Jesper C. Sort Business Model Design Center, Aalborg University
Peter M. Holst Artventure, Copenhagen, Denmark
Using digital gamification in the Context of Business Models
The use of blended learning to enhance motivation and learning by the students is a recent and increasingly important topic in teaching. This paper will give an example regarding how blended learning was implemented in an entrepreneurial course with business models as the primary structure.
Introducing a blended learning platform, in this case PeaQs, was quite straightforward, and the students had virtually no issues with understanding and engaging in a digital learning and gamification platform. Furthermore, the students understood the relevance and found inter-est in the use of an online platform underpinning the strength of blended learning and gamification. This is in line with what research into blended learning suggests when describing the implementation of gamification as “promising” (Iosup and Epema, 2014). It is also worth mentioning the quality of discussions among the students propelled by the question of what information they should prioritize and upload into the system. They engaged in discussions regarding how to condense their ideas into, e.g. 150 characters. In other words, the ability to convey a problem, present their solution and the associated value proposition in a short and precise manner. Furthermore, as students dived into the development of their projects/business cases of their peers, a loop of reflection and inspiration took place, inclining them to improve and refine their projects. This showed signs of a higher degree of knowledge transfer (Siegel and Wright, 2015), increase in the quality of the projects (Li et al. 2010) and is furthermore in line with research showing positive learning outcomes of blended learning (Garrison & Kanuka, 2004).
By Arun Khan
Nordic Edtech Awards 2019
On November 8th 2019, the Peaqs team got the exciting news that we were nominated for the Nordic Edtech Awards 2019. Nordic Edtech Alliance, the creator of the Nordic Edtech Awards, is a partnership between the Edtech communities in the Nordic area. It includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. The Nordic Edtech alliances aim to support and profile nordic edtech internationally with the nordic teaching traditions and values at the core.
With their third award show in 2019, they nominated Peaqs and invited us to the awards final in Helsinki as the Danish finalist. With our platform for teaching entrepreneurship, product development and business planning we were a strong competitor. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, we hope to be considered again next year and take home the prize!
By Arun Khan
Used in Higher Education across Denmark
Currently live at 3 out of 8 Danish universities in just one year of our beta-launch in the beginning of 2019. Our platform has been used for Bachelors, Masters and MBA courses. We take great pride in collaborating with some of Denmark’s best Universities and are excited to be the main platform partner for the Ignite program hosted by DTU Skylab. Skylab Ignite is a 10 week early stage startup accelerator program for students and researchers that helps to expand their entrepreneurial mindsets, to build their business cases and to overall strengthen their team. Peaqs has been the perfect tool to accomplish just that and to give the participants a real-world feeling.
Furthermore, after a successful implementation of Peaqs at Aalborg University, we co-authored a research paper with them on the subject of gamification.
Our innovative platform allows students and others to participate in a high level learning game, that combines an innovation- and product development process with a virtual stock market engine. This facilitates real-time valuation and peer feedback! We have engaged more than 400 students from 3 top Danish Universities.
By Arun Khan
Just a few reasons to choose Peaqs
Easy interface, your game is up and running within minutes
Realtime stock market engine (instant feedback for students)
Products are listed as baseball cards for an easy overview
Explore products to assess student/group acchievements
Adapt templates to your curriculum/course litterature
Teaching notes and learning objective included
Inspiration catalogue for classroom activation and exam testing
No limit to number of students participating
Peaqs is an easy-to-use blended learning platform complete with teaching notes and flexible in-game templates that can be modified to reflect your curriculum. With very little effort you can transport your current teaching into a dynamic, market oriented learning game, where students act as group-entrepreneurs and individual investors alike.
You decide the pace of learning as a session of Peaqs can be comprised into a few days of intensive workshops or be spread out over the course of a semester with ample room for students to read and prepare. You simply apply the calendar-function so student assignments are released at the pace of your choosing.
Versatility & ease of use
Depending on the course PeaQs can permeate an entire semester with several class room sessions or form the basis of a few days of intense workshops. Making it the perfect versatile education tool that can accommodate anything from full-time students to short-termed intense MBA courses.
PeaQs is 100 % digital and requires no other technical
equipment or proficiency than being able to access the internet during
class. The platform is offered to faculties on a year-to-year
Get in touch with us and learn more about how PeaQs can provide value to your institution.
The idea behind blended learning in a teaching situation, is to combine offline activities (classical face-to-face interaction, traditional learning) with online activities, and by doing so, use multiple methods of teaching. Blended learning is also referred to as “hybrid learning”. The terms “inverted teaching” and “flipping the classroom” is also methods of blended learning because in these teaching methods, the course content is moved away from the typical class room, and on to an online platform (e-learning). This allows the class to become more dynamic and interactive.
Face-to-face learning and online components allow for flexible and differentiated learning. Blended learning can build vital connections from traditional teaching activities to informal learning spaces.
The use of blended learning assists role of the teacher to become a facilitator. It will enable the teacher to have more flexible delivery options depending on the subject and content of the course and the capabilities of the students. The result of this, is that teachers can shift the focus from the delivery method itself to facilitating the learning-process of the students.
There are two main principles that are often related with blended learning. The first one is that students who have the possibility to share information and work together with other students in a collaborative setting. This has according to research from various bodies of knowledge, led to a improved learning experience . The second principle related to blended learning, is that the collaboration between students can be improved if a group activity is based upon information that is gathered from online sources and/or lessons. In addition, it has been suggested that by first doing e-learning then followed by an interactive, face-to-face class activity will enhance the students educational experience.
Gamification is one example of how to incorporate blended learning. Gamifications is when the use of game-based mechanics and the gaming “mindset” engage people, motivate action, promote learning and solve problems. In simple terms it is the use of gaming technology to handle problems in the real world. Examples of gamification can be serious games and learning games. The idea behind the use of gamifications, is that games are created to draw people in, to make them keep on playing, to keep them interested entertained and involved. It is more about the instructional method and less about the delivery system that provides the learning in a game situation.
It is not necessarily the game itself or high level of instructions there is related to the games when using it as gamification that works great, but rather the high level of engagement of the learner that leads to the improved learning. Gamification is therefore more interactive which means engagement comes first, and the objectives comes second. An important note on the use of games is not to overdo it by handing out meaningless points and awards. Overdoing gamification will result in a trivialized and non-impactful process.
The learning game, PeaQs, is designed for courses with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurship, product development, business development, marketing- and business strategy. PeaQs will help students apply the theory of entrepreneurship and innovation in a practical setting, by generating, implementing, reinventing, and diffusing new solutions and achieving a product-market fit.
Using PeaQs, the students will have the chance to use the theory of entrepreneurship and innovation in a team project and learn to apply theories in a gradually unlocked process of group-based project activities. PeaQs is useful for students who have a basic to advanced understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation theory, depending on your choice of course literature. The game is useful for students and practitioners at higher academic levels, such as bachelor, master programs, and MBAs
And learning continues at home outside the classroom, as students can access the platform at any time. Either to stay on top of their investments or to tinker away on their newly developed innovations, providing a perfect opportunity to heighten levels of student engagement – and ultimately leaving larger room for learning impact. There is no limit to class size (PeaQs can facilitate thousands of users) or the number of classes you can run on the platform, but we recommend a minimum of 30 students and groups to be organized in numbers of 3-6.
PeaQs is simple to use for teachers and instructors as well as for students. PeaQs is ready to use as is with default settings, or you can customize the game to suit your needs, in learning objectives, teaching activities and class activation: As a true blended learning platform PeaQs allows you as a teacher to shift away from one-way, class room instruction to a more versatile mixed class-room/ online environment that can be accessed by students at all times from anywhere.
PeaQs is aimed at higher level learning institutions from entry level university to MBA. As curriculum is easily replaced and adapted to the course at hand the platform scales seamlessly to the level of complexity needed. This means that you can also decide if you want to execute an intense PeaQs session comprised to a few days or if you want a longer working process spanning over an entire semester with more in-between- classes-work. Either way you need to consider your course plan, how you want to activate PeaQs in the classroom and between classes, what literature you want to include in the curriculum and what type of timeline you want to work with
Game based learning, or gamification is in its simplest form about getting a higher level of engagement from the students towards the teaching subject. According to Lee and Hammer, the major issue from the teachers perspective is a low level of student engagement and a lack of motivation to learn. To react to this game based learning has been created and applied, primarily in educational contexts. An important thing to note is that actual gaming is not necessary when using game based learning. It is the game design elements that plays the important role in this type of learning.
Another way to make use of gamification is the intentional use of games to fulfill the objectives of a class. Studies show that game based learning has been found to be improving the level of student engagement towards a class. Game based learning has been used in many different fields and areas of education such as, health, military, business, science, computer science, mathematics and many more. In addition studies from 2010 have found improved knowledge acquisition, motivation and content mastery to be the most typical outcomes when using game based learning.
The perceived learning is increased when the teacher is using game based learning applications in a class. Whether the teacher chooses to gamify the teachings or use an approach which is game based there is seen to be numerous possible benefits.
If gamification and game based learning is implemented successfully, there is a reason to be enthusiastic about applying it to higher education across various countries, cultures, subjects and formats.
The European Commission recognizes that entrepreneurship education as a tool is important to promote a higher degree of entrepreneurship. This is about how to give all the students a set of skills to which is applicable in all the facets of starting a business and not just teaching them how to “run a business”
Back in 2012 the European Commission stated a new initiative: “rethinking education: investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes”. This policy was made to ensure a set of skills in the field of entrepreneurship for the 21st century. It highlights “the ability to think critically, take initiative, problem solve and work collaboratively” as areas that require particular attention as they don’t support the students in achieve entrepreneurial activity but also enhance the employability of them. Furthermore, the statement includes that “all young people should benefit from at least one practical entrepreneurial experience before leaving compulsory education”.
Regarding the education and training sector there should therefore be made an effort to develop entrepreneurial skills to all European students. This is will be relevant to all levels of education. The European Commission has in relation to this published a number of policy documents, “the Oslo agenda on entrepreneurship education In Europe”, on ways to implement entrepreneurship education.
To reach this goal of implementing entrepreneurial sustainable in the educational system in Europe, The following points are some suggested:
– Embedding entrepreneurship in colleges and universities’ culture and mission.
– Making an entrepreneurial institution which seeks to find the right people recruit them and give them the space needed for developing ideas.
– Making top-down support from management, as the proper support is essential for success.
– The entrepreneurial teacher education institution must have a strong network to get the entrepreneurship embedded in the “real world”
There are several ways to innovate teaching. One frequent way to leverage innovation is through technology. But technology however, cannot by itself transform education. Digital technologies have a great potential to transform the way we teach and learn in schools and by doing so, open up new teaching strategies. One of the main challenges of introducing new technology is often about integration of new instruction and course setups. The facilitation of a class using new technology have various purposes:
– Innovative pedagogic models e.g game based learning
– International collaborations.
– Real-time formative assessment and skills-based assements. This allows a much more flexible classroom.
It is thereby possible to reshape the environments in which educational facilities operate through technology-based innovations. These “techs” tend to open up the learning environments, both digital and physical.
The innovation is implemented to increase the efficiency of a class and improve the quality and equity of the learning opportunities. Innovation can be created through educating the students, and giving them the right skill to utilize. These skills, including creativity, imagination and critical thinking can be created and enhanced through appropriate teaching and practices such as entrepreneurship education.
The steep increase in the use of digital devices and internet shows that education matters regarding the uptake of skills in digital technologies. This means there is huge implications for the role of the education system, in equipping individuals with the skills they need. In today’s society digital skills generate a significant return in term of income, employment and many other social outcomes for those with the skills.
Educational technology is a broad term and covers numerous application of technology in the learning process. This includes all the systems, IT tools and resources that are used in education, in addition it also includes the study and advancement of technology-assisted learning (blended learning). When advancing in the field of educational technology you don’t only improve the learning process through experimentation and data analysis, but also enables millions of people around the globe to participate online, that otherwise would be impossible for them.
Blending online education, flip the classroom, allow for learning activities that create engaging learning activities – PeaQs offers suggestions into different structures of how a digital combination of coursework could look – Either apply a 3-day intense workshop or stretch an entire semester, digital learning tools should blend seamlessly into traditional learning methods. The PeaQs framework is intended for use at higher education programs, such as bachelor programs, master programs and MBA educations.
Research indication show benefits of online learning systems – and professional organizations are already using these systems as a tool for training and education of staff. In the past few years there has been an increasing movement around Edtech or Educational Technology – PeaQs is an Edtech product.
Digitalization and Educational technology in Denmark
There has been a special focus upon digitalization by the Danish Ministry of higher education and science. Digitalization is seen as a an inevitable future and therefore the government is beginning to support an increased focus around digital competencies and learning objectives.
Several reports have been done how digital learning technologies can help contribute towards a more learning-oriented paradigm – fx when the teacher get time and opportunity to act in the capacity as facilitator of the student’ learning processes.
Digital learning technologies support the development towards a more learning-oriented paradigm. This is because the teacher is given time and opportunity to play a different role as facilitator for the students’ learning processes, where the traditional intermediary role fills less. The different learning technologies gives the teacher more possibilities to meet the students’ diverse prerequisites, learning styles and interests and the accompanying needs for flexible and differentiated teaching.