Software students win award for educational game about tech monopolies
Lily Li and Olivia Winkel finished their bachelor's degree in Software Development with a project on computer games as a learning tool. The thesis has just received FA’s bachelor award - with the recognition comes a check for DKK 30,000.
Can computer games teach IT students about something as complex as monopolistic tech companies? That is the central question posed by Lily Li and Olivia Winkel in their bachelor thesis, which has just been named bachelor project of the year by the Danish Employers' Association for the Financial Sector (FA).
“I myself learn more through practical experience, which is something you get a lot of when you code. So I thought it might be interesting to investigate whether this could be transferred to complex topics that you normally learn about through more traditional mediums such as books,” explains Olivia Winkel.
Learning through games
As part of their thesis, the two students developed the game prototype ‘Monopoland’, which targets young IT students. In the game you play the CEO of a large or small tech company, and the goal is to gain a market share of 100 percent.
The game was tested on a group of ITU students, and the award winners conclude that computer games indeed can influence learning and attitudes in relation to a subject. In addition, the thesis showed that players learned more through the game's hands-on elements and less through reading longer texts.
The two students believe that there is much potential in conveying complex topics through computer games.
“Games provide the opportunity to experience a complex subject for yourself. You can play a game over and over, exploring how different choices and strategies can have different outcomes. In addition, various elements can be used to keep players interested and entertained while they are learning. This can make complex topics, which may appear boring or confusing, seem more fun and easy,” says Lily Li.
New way of communicating difficult topics
This alternative way of conveying a difficult topic is also the main reason why FA’s panel of judges selected Olivia Winkel and Lily Li as this year’s award winners.
“The panel agreed that the strength of this thesis is the inspiration it provides for new ways of communicating knowledge about difficult topics, though games. The panel found that this type of learning can also be extremely useful in relation to the financial sector's customers in certain complex areas. In addition, the panel found that the thesis is of a high quality and connects theory and practice in an excellent way,” says Lars Djernæs, chief consultant at FA and a member of the panel of judges.
The two software bachelors are pleased with the recognition from FA.
"It is great to know that what we have spent several months researching and developing can be serve as inspiration for how to teach young people about complex topics," says Olivia Winkel.
Vibeke Arildsen, Press Officer, phone 2555 0447, email firstname.lastname@example.org