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"Learning by playing": A youth exchange on gamification and much more

From the 14th to 23rd of September, young people aged 20-28 gathered for an Erasmus + Youth Exchange in the beautiful city of Granada, Spain. The main aim of the youth exchange was to learn about the concepts of gamification and game-based learning.

FYCA was one of the actors involved in preparing and implementing this project.

The main sessions explored the difference between gamification and game-based learning, helped to identify the added value to participants of applying game-design elements to their daily lives, careers, and learning processes. Young people learned about the best-gamified practices and experienced their advantage over traditional learning experiences.

The sessions started with getting to know each other, then the team building followed. Afterward, the participants explored the elements of gamification which were the challenges, achievements, badges, and feedback. Other discussed game-based learning practices included roleplaying activities and simulation of real-life situations.

One of the main aspects of this project was also the intercultural exchange and cooperation. Most of the activity groups were from mixed groups, which allowed the participants to have an amazing experience during the intercultural evenings, where each country was presenting their national foods, drinks, dances, songs, etc.

According to one of the Armenian participants, Ani Barseghyan: "The project gave me a better understanding of gamification tools, and the idea of how to use them. I had the chance to meet and share knowledge with new cultures, make friends and enjoy the Granada".

Based on Yoanna Avlastimidu's words "Learning by playing” is one of the most productive projects. It is really important to use innovative methods in learning, to understand the basics of gamification. Except for the knowledge and skills it is worth mentioning the wonderful people who were in the project."

One of the Armenian group members Siranush Grigoryan shared her impressions from the youth exchange: "The course was very useful and important for me. I have gained a lot of new knowledge that will help me in different life situations. It was very interesting to get acquainted with the cultural peculiarities of all countries and make new friends. I am immensely grateful to our sending organization, to all organizers, to our coach, and all participants of the project. I will return to my homeland with unforgettable memories and impressions".

"The project's main topic was something new for me and the discussions about it gave me life skills. I also learned a lot about different cultures and had a lot of time to explore Spain and it’s beautiful cultures", said Hmayak Poghosyan.

As an added value to this youth exchange, the participants had a chance to do hiking to the mountains of Andalusia, pay a visit to the Alhambra medieval castle and Flamenco night to explore more of the Spanish culture and local people. The learning outcomes are going to be disseminated on the international level as well as in each participating country.

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