eTournaments is more than just fun
28 Jan 2021
The use of gamification in educational settings can inspire students and motivate them to learn new concepts. To aid this process, the Centre for Holistic Teaching and Learning (CHTL) led a technology-facilitated learning and teaching project which helped students gain a better understanding of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through taking part in eTournaments on an online gamified learning platform. The project also enhanced students' online collaboration skills by encouraging them to work in cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary teams.
Funded by the University Grants Committee from 2016 to 2020, the project, named "Developing Multidisciplinary and Multicultural Competences through Gamification and Challenge-Based Collaborative Learning" (CCGame), was led by CHTL in partnership with teachers at CityU, CUHK and PolyU. One of its signature activities was the International eTournament, which used the SDGs as its theme. More than 400 students from 42 countries and regions participated in the second eTournament held last year.
Dr Eva Wong, Director of CHTL, said, "We ensured each participating team in the eTournament consisted of students from different cultural and academic backgrounds. This can encourage them to learn about other cultures and work in diverse teams in online settings to develop strategies." During the eTournament, the teams expanded their territory and competed for the top rankings on an online gaming platform by answering questions related to the SDGs. The championship title went to the team with the most territory. Over 1,400 questions were developed for the teams with the support of UNESCO Hong Kong.
According to a survey, more than 70% of the participating students agreed that the eTournament had increased their awareness of the SDGs. Some students also felt that the competition had helped them build their intercultural competence and collaboration skills, such as practising mutual encouragement, commitment to the team and empathy. The HKBU project team was particularly impressed by an Indian student who planned to follow local traditions and get married after graduating from university. However, joining the competition broadened her horizons and she has thus convinced her parents to support her in taking up further studies.
Dr Wong said that many students have continued to engage with sustainability issues after taking part in the eTournament. One of the winning teams, which was formed by students from Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, proposed an initiative that involves promoting reusable toiletries to the hotel and tourism industries. The HKBU project team has provided financial support and advice on their plan.
The CCGame project also conducted a series of technology-enabled learning activities to enhance students' teamwork skills. About 5,300 students from around the world have been involved in the activities since 2017.
The project has received a number of international awards, including the Silver Award in eLearning at the Reimagine Education Awards in 2020 and the Highly Commended Team Award at the Learning Technologist of the Year Awards 2020. Looking forward, the HKBU team plans to organise eTournaments in the Greater China region with the participation of secondary schools so as to benefit more students.
Please click here to learn more about CCGame.