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Short update about the GamingDRV project results

What was the consortium up to during exploration phase?

PR 1: Virtual classroom concept and curriculum for the driver CPC training

So far training content elements were identified that are of EU wide relevance as well as relevant for interviewed stakeholders and partner organizations of the project. A needs analysis has been conducted to identify previous experience with digital and virtual training elements in the driver CPC training and the as-is state of the training in the partner countries.

Activities that have been carried out in PR during the exploration phase:

  • GLE interviews (incl. GLE definitions)
  • Trainer survey/ needs analysis
  • Content criteria determination and evaluation
  • Training content selection
  • Module distribution among partners
    • Module 1: Eco-driving-training
    • Module 2: Load-safety
    • Module 3: Health, road and environmental safety, service, logistics
    • Module 4: Application of regulations
  • Desk research on gamification in educational settings
  • Virtual classroom concept content draft

Some conclusions from the exploration phase:

The trainer experiences with virtual training are quite different among the trainers, but also among the countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most trainers in all countries surveyed have already conducted training in an online format and are therefore familiar with meeting tools and platforms (such as Google Meet, MS Teams, etc.). Nevertheless, there are sometimes major differences in the different countries as well. In France and Germany, trainers seem to have the least experience and many stated that they had no experience with formats other than face-to-face training. In Finland, on the other hand, virtual training formats already seem to be widespread, and the trainers are therefore more experienced. Many trainers still have reservations and are critical towards the VC. Comments such as "too impersonal," "no personal contact," "no feedback," and the like indicate a layer of concerns that needs to be addressed in the development of the VC concept, but also other project results.

Furthermore, there seems to exist an underlaying fear of digitalization in general when it comes to concerns like “Will I lose my job if the training will transfer into the VC?”, “Do I have enough digital skills to train in a VC with gamified elements?”, “Will I lose control of the learning and teaching process?”. On the other hand, positive comments indicate an openness among trainers who would certainly engage with virtual formats if they were allowed. Points such as "no risk of infection", “saves time and nerves”, “effective and cost-efficient”, “VC will offer the chance for developers to really enhance their courses” and others were mentioned here. Also, pragmatic statements like “If you must train online, you need a VC” were made. The generational shift plays a major role in the discussion about virtual driver training and is seen in comments such as “Today's young students cope well with digital training“. Interactive elements and high engagement of learners are foremost among the features that trainers have mentioned for successful VC training. The interviewed trainers believe that a synchronous VC format and self-directed eLearnings with tutor support have the most potential for the driver CPC training. Most of them were open to try a VC format. However, they have clear expectations for a VC training: A good, flexible meeting platform with interactive features is a must, turned on cameras enhance the training experience and interaction, gamification should help with increased interaction and engagement between trainer and learner as well as learner and learning content, flexible and suitable facilitation and moderation tools with all needed features is a must, everything must be easy to use. Most experience is with meeting tools such as MS Teams, Zoom, GoToMeeting. The most popular methods are presentations, quizzes, lectures, which is interesting because they seem mostly frontal methods while there is a wish for high interaction between trainer and learner at the same time. This might be an indicator that the trainers have a need to be trained themselves not only in technical professional competencies but also in methodology and didactics. This will be tackled in the eLearning for trainers in PR3.

In terms of preferred media, trainers identified video, audio, and presentations as favorites. When deciding for a format, method, tool, or media most important factors for the interviewed trainers are that they would be easy to prepare and implement and that they would motivate learners. Technical issues are one of the biggest concerns. Therefore, some trainers mentioned that it would be helpful if learning content and apps would work offline as well and can be used in both online training and face to face training, especially for those countries where virtual training is not allowed for the driver CPC training. When asked about gamified learning elements, many trainers were open to card  and board games, but simulations, role-playing games, and rallies were also mentioned. The trainers interviewed said that drivers like the challenge and competition in games. The trainers' experiences with the motivation of drivers during CPC training in general differed from country to country. While drivers in Finland tend to be more motivated, drivers in Germany are perceived as rather less motivated during regarding the CPC training. Most trainers believe that motivation during training can be increased with gamified learning elements. Learning outcome orientation seems to be high among most trainers.

Typical curriculums are hard to transfer into a VC. Especially when it comes to practical hands-on training elements it becomes clear that not the entire driver CPC training can be trained in a VC. However, even parts that can certainly be trained in a VC need to be modified and adapted to the VC compared to old traditional curricula. Already approved curricula are therefore difficult to apply in the VC setting and new curricula have to be developed and approved. For the development phase, it is planned to use a curriculum approved in Finland in order to test the module on load safety in a real training setting if feasible. The other modules will offer concepts on additional training content.

The desk research on gamification in educational processes, in which all partners participated under the leadership of DEKRA SE, clarified essential features that need to be considered when incorporating gamified learning elements into trainings. For convenience, we will abbreviate gamified learning elements as GLE. So what are GLEs? This is a question that is continuously being worked out in the project. Under the guidance of the partner Transformotion, a GLE definition will be developed and published on Wikipedia if feasible. For the term gamification the consortium agreed to a general definition:

Gamification is the use of game design elements and game mechanics in non-game contexts (Deterding, et al. 2011).

Reasons for the use of gamification elements/ GLE in training and educational processes are among others:

  • Raising motivation
  • Increase engagement
  • Better knowledge retention
  • More effective, inspiring, and engaging virtual learning environment
  • Playful learning experience that can translate into good feelings while learning, higher motivation, and deeper learning processes
  • Feeling of ownership over learning and motivation to establish relationships with other players

The desk research brought clarification on terms used and on what to implement when in our VC setting considering the target group and their needs as well as the legal requirements of the driver CPC training. It will give guidance during the development phase on how to apply and implement GLE.

Stay tuned for the curriculum to be published soon on the website!


PR 2: Gamified learning elements

After 4 gamified learning elements (GLE) have been conceptualized as digital, clickable prototypes. We have received help from Skövde University master students. As a part of their training, they have agreed to help with the design of two more GLE’s. The status of today is therefore that we do have all GLE concepts ready, and started production.

The exploration phase showed that there’s currently a low digital training experience among teachers and students, and that the training providers still focus on traditional classroom training material due to EC regulations.  The outcome of these factors is that interest for adding GLE’s to training is not as big as expected, although they are seen as a motivational factor.

We will keep an iterative working method, where we need to evaluate all proposed GLE's so that they will work well with the target group. This will probably be made through early user tests with paper prototypes. We will also look into more details like usability and ensuring that teachers will be able to master GLE’s technically and pedagogically. In parallel to the app-development, we also start working on the back-end administration (Teacher administration). In the production phase of the GLE's, we must develop a unique back-end administration system in parallel so that future teachers themselves can add suitable training content. This will at the same time allow us to test the GLE's with real content in real training scenarios. After testing, we plan to make revisions, thus making the GLE's 100% working with CPC Driver training"

We have gone through several different states in the conceptual phase. It’s obvious that both organisations and instructors have a hard time being open for new innovative ways of training. We initially wanted to do digital applications that would create an “aweness” to the learners. But after discussions with the partners and training instructor interviews, we found that the teacher instructors might would be overwhelmed with practicalities. We agreed that we should aim for applications that are easy to use, and without any major preparations. In the end of the exploration phase, we came back to a mix of both simple and more complex GLE’s. This makes it possible for the teachers to find something that will suit their training needs and still have tools regarding “flow”-theory, to increase training efficiency and make it more interactive and inclusive.

Stay tuned to see first prototypes on the website soon!


PR 3: GameTrain - eLearning module for trainers

The training module for trainers “GameTrain” will endow VET personnel and other adult educators of a multitude of sectors with the necessary competences to provide engaging, activating, inclusive and innovative Virtual Classroom (VC) training. ​

Steps during exploration pahse in PR 3:

  • Ensure that is staff, who are providing CPC training, different than VET trainers? If not, we can use research and training aimed at vocational trainers in general  
  • Benchmark “Proc95 trainer” project results (project is developing a training path for CPC trainer and it’s still ongoing)  
  • Identified the desired learning objectives, what do we want the trainers to know about the use of VC and GLE after the training module (purely technical knowledge or also pedagogical elements?)  
  • Closed the desk research 
  • Held the workshop with trainers 31st of JAN (3 trainers and one of them has previous knowledge about CPC training in VC)​ 
  • Drafted the proposal of Gametrain module 

Stay tuned for a preview of GameTrain!

PR 4: Online pool of resources

PR4 involves the creation of an online pool of resources for trainers who plan to deliver courses in a VC environment. 

In the early stages of exploration, we undertook 12 stakeholder interviews across the partner countries. It was an important process to understand what training instructors and developers would want from an online pool, and gave us some insight into the potential pros and cons of an online pool and how it could be used in a practical context. The interviews asked some important questions; what do they need and what are the problems? What challenges do they face? (Resources, hardware, software, connectivity, engagement, assessment) How will they use it? How can we make it accessible? What do we need to consider when building the online pool? What should it look like? How much detail should be feature on the platform? And finally, how can we raise awareness of it? The results of the interviews helped us to plan the right approach for the development stage.

The next step was to develop a series of questions for a period of desktop research, which would help us to create a foundation / starting point for the development of the pool. It was important to discover examples from all sectors, in order to learn lessons and to avoid problems at the development stage. To successfully complete this task, partners were asked to find examples of an online pool (all industries), to assess the most effective types of GLE, to investigate the pros and cons, to determine common platforms (i.e. LMS, Google Drive, One Drive etc.), to find good examples of a user experience and to assess the design, style and format works best. Partners were given guidance on where to find the relevant information, including search engines, published articles, case studies, academic research papers, published project results (EU) and stakeholder input (from the interview process). To help formalise the results in a common format, we produced 18 questions covering the topics that the partners needed to answer, following the desktop research. The results of the desktop research confirmed the lack of online resources in the road transport sector, and although there were examples, they were either not open source or not relevant to transport training.

The next step was to understand the common terms and search words used in partner countries. The purpose of doing this was to ensure that the SEO of the online pool will target the right users, and that the language used is common to the end user. It was also important to consider terminology, so partners were asked to provide terms used in their language and to translate that into English. The objective here was to ensure that any references or terms used in the pool could be fully understood by most end users.

The exploration phase provided us with really useful information in a number of ways. However, the main conclusion is that very little currently exists in terms of an online pool for developers and trainers, and that we must develop a user-friendly, language-friendly pool that can by all relevant stakeholders. The next step for development is to assess the responses from the partners’ Terminology and SEO response. Once we have done that, we will understand how to build the basic information of the online pool. After that, we will agree the most appropriate platform to host the online pool (based on interviews and research) and begin testing the usability and navigation. Our plan is to develop the pool in groups, with the raw information to be assessed in the coming months.

Stay tuned to see what platform was chosen!


PR 5: Implementation guidelines for virtual learning in driver training and beyond (sustainability concept)

The implementation of the virtual training has been considered from 3 angles:

  • Temporal (transfer of project results beyond the life of the project),
  • Sectoral (transfer to other training courses, sectors and professional profiles),
  • Geographical (transfer to countries other than the partner countries).

The implementation guidelines for training organizations and trainers provide practical and easy-to-use guidance on how to apply the results of the project in their daily professional practice, e.g. to transfer existing training content to a virtual classroom format, or to plan, implement and evaluate virtual classroom training and the use of gamified learning elements (GLE). 

Issues such as recognition and certification of qualifications, legal provisions, other relevant regulatory frameworks, barriers to training and the use of gamified learning elements (GLE) will be considered and analyzed, thus forming the basis for the roadmap towards sustainability.

In the exploratory phase of PR5, all partners were asked to carry out an elaborate assessment of the framework conditions, needs, obstacles and barriers to the long-term integration of virtual learning elements into the CPC training of professional drivers. 

To this end, AFT, as leader of the activity, drew up a consultation guide so that each partner in the project could consult the stakeholders via national workshops to consult on these topics:

  • Definition of key actors at national and European level,
  • Elaboration of elements to be identified and questioned by key actors,
  • Conceptualisation and preparation of a workshop with key actors,
  • Description of the different exercises of the workshop,
  • Workshop in France (in which we also identified areas of improvement),
  • Creation of the framework for the workshop's implementation and feedbacks,
  • Draft of the restitution document,
  • Dissemination to partners

It is clear that countries which do not yet have the right to carry out CPC at distance, in e-learning, will be limited by the regulations. On the other hand, the stakeholders consulted expressed a strong interest in integrating gamified elements into driver training but were more inclined to integrate them into existing classroom training (in presential) in the first instance than into a virtual classroom.

Stay tuned to read how the national workshops went!

We will keep you updated about all developments on this website. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, please do not hesitate to reach out anytime:

Project coordinator:

Service Division Advisory and Training Services
Handwerkstraße 15 * 70565 Stuttgart * Germany

Tel.: +49.711.7861-0
Fax: +49.711.7861-2655

Contact person:
Katja Kalusch and Regina Stober

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