Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

No One Left Behind Report Summary

Project ID: 645215
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - No One Left Behind (No One Left Behind)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The No One Left Behind project aims at creating the new generation of Pocket Code to attract, motivate and engage students with gaming concepts. Pocket Code is an application for mobile devices that allows children to create their own games, animations, music, videos, and many types of apps, directly on their phones or tablets.

In No One Left Behind we are building the new generation of Pocket Code and taking it to the academic curriculum of 17 classes, in 8 pilot schools from 3 European countries (Austria, Spain and UK). By providing this tool for game-making to be used in formal learning environments, we envisage:
• To empower more than 500 children between 8 to 17 years’ old, by granting them with the opportunity of developing and adapting their learning material in academic disciplines such as art, humanities, science, technology or math.
• To support more than 20 teachers to include new teaching practices that encourage students to use real-world problem solving, construct their own understanding of the subjects and incentivise inclusion, and collaboration, by developing games

To accomplish our mission, we are working on the following specific objectives:

Scaling Pocket Code from a technological research-based initiative to the education market
The new generation of Pocket Code is the market ready version of Pocket Code for education, which addresses cognitive and social empowerment for assessing learning through fun and progressive game-making. To scale to the education market, we are:
• Integrating into the Pocket Code media-rich programming environment, game mechanics, dynamics and data measurement and modelling methodologies used by gaming companies from the leisure and entertainment industry.
• Optimizing Pocket Code’s effectiveness and usability in education to support students’ empowerment.
• Incorporating the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) inclusive technology to overcome accessibility barriers, such as disabilities or digital literacy.
Transference of gaming technologies to new generation of Pocket Code

The transference of game design elements (mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics and analytics), models and methodologies from gaming companies playing in the leisure and entertainment industry is being done at two levels:
• Technical level: we are creating Pocket Code leisure oriented “game templates”. The game templates allow to select a pre-coded shaped games (puzzles, adventure games, quizzes, races, shooting etc.) that can be edited and adapted to integrate knowledge and content from academic disciplines, personalize the background, themes or images (that respond to the students’ likes, cultural background and/or academic context), integrate preferred rewards schemas (lives, time, etc.), as well as incorporate any game strategy or fantasy. This makes possible for students to create their own games in an easy and fast manner.
Also, in No One Left Behind we are linking the Pocket Code infrastructure with a game analytic platform, for assessing the students’ behaviours and performance, so teachers can improve academic, social and participatory aspects.
• Organisational level: Basic concepts of game mechanics, gaming metrics and analytics are transferred to teachers through the “teaching framework”. So the teachers can better adapt class projects, academic content and strategies. Further, tapping into gamification`s intrinsic motivation, increase engagement and student retention while generating empathy, creativity, inclusion and collaborative approaches.

Matching game mechanics and dynamics transference to the academic and didactic curricula/syllabus objectives
The alignment of the lesson plans with the game-making process supports teachers to better manage and adapt lessons with gaming components. In No One Left Behind we have structured the lesson plans in templates. The templates have been developed to help teachers to build on the students` prior performance, create interactive environments for the construction of understanding and to support the reflection of learning. From this perspective, cognitive skills can be matched to the following methodologies: task-based learning and reflection, problem-based learning, goal-based scenarios or project-based learning; and thus reflect these methodologies on the processes of making games.

Stimulating inclusion in classrooms
No One Left Behind provides special benefits for students at risk of exclusion by:
• Supporting with GPII multi-modal interaction and inclusive technology through auto-configuration and adaptation of the devices used to produce inclusive design of gaming.
• Teaching inclusive technology design to students from childhood as an engaging and effective methodology to enhance integration in society.
• Enabling teachers to take actions for empowering children, based on contextual and behavioural data (metrics) information of the students.

Set up European multi-site small scale experimental pilots across Europe to be performed in primary through to secondary levels
Three small scale experimental pilots have been set up in Austria, Spain and UK, comprising 8 schools and more than 500 students between 12 and 17 years old. Children involved in the pilots are using the new generation of Pocket Code in 17 academic curricula, ranging from art and humanities, to math, science and physics. Each site targets different social exclusion problems as follows:
• UK pilot targets children with special educational needs and disability.
• Austria pilot targets gender exclusion in teenagers.
• Spain pilot targets children from different social multi-ethnic collectives.
We expect that these experimental pilots provide further insights and feedback on how to effectively structure and optimize game-making environments for supporting children’s empowerment and meaningful learning.

Evaluate potential monetization paths for the new generation of Pocket Code
Different paths of monetization, especially those related with content production and distribution are assessed in No One Left Behind, in order to support effective innovation for a 'social' market, open-source and traditional leisure oriented game market.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed during the first period of the project focused on the following activities:

1. Project set up and functional definition: the performed activities aimed at securing the operational details of the project as well as to gather the requirements to define the functional specifications and requirements for defining and developing the new generation of Pocket Code. In this regard, we assessed and characterized the educational environment in Europe and pilot countries (Austria, Spain and UK) as well as evaluated and gathered the requirements for transferring the gaming and analytic technologies, the pedagogical delivery as well as the needs for inclusion and integration of GPII.
The main achievements for this work area are:
• The functional conceptual framework, gathering the technical requirements for taking Pocket Code to the new generation of Pocket Code has been fully defined, including the characterization of the data model and templates for Pocket Code.
• Definition of academic and behavioural requirements, which includes: support collaboration in class, engagement through demos and showcases, generation of examples of games for specific themes in mathematics, science, art and other subjects, and the generation of assets such as backgrounds and images for academic subjects or for inclusiveness, e.g. for girls.
• Main disabilities have been defined, which include: Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ADS), Dyslexia, Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties, Dyspraxia, profound and multiple learning disabilities; and moderate learning disabilities.

2. Pedagogical and didactical environment: the performed activities comprised the evaluation of academic programs and objectives, the assessment of didactical and behavioural needs, generation of illustrative scenarios that link the pedagogical needs supported by different types of games, as well as the generation of the teachers’ guidelines and framework to support the integration of gaming mechanism and elements in the class content, routines and planning.
Main achievements comprise:
• Alignment of the lesson plans (adapted to use Pocket Code) for all classes participating in the pilot (17 academic subjects).
• Definition of metrics to be included in the game analytics, which have been gathered in 7 groups: 4 measures for didactical/academic requirements (learning achievement, engagement: social, self and action engagement, teacher assistance, critical thinking), and 3 for behavioural requirements (collaboration, support, interdependence and social interaction, persistence, game player).
• 4 use cases based on four type of games (Adventure, Action, Puzzle and Quiz), have been defined; 12 scenarios have been devoted from the use cases to illustrate how the four templates are used in different academic subjects in the three pilot sites.
• Training guide for teachers integrating Pocket Code has been delivered.

3. Integration of game methodologies, elements and analytics: the performed activities focused on the integration of game mechanism from leisure oriented industry into Pocket Code.
Main achievements comprise:
• Transferring game elements: Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics (MDA) framework was used to transfer attributes or elements from the leisure oriented gaming industry. The gaming elements transferred comprise:
o 6 elements for supporting mechanics: points, levels, challenges, virtual goods, leader boards and gifting/charity
o 6 elements for dynamics: rewards, status, achievements, self-expression, competition and altruism.
o 8 elements for supporting aesthetics: sensation, fantasy, narrative, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression and submission.
• Developing 4 “game templates” based on the following types of games: Adventure, Action, Puzzle and Quiz; and the use cases.
• Providing the game-making framework, so teachers and students can adopt needed processes that enable the efficient use of the new generation of Pocket Code.
• Defining the metrics and measurements to support the monitoring of pedagogical and behavioural patterns.
• Preparing the Pocket Code infrastructure to interact with the analytic infrastructure through an SDK, and with the GPII.

4. Development of the new generation of Pocket Code: the performed activities focused on moving towards the new generation of Pocket Code, this software and coding environment is being enhanced and adapted.
Main achievements comprise:
• Improvement of the usability according to gathered requirements.
• Redefinition, creation and grouping of objects and components foreseen to provide an inclusive game, adjusted to the education market version (new generation of Pocket Code).
• Creation of Scenes: it eases the creation of large programs by abstraction of semantically coupled objects including code, looks and sounds into independent subunits.

5. No One Left Behind pilots: the performed activities comprised the planning, set up and running of the three project`s pilots located in Austria, Spain and UK, revision of commonalities for pedagogical and behavioural metrics and the definition of the experimental settings.
Main achievements comprise:
• More than 500 students and 25 teachers (7 UK, 11 Austria, 7 Spain), integrating Pocket Code and gaming methodologies in 17 academic classes.
• Commitment and engagement in No One Left behind during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.

6. Dissemination, exploitation and sustainability strategies. The activities performed in this area comprise the launching and monitoring of the No One Left Behind website and social media, the organisation of Game Jams and participation in events with meaningful impact, as well as the launching of the dissemination and exploitation plan.
Main achievements comprise:
• No One Left Behind was awarded with the Grand Prix Best Connect Exhibitor in the ICT 2015 “Young Minds” Award, at ICT 2015 in Lisbon.
• Organisation of Pocket Code days and Game Jams (Alice Game Jam during the international Computer Science Education Week and Jam session at Net Futures 2016) with more than 200 participants.
• Participation in 10 exhibitions, video game festivals, conferences and workshops related to gaming and ICT.
• Having the website online since March 2015, with an average of 325 page views per month.
• Set up and maintenance of social networks; reaching more than 100 followers on twitter.
• For exploitation the market analysis was performed at macro environment level, main outputs of the project and the partners’ views for exploitation are defined. This also has allowed to envision a preliminary market positioning.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Progress beyond state of the art in No One Left Behind envisions to generate impacts that contribute towards social innovation. The No One Left Behind project supports the development of new pedagogies that relate to the development of games in the classroom. The project supports teachers to use new game-based tools and methodologies with engage and disengaged learners to reinforce their progression, meaningful learning, as well as social and participatory aspects; but also empower students by allowing them to produce their own learning materials through fun games.

No One Left Behind views learning not only associated with education and academic programs, but also as a broad concept including social and participatory aspects. Thus, the new generation of Pocket addresses cognitive and social empowerment for assessing learning through fun and progressive game-making. In this regard in our pilot settings we also can observe positive feedback from teachers regarding the progress on:
• Fostering creativity and empathy by using non-leisure gaming technologies in Pocket Code and as part of the class strategies.
• Stimulating computational thinking skills, such as thinking abstractly and the deconstruction of a problem into smaller pieces when training students and teachers to code games.
• Increasing participation and creativity through other activities such as game jams.
• Supporting computational proficiency.
• Using digital games in education and formal learning environments.
• Supporting teachers to move towards a more constructivist pedagogy.

Impact on social inclusion
From pilot sites we also can observe progress on:
• Participation of girls in Austria, both in classes and jams; through integration of game assets and aesthetics that allow customisation for all genders.
• Progress in the integration of GPII as a multimodal tool for inclusion of students with special needs.
• Slow but progressive adoption of Pocket Code and gaming methodologies by students with special needs in UK schools.
• High collaboration by managing groups in Spain. This has allowed to work in groups that integrate different skills when coding games (generating images or game assets, programming, testing, etc.) where students depend on each other for submitting projects.

Impact on educational market
The preliminary market assessment has been performed, and the landscape from market assessment shows that there is a positive balance from external and internal factors, providing a positive outlook. Thus No One Left Behind, has good capabilities and resources to provide value added in the educational market domain. Further, the challenge to launch the No One Left Behind platform and integrate the standalone products and services to market is addressable.
Overall, we can say that external context for the education domain environment is favourable for the adoption of new ICT solutions such as the new generation of Pocket Code and defined frameworks.

Related information

Record Number: 190335 / Last updated on: 2016-11-15
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