Why won’t they jam? The reasons for general upper secondary school students for not attending a game jam

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This short paper charts why potential participants decide not to participate in game jams. Specifically, we aim at finding reasons for adolescents, specifically Finnish general upper secondary school students, for not attending game jam events. In November 2018, we arranged a game jam in Tampere, at the University of Tampere, where the participants were students from three schools. From the possible pool of over 800 pupils, we had measly twelve registrations and due to cancellations, we only had eight participants, aged 17 and 18, in the jam. Although the jam event itself was successful, we wanted to know why only a fraction of invitees participated. Furthermore, we wanted to map the possible barriers to entry that prevented students from getting involved. To address this we conducted an online survey of all invitees in December 2018. Of the all possible participants 218 replied. This paper analyzes those results and discusses the implications of the results to future educational use of game jamming in formal education. Educators have in recent years tried to better teach the so called 21st century skills and competencies, which have been deemed essential for the new era (see e.g. Dede, 2007; Ananiadou & Claro, 2009). An increasing number of studies has shown that the skills acquired in game jam events closely resemble the 21st century skills: STEAM/STEM related and inter- and intrapersonal skills. Thus, it is also important to see if the game jam method could be applied to formal learning in schools. With this end in mind, we have organized several game jams in Finnish schools, namely in general upper secondary schools. The results are promising, showing that the benefits of game jams can indeed be transferred to formal learning. The number of the involved students has been small, which affects both the research and the goal we are trying to reach: spreading the benefits of game jamming to a larger audience. In this article, we aim at finding reasons for non-attendance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th Irish Conference on Game Based Learning 2019
EditorsPatrick Felicia
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventIrish Conference on Game-Based Learning -
Duration: 27 Jun 201928 Jun 2019
Conference number: 9


ConferenceIrish Conference on Game-Based Learning
Abbreviated titleiGBL
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