A Monopoly-like game has been developed under the Erasmus+ programme in order to help agricultural VET students become entrepreneurs.
We talked to Project Coordinator Andrea Kövesd about the Agropoly game by Trebag Intellectual Property and Project Manager Ltd.
What's Agropoly about?
It’s an online educational material designed to help students learn about agriculture and entrepreneurial skills in a playful manner. It was primarily developed for 10-12 grader VET students who wish to find employment in the agricultural sector in the future.
What gave you the idea of the online educational material? Why did think the matter needed to be addressed?
When students go back home from the secondary school to the family farm, they need to learn a lot of things again, and besides, they are simply not taught some of the skills at school. Also, these young people belong to generation Z, playing video games since early childhood, and therefore gaming experience very important to them. In the mid 2000’s, a process started in the EU, aiming to define gamification as a learning output. Accordingly, we also addressed the issue of how to transfer and master knowledge as effectively as possible in an entertaining way.
Had you had any experience in this field from other projects?
Formerly, we had been involved in a number of international projects; for example, we had developed an English material, in cooperation with the Czech University, for students with a BSc, designed to motivate young people to enterprise. It was mainly about decision-making, risk-taking, various analyses and business calculations. We had also participated in a major ‘TÁMOP’ (Social Renewal Operational Programme) project, which served as a basis for our current undertaking: we conducted surveys in various schools to assess students' basic business skills. Do they know what VAT is, or the rate of personal income tax? Our current project relied on the findings of that survey, which also served as a basis for the questionnaire which we gave to students of agriculture to complete.
How did you prepare from a professional point of view to develop the game?
Since this project seeks to support education in the field of agricultural entrepreneurship, we thought it was important that the game should be closely related to the trade. In the first four months we conducted surveys among teachers and students. The teachers’ questionnaire was designed to find out about the areas which teachers thought needed improvement, whereas from the students we wanted to learn what methods they would welcome in their studies. We asked 300 students altogether – Hungarian, Czech, Spanish and Romanian students.
How is Agropoly played?
At the beginning of the game, the players are the owners of a totally barren, neglected land. Based on the scores gained, the goal is to develop this area by putting buildings on it and getting tools to help them achieve this goal. Similarly to any conventional score gaining game, you can get to higher and higher levels. During the preparatory stage, we sought to specify areas which equally improve students’ agricultural skills and thinking: innovation, creativity, decision-making, team work. Players' progress is monitored by mentors, to each of whom a knowledge base is linked. It includes the most essential elements required, for example, to develop an enterprise or assume responsibility. Each area is linked to a mini game, all of which lead students to a solution through an agricultural problem. They include quizzes, classification games, as well as videos, addressing basic concepts of crop protection or general mechanics.
How successful do you think the game has been among students so far?
The game is currently under testing. Gaining new knowledge at your own pace, through your own experiences, is a very popular method. Students get so absorbed in it that they forget to leave after class... But they can also play it from home; all they need to do is sign up.
How is work shared among the partners?
A lesson learnt during former years was that it’s better to develop the game at a single location, so we did it here. In the preparatory stage, we made great use of our Czech and Spanish partners' experience gained in the field of enterprise development and gamification. The background information required for the knowledge base was also collected together. We prepared most of the games and the related quiz game, consisting of 600 questions. Our partners were actively involved in making the decision trees, the case studies and the short versions, and there is also a translation platform, where the all the information, such as the number of sunny hours or the average precipitation, can be adapted to each region.
Are you working on anything else besides the game?
Basically, it’s up to the teachers to decide which part to present in which class, so we're working on a teachers' manual which will contain more detailed descriptions about the game, and it will also help teachers integrate the game into the classes as much as possible from an educational point of view.
Project title: Play & Learn Entrepreneurial Skills in the Agricultural Sector
Project Coordinator: Trebag Intellectual Property and Project Manager Ltd.
In Agropoly, you can gain scores by mastering skills and knowledge acquired in the virtual reality, and thus you can turn a desolate land into a flourishing farm, where even the mentors are virtual: they’re famous historical figures.
Time management & planning - Phileas Fogg
Where to try Agropoly
Last modified: 16-10-2017