On 19 September, ProsocialLearn conducted an introductory workshop to prosociality & prosocial learning games at the EDEN (European Distance and E-Learning Network) Open Classroom Conference 2015 in Athens, Greece.
The aims and objectives of the workshop were:
• Familiarization of participants with prosociality and prosocial game ecosystem
• Identification of the relation among prosocial skills, social inclusion, individual empowerment and success in formal education
• Presentation of a prosocial game and mapping of prosocial skills
• Design of prosocial activities by the workshop participants, in order to establish a community of interest, active during and after the lifetime of the project.
The afternoon agenda included:
• Welcome, introductions and icebreaker activity
• Presentation of ProsocialLearn
• What is prosociality and how it is related to inclusion and better academic achievements
• Prosocial and educational games (categories, types)
• Hands-on activities; presentation of a prosocial game; feedback from participants on improvement suggestions
• Group activity; participants work together and design activities targeting certain prosocial traits
• Conclusions and next steps
Under this perspective, participants were introduced to:
• ProsocialLearn project, i.e.
• The rationale of prosociality:
1) What do we mean by prosocial culture and prosocial learning style
2) What are the features of prosocial behaviour
3) Examples of prosocial projects
• Reference to tangible prosocial projects’ outcomes and positive correlation between the implementation of prosocial behaviour and the improvement of school climate
• Digital games:
1) What is a game and what are its main features
2) Games in education & examples
Initially the game “Path of Trust” was presented; its rules and rationale were explained in detail. Two of the trainees played the game and afterwards a handout was given to them which identified how the main features of prosociality are related to learning objects and game elements.
Additionally participants were asked to reflect on the following:
• Whether “path of Trust” could be used in didactic practice.
• What would be the challenges of such a venture?
• How could “path of Trust” be integrated to learning process?
• What improvements/ changes would you suggest?
• How would you structure a lesson plan related to “path of Trust”?
Participants mentioned that one of the main challenges for the implementation of such a game in classroom is the equipment, since it should not be taken for granted that all schools have internet connection and PCs. They suggested that the game itself should have additional levels of difficulty and intermediary prizes related to the acquisition of prosocial skills. Participants highlighted the importance of an induction activity related to the identification of the terms cooperation and trust, so that pupils are familiarized with the terms before playing the game.
In the last part of the workshop, participants were asked to design their own learning activities/ games on one of the following pairs of prosocial skills:
• Empathy – compassion
• Cooperation – trust
• Fairness – generosity
They also identified the learning objectives of such activities/games, in the framework of which subject area they could be implemented and how they could be evaluated.
Learn more about EDEN and the EDEN Open Classroom series at www.eden-online.org.