Take a breath and self-evaluate
It is easy to get lost in one’s everyday life. I have worked in an entrepreneurship education project for a bit over a year now and witnessed how it is probably even easier to get lost in combining project work with one’s teaching load or other duties.
Sometimes it is good to take a breather and evaluate how we are doing in both our individual work and co-operation activities. Indeed, self-evaluation was the topic our project group’s recent monthly meeting. It can be tricky to get productive, honest conversations going on when faced with the task to evaluate one’s actions – and even more so when all meetings are done online and participants come from different kinds of educational institutions. This is why we decided to try a gamified way of discussing difficult topics remotely.
gamification of self-evaluation
We had assigned two points of view for the self-evaluation: things that have hindered and helped us from reaching our goals. The conversation flowed like a virtual game of cards, where participants were dealt a hand of cards with words such as sharing, co-operation, experimentation or resources. Everyone “played” the card they felt best matched the point of view and then the cards were talked about.
The words on the hindrances round prompted conversation that was unsurprising, but still important to have: the lack of resources, time, energy and motivated students and the difficulty to cement new experimentation into practice. We played in two groups and both mentioned roughly the same things. I think people would have probably mentioned the same things had they simple been asked to tell about what has been challenging for them.
The second round of choosing cards was more interesting. When choosing things that have helped us reach our goals, there was more variance between our groups. These ranged from a sense of freedom and developing in one’s work, learning from and getting help from project partners, knowing one another, realistic goals, resilience, enthusiasm, creativity and experimentation.
An experiment for us as entrepreneurship educators
The simple act of choosing and discussing playing cards seemed to result in some self-reflection on part of the teachers. More importantly, it helped us have a meaningful conversation in a short amount of time. This kind of dialogue between teachers has been missing when everyone is short on time and all meetings take place through Teams, where the mode of conversation is too easily focused on disseminating information.
Trying out a so-called “serious game” to help with self-evaluation was in itself an experiment for us as entrepreneurship educators. This is exactly what the field of entrepreneurship education needs: experimentation done by us – the educators and developers.
Author: RDI Specialist, DSocSCi Piritta Parkkari (piritta.parkkari(at)xamk.fi)
The author works for the Yrittäjyyskasvatuksella elinvoimaa Etelä-Savoon -project, which receives partial funding from ESR through South-Savo ELY centre.