The academic year is nearing it’s end and as many educators can probably tell you, running classes / workshops is not yet the same as it was pre-COVID. The activity that did have a lot of students participate are our playtesting events, Test & Chill.
When we started in September with our new study Creative Media & Game Technologies (CMGT) our vision was to have informal activities, that are social and learning in a different way, be more embedded. This means having them scheduled and promoted, even if it means that they overlap with schedules of classes (staff can tell you they certainly noticed this if…). This was also the case with guest lectures and the impact there is less awesome, as they were less visited (in real life a bit more than online). The playtesting events however were a success. These test session organise twice per block were visited well, also after first year students realized they were not mandatory (nothing is) or part of a specific course, assessment.
The social aspect and cooperativeness, helping each other out with feedback, while keeping it casual, seems to be the right tone. And while some courses require testing and this can be a good avenue for it, participation seems more often to go beyond instrumental goals like that. And from the start there were were students bringing their personal non study related projects as well. For some students this seemed a better ‘hook’ to learn: they might be doing ok in courses and show up selectively, but come over to these events with a new prototype made regularly.
In the past we had companies come over to demo, test and recruit students for extra-curricular work. Let’s see if that can be the upgrade this informal learning track event with that again next year (contact me if this is interesting to you!).
Check out the pictures below for a visual impression. The cool workshop location you see is the Hanze MakerSpace where any student can come over for crafting and tinkering, support in learning how to work with the machinery and technologies. Like a ‘Fab Lab’, if you are familiar with that. Another informal resource for students, one with very cool possibilities to make use of.
Test & Chill 2022 week 7 of period 4