Gaming is the use of game and game dynamics in contexts that are not related to the game and through which those contexts receive an influx of participation, interest, involvement, loyalty, collaboration and competition. Matching techniques through competition, winning points or joining different levels can be used in a variety of areas, including non-formal education. What does this gaming project do? It develops and offers a course for youth workers aimed at increasing and improving the field of gamming in non-formal education as an alternative methodology to the classical methods of working with young people and as an alternative methodology of learning in general.
Why is it necessary to develop new methodologies in non-formal education and to support formal education? Each of the project partners has launched a needs analysis among the beneficiaries of their projects (young people between the ages of 15 and 25). 58 young people from the 9 organizations were consulted on the opportunity to develop and use gamification methodologies and tools in non-formal education contexts, with the prospect of including them in formal educational experiences. The main problem that I have identified from the answers obtained is that the interests of the young people are constantly changing, as well as their learning preferences, and they must be addressed through new solutions in our educational programs / activities. The most frequently mentioned needs of young people from the 9 organizations were: the need to learn in an attractive environment, the need to be motivated and to trust the learning process, the need to be guided or to receive support at different levels of educational progress. These needs can be answered through a gamification-based methodology.
As far as the youth workers are concerned, this project is based on the needs expressed by the 27 workers taking part in the course. The most frequently mentioned needs of youth workers in the 9 organizations were: the need to adapt the methods to the changing educational needs of young people, the need to be involved in the development of methodologies and tools, and the need to test these methodologies and tools before actually use it. Gaming as a method responds to these needs and the activities presented will show how.