Screenshot from the game compete!

Compete!, a serious game developed within the European Erasmus+ framework, helps to develop soft skills. This participatory learning methodology uses gamification to help final-year university students critically apply and discuss the impact of soft skills in classroom settings. With feedback built into the game design, players can improve their understanding of decision-making and acquire key soft skills such as problem-solving, stress management, effective communication, and teamwork.

Serious games and gamification have been embraced by primary education students as motivational tools. However, their potential for higher education is just beginning to be realized. While traditional teaching models can be effective, serious games offer an exciting opportunity to teach complex skills in a fun, engaging way. In the job market, soft skills are essential for students to find good jobs and stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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The Design of Compete!

Compete! was designed to meet the needs of final-year university students as they transition into the workforce. It is a single-player game that can be played online via any internet browser. The game emphasizes giving players feedback on their decisions throughout the narrative it presents in order to integrate assessment into the game design.

The game’s storyline focuses on a protagonist who is trying to find a job after graduating from university. As they progress through the game, players must make decisions and face challenges based on real-life situations. They must use their soft skills to make decisions and get feedback from mentors to learn how their decisions can affect their future careers. Through this narrative, players can become aware of the importance of soft skills in their professional lives and gain insight into how they can acquire them.

Measuring Soft Skills Acquisition Through Compete!

Compete! was developed with competency measurement in mind. The game uses a scoring system based on players’ decisions and progress throughout the game. This allows players to track their progress and understand how their decisions impact their ability to acquire soft skills. The game also provides feedback to players on how they can improve their decision-making, allowing them to practice and develop new skills.

The developers of Compete! have also created an assessment system that allows players to evaluate themselves and measure their progress over time. This system includes questions about decision-making, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork. Players can track their scores and use this information to reflect on their progress and identify areas where they need improvement. The developers published their findings on MDPI.