EPFL and BFH jointly develop a serious game for vocational school students.
In this project we design, develop and test a module for a scenario-based “serious game” to promote entrepreneurial competencies. Main target groups are primarily vocational school students and secondarily students at universities of applied sciences.
The serious game is jointly designed by the BFH team and the EPFL team, with the BFH team responsible for the content and the pedagogical-didactical design and the EPFL for the interaction concept and the implementation.
While simulations and serious games have been used extensively in entrepreneurship education, our approach differs from previous serious games in entrepreneurship in three ways:
• The setting of the game refers to the early stages of a business. Players must decide on a business model and consider how to test their idea. Existing games often focus on managing an already running business.
• We actively use the paradigm of productive failure as the underlying learning theory, meaning that players can choose a “wrong” learning path that ends in failure. This then becomes apparent as the game progresses, and players receive feedback and a resolution to the learning experience from which they can learn. Learning from failure is an important pedagogical element that is currently neglected in entrepreneurship education.
• We seek to incorporate the element of “uncertainty” into our game, an important factor in real entrepreneurial contexts that is rarely integrated into games.
The game will be tested with learners in a pre-post study in late 2022. We are currently at the end of the design phase. The development of the game content has already started.
If the game can be successfully developed and has a positive impact on entrepreneurial skills, it will become part of the entrepreneurship program “myidea”, a learning program that was co-developed by Susan Müller, Eveline Gutzwiller-Helfenfinger and others and is disseminated by the “Swiss Center for Entrepreneurial Thinking and Acting” (scETH).