FUTURE TIME TRAVELLER - Transforming career guidance on future skills, jobs and career prospects of Generation Z through a game based virtual reality platform

GAME-BASED LEARNING APPROACH IN CAREER GUIDANCE

The main characteristics of game-based learning approach in career guidance will be revisited in this article, along with some of its benefits and best examples for career guidance practitioners working with young people from Generation Z.
The competences and skills young people are required to have for the labour market should be first contextualized here. To navigate into the world of work, young people need to become aware of their career opportunities, acquire knowledge and understand the labour market trends. It is also essential for guidance practitioners advising young people in transition phases to be constantly updated about existing information search tools on new jobs and career prospects. Young people would therefore need to be informed about the skills needed in the future world of work and gain awareness of the labour market changes, namely by identifying credible sources of information about new jobs that will emerge and don’t exist yet.
Career guidance enables young people to feel supported while making career decisions, developing a confident attitude towards the future, becoming self-determined and playing an active role in their own lives. Game-based learning can have a positive impact on career guidance for young people, particularly due to turning career education into a collaborative project, promoting students’ critical thinking skills, motivating them to ‘learn by doing’, and helping them to find new ways to overcome challenges, use knowledge in new ways and “think like a professional” (Shaffer, 2015).
This game-based learning approach refers to entertaining games focused on educational aspects. Applying this approach to career guidance practice with young people may be beneficial for them and their advisors to jointly find and apply problem-solving strategies, as well as to foster an active and immersive learning experience that could be highly motivational from the learning point of view, especially if the learners consider the games to be highly engaging and fun (Masuch et al., 2011). It is also advantageous to stimulate creativity and joyful emotions, strength social ties through the contact with other players/career counsellors/teachers and non-player-characters, transfer prior knowledge into new contexts, overcome challenges and solve real problems without asking for anything in return during the game (McConigal 2011).
Game-based learning environments can indeed be seen as an extension of the traditional career guidance practice, representing an effective learning method that is more appealing to young people from Generation Z due to connecting them to digital experiences and encouraging them to proactively make thoughtful decisions.

8 EXAMPLES OF BEST PRACTICES IN GAME-BASED LEARNING APPLIED TO CAREER GUIDANCE

 

1. Atlas of Emerging Jobs (http://atlas100.ru/en/catalog/)

The platform shows how technological developments and other changes will affect jobs in industries. The catalogue contains information on a number of new jobs that are expected to emerge before 2030, the trends that will continue and the skills they will need. The content also describes dozens of professions expected to emerge in the next decade. The informative cartoons help users explore future jobs and make decisions about their career.

2. Design the Future Platform (https://www.designthefuture.pt/)

A vocational exploration platform from Better Future Association gives users access to videos and reports about different professions and training options, allowing them to explore the world of professions according to their areas of interest. Users can access several academic programs, be informed about courses and institutions, and even design their own vocational profile. In the end, users have a set of professions correlated to their vocational profile. The platform is only available in Portuguese, is managed by the Portuguese Career Development Association and supported by Santander Universities.

3. EMPLAY – Employability Tools (https://emplay.eu/)

It‘s an Erasmus+ project focused on creating friendly and useful tools for young adults to develop high quality support systems for their employability. It‘s intended to increase young people’s willingness to engage in entrepreneurship, increase employability opportunities and recognition of personal and professional skills, as well as foster cooperation between different entities from different countries in different areas (NGOs, companies, public bodies). Finally, the aim is to help young people develop their key competences for employability, using the tools developed.

4. FUTURE (http://future-time-traveller.eu)

The FUTURE Time Traveller platform presents the jobs of the future within a virtual world, offering social interaction in new ways. The scenarios of this career game can be experienced through an avatar using text, speech, graphic images, gestures and objects. The platform user can play a game with seven missions and, after completing each mission, he/she will learn to: identify credible sources of information on new jobs (mission 1); gain knowledge and understanding of labour market developments (mission 2); receive information on the skills required in the future, be more sensitive to labour market trends, and take on different perspectives (mission 3); become aware of social challenges of digitisation and develop a positive attitude toward the future (mission 4); enhance critical skills in assessing professional decisions (mission 5); support creativity innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, make decisions on career choices supported by appropriate information, and recognize career opportunities (mission 6); recognize the responsibility, the active role and the opportunity to shape own lives, along with the need for cooperation (mission 7).

5. Get a Life (http://getalife.fi/game/getalife?lang=en-US)

Career simulation tool for university students, which promotes future-oriented thinking, proactivity and career planning in order to anticipate future directions of work life and society. It allows users to explore and imagine their future career and educational paths in the next 20 years.

6. Job Simulator: The 2050 Archives (https://jobsimulatorgame.com/)

It’s the year 2050, and robots have replaced all human jobs. Yet, the machines have provided humans with some amusement: a simulation of what having a job used to look like. The virtual reality (VR) game allows players to experience what it was like to hold a 9 to 5 job, and relive the glory days of working in an office. The game has a comedic bent, as robots who have imagined the simulation often misinterpret facets of office life for humans.

7. KAHOOT! (https://kahoot.com)

It´s a game-based learning platform where you can design multiple-choice quizzes and include videos, pictures or other graphics. Particularly suitable for group work, e.g. in school classes. The learners can work on the quiz questions with their own devices (laptop, smartphone), design their own Kahoots and improve their skills in other ways.

8. VELOCITY (http://velocity-project.eu/)

Virtual world learning environment for job interviewees. It contains seven scenarios: preparation for interview; apply for job opening; accept/reject job offer; behaviour on interview, as well as stimulation of the most used types of job interviews – face-to-face, competence based and panel interview.