July 28, 2016 12:50 - 14:20

Learning through play: Using serious games technology to enhance teaching and learning of professional psychology skills

[Speaker] Mcgregor, Gillian:1
1:University of Queensland (Australia)

Post graduate psychology students undertaking a professional degree encounter a steep learning curve when transitioning from theoretical knowledge to professional practice. The beginning student stage of development is fraught with anxiety and high stress levels, with implications for student and client wellbeing (Ronnestad & Skovholt, 2003). Successful navigation of this phase is critical to competence and employability. A software platform has been developed to enhance practice competence by providing improved teaching, learning, assessment and feedback mechanisms. The software engages serious games technology to deliver a stimulating and fun educational experience. Students are entertained while learning, in a manner which fosters the transfer of knowledge and skills to real world scenarios. This paper will describe the development and roll-out of the serious game software and present data on user and stakeholder experience. This will include comparing early training experiences of those engaging with the software and those undertaking training as usual.
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