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IATEFL 2024 Annual Conference - Ben's Thoughts on Birte Horn's Talk "Gamifying Employability Skills Training"

Birte started her talk asking who has used scavenger hunts before. In response, several of us raised our hands. Birte also highlighted the importance of developing employability skills and their links to current issues in society - essentially, these are what is often referred to as Critical Success Factors (CFSs) for a modern organisation and include things such as digital skills, creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and so on. It was these CFSs that Birte aimed to develop.

Birte went on to describe and detail a project that she designed and utilised; however, this was no ordinary scavenger hunt but instead used students' expertise in their academic subject areas (such as finding a car number plate using ASCII) and integrated numerous clue types (riddles, codes,puzzles and more).

Birte has designed and used an extremely sophisticated project with multifaceted elements. Birte's talk provided a fantastic case study of gamification done very well - the project she created clearly meets the criteria for a gamified task of being both fun and having a clear learning purpose. This was not to keep people busy or entertained but to apply, develop and reflect on a range of competences required for the scavenger hunt in an innovative and engaging way.


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