

In August 2021 Anne and her colleague Richard Byles, a Learning Technologist, provided Alison and her colleagues with training in basic video production. They attended the ‘Record and edit video using tools available’ virtual workshop session on 25 August 2021. Alison could then understand the fundamentals of filmmaking and the importance of having scripts for the actors and get signed Performance Release forms by all those featuring in the film.

On 30 September the Xerte was uploaded to NILE ready for the live synchronous session with students on 6 October 2021.

Video Introduction: What is GAMING?
Video Introduction: What is GAMING?

Students feedback on the technology:
“Each page explained each task clearly”.
“The Xerte was very well laid out and simple to navigate”.
“Everything followed nicely and logically from one another”.
“I really enjoyed the videos, so to see the characters acting as opposed to just reading about the different types of characters made it much more relatable and understandable to me”.

Conferences in 2022

Alison Power
Alison Power

Look out for Alison who will present at Conferences later in the year. Confirmed dates so far are:

Using a games based approach to motivate students to engage with synchronous online interprofessional education (IPE): A case study.
TUFH Conference (Vancouver)
17/18 or 19 August 2022

Analysing perceptions of online games based learning: Case study of the University of Northampton.
International research conference, ICQHE London
28/29 July 2022

Further information:
Link to Alison’s blog

Read the full blog text provided below.

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Presentation at: Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase 4th February 2022

Simon Wragg Senior Lecturer in Marketing, FBL. – “It’s just a bit of fun! Really…?” Observations on online games in supporting student learning and student experience: Insights from module evaluations.

The recording of the event is available to view

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Rob Lambert, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader for BA Games Design, FAST.

Presentation at: Teaching and supporting a digital future: UoN Showcase 4th February 2022

A dive into the experience of producing a commercial learning product:
3D Gamified training simulation tool for the National Fire Chiefs Council which will educate UK business owners around the laws, protocols and proper conduct relating to fire safety within their premises.
⦁ Getting the project going.
⦁ How we hope to measure the impact of the learning tool.
⦁ How we first intended to gamify learning, how we now intend to gamify learning.
⦁ Production management: Challenges, Milestones and progress, Working with a team of Graduates (925 Studios).
⦁ What may be next?

The recording of the event is available to view

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“It is a cold Autumn day at Waterside and you are sitting in a room within the Learning Hub. You recognise other people in the room and there is a facilitator at the front. Do you:

a) Talk to other people on your desk?

b) Talk to the facilitator and engage in the workshop?

c) Log onto your laptop and check emails?

d) Exit the room and go elsewhere?”

Fortunately, all participants on the first meeting to explore the nature of gamification and the value for the University decided to remain in the room and fully engage with Tim Hinchliffe, Senior Adviser from Advance HE.

‘Games can be used as a general tool to look at our teaching processes more generally. The lessons are broadly applicable to whatever we do. You can take any subject and any content and use gamified mechanisms and dynamics to achieve what you’re looking for.’

Tim Hinchliffe, Senior Adviser from Advance HE.

Over the day we were treated to an exploration of the differences between defining gamification in education, serious games and game based learning. We then went on to discuss the Octalysis Framework and apply this to a range of both physical and virtual games.

Tim used a slide deck to keep us all on track but the flexible nature of the workshop gave us plenty of time to explore how the concepts could apply to our own areas.

Tim Hinchliffe , Kate Coulson, Jim Harris and Simon Chapman provided some insightful reflections into the day.

‘The approach of gamification would be really useful because it’s helping students to develop a lot of transferable skills: critical thinking, teamwork, collaboration, problem solving.’ 

Simon Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Education.

Discussions are now ongoing on the possibility of launching a inter disciplinary group to further explore gamification.

If you are interested in further conversations around gamification then please email

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