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Soft skills learning game for experts in peacekeeping and crisis management organisations

The learning game created in the Gaming for Peace research project is the result of two years of research in which Laurea also participated.

The goal of the learning game developed in the Gaming for Peace (GAP) research project is to teach soft skills to people involved in peacekeeping and crisis management assignments. Soft skills encompass, for example, cooperation skills, discussion and interaction skills, intercultural knowledge and gender awareness as well as leadership and trust-building skills.

“These skills are certainly significant in just about any work, but particularly in a multicultural working environment like this. In a crisis environment, decisions need to be made faster and the situations can be somewhat threatening, too, so pressure resistance is at quite a different level than in Western working communities,” says Kirsi Hyttinen, Senior Manager for Research at Laurea and Project Manager of the Gaming For Peace project.

The project has involved crisis-management and education experts from different parts of Europe. Finnish participants included Laurea and the Finnish Defence Forces’ International Centre. According to Kirsi Hyttinen, getting experts from different fields together made the game development process particularly instructive.

Numerous interviews were conducted for the game development process, and the information gained was used to create realistic scenarios. The purpose is to provide players with an assessment of the soft skills that they have successfully developed during the game and the ones that they still need to focus on.

In the future, the learning game could perhaps also be used in security management education. Laurea’s Security Management students had the opportunity to test the game and found it useful for their studies.

Kirsi Hyttinen also feels confident about the game:
“This learning game can definitely be used in the field of security management and in higher education instruction.

It is a tool that enables education to be provided digitally, without being bound to a specific location. The demand for such tools continues to increase, especially when providing teaching to working students.

"What has been the most educating in this project has been the interaction between people and technology, and how it can be utilised in this learning context,” Hyttinen says.

The learning game is available for downloading and playing until the end of February 2019.