Student creativity in serious games for employability skills

David Moffat, David Farrell, Audrey McCulloch

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


    Students are generally slow to realise the importance of preparing for their entry into the graduate job market. In this case-study of a coursework assignment to final-year Honours students, teams were asked to design video games to inform students, in early years of study, about the need to improve their own employability skills. This was in order to see if engaging the creativity of students to inform others about employability would improve their own awareness as well. In a course on video-game design, the students were assigned coursework to design game concepts and prototypes for a handful of real or potential clients. One of the real-world clients was the university's own internal Careers Service, who required game concepts to interest and inform university students, in early years of study, about the importance of preparing a curriculum vitae (CV) with care. University staff represented the Careers Service, including the head of the service herself, by sitting in on classes to review the student teams' pitches for their concepts. The game prototypes were well-received by the client, who went so far as to commission and fund a team to make a similar game for later publication on the university website. These were for two games, to collect materials for a CV, and to exercise interview skills. In this way, the coursework assignment contributed to student employability in several ways: by developing a game to make students in first years at university more aware of key employability skills; by exercising the students who made the game in their own awareness of the same; and by actually employing the students for short-term Summer work, that made valuable additions to their own CVs. The initial assignment proved to be effective, in the sense that the client reacted so positively as to fund further work from the students. That also significantly improved the employability of the students thus commissioned. The reactions of the students was somewhat ambivalent, however, in their appreciation of the opportunity offered to them, which to our surprise was not altogether enthusiastic. The game itself has yet to be installed on the university web-servers. We conclude that such coursework interventions are potentially very valuable to students, whether they quite realise it or not. Students later reported that they have drawn significantly on the experience in applications forms and interviews.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European Conference on e-Learning
    EditorsAmanda Jefferies, Marija Cubric
    PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Electronic)9781910810712
    ISBN (Print) 9781910810705
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2015

    Publication series

    PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
    ISSN (Print)2048-8637


    • e-learning
    • serious games
    • creativity
    • employability


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