REAL LIFE – BLENDED LEARNING PLATFORM
RealLife is an innovative project in which serious gaming and virtual reality are used to improve skills needed in the 21st century and skills needed for employability for those at the edge of society. Training skills in a safe and virtual reality will help prisoners to function in real life and enhance their sense of initiative. The objective is to develop an innovative tool, the RealLife game with a certificate that validates informal learning. RealLife will design a strong tool for many disadvantaged groups in Europe by implementing seven pilots in six European countries that will include 80 prisoners, 14 mentors and 35 prison guards.
Focus will be on different groups, youngsters between 17 and 23, women and (older) men. The use of gamification is a user-friendly method that can be delivered on an individual basis to promote employability and reduce recidivism for in prisoners. To measure effectiveness of the serious game we will study the rate of recidivism in the first 48 hours to two months after prisoners leave detention. This way we are able to measure the impact of the game almost immediately and improve the game.
The game will focus on new learning possibilities to be applied in prisons: digital tools, games that educate, train and inform, can provide an alternative sustainable learning tool for disadvantaged groups. Many among the end-users have learning disabilities and reject more traditional teaching approaches. At the moment many prisoners and others at the edge of society have big problems finding their way to the labor market. Many inmates have no diplomas and no or little access to digital media. Excluding this disadvantaged group from 21st century developments will only widen the gap between them and the labor market.
The SEPE certificate (Supporting Employability and Personal Effectiveness) that we will work with is a flexible approach in which a portfolio is used as a tool to assess the outcomes of non-formal learning. This certificate for employability skills is recognized in the EQF. Europe can be on the frontier of discovering how to use technology to improve 21st century skills and increase employability with RealLife. Within the project, one will be a regular project website, the other website is www.reallifework.eu in which we will link our target group to the labor market.
Sustainability will be achieved by:
– MediaWise: a digital platform for (non-formal) learning that is an integrated part of education in the justice system in The Netherlands. Project RealLife will be included in this platform.
– A Social Impact Bond will be set up in at least one country. A Social Impact Bond in short is a contract between the public sector (government), businesses and social organizations to stimulate innovative ideas that have a high potential to be successful. It is a way for governments to implement innovative ideas that result in public sector savings without having the risk to having invested in advance.
– Give ownership of project RealLife to mentors In all countries, mentors will act as a catalyst, they will guide disadvantaged groups through RealLife games and disseminate and transfer the idea to other local and regional institutions.
For the project website go to http://reallifeproject.eu