Cooperation in MINECRAFT

Objectives

Using the game MINECRAFT to learn basic project management with a Scrum-like approach. Cooperation and project oriented work is constantly getting more common in schools, companies, organization and even in family life. The ability to organize and take part in smaller or larger project is a skill that could be honed in cooperative multiplayer games. Many, if not to say most, young people of today have experienced cooperative multiplayer games and many play frequently. After taking part in this activity they can apply what they learned hands on in the games on a modern project management technique. The activity also targets the key competences; digital competence and sense of initiative and entrepreneurship according to European Parliaments and of the Councils key competences for lifelong learning. The General objective was to become a better team player and organizer. The Specific objectives were as follows:

  • To learn the basics of the iterative project management method Scrum.
  • To learn that gaming can develop real life skills.
  • To reflect on gaming activities and achievements

Activities

Planning and building a structure, in this case two houses and a road, as a collaborative effort in Minecraft.

The activities were divided in four blocks; introduction and instructions, information and practice in the game mechanics of Minecraft, the actual project execution phase and the report and evaluation phase.

Introduction and instructions focused on the project as a whole and the project management model SCRUM on a basic level.

The second part introduced the participants to the tool and let them experience it hands on to get all of them up to speed in game.

The actual project execution phase was the biggest part of the project. It was done in iterations like all projects according to the SCRUM model. In all iterations evaluation of the team’s internal performance and planning for next iteration took place.

The report and evaluation activity focused on the experience of teamwork and the further application of this experience on future cooperative work and projects that the participants might encounter. The reflection was based on questions from the tutors that all participants answered individually in an online form.

Time

The project stretched over six weeks with two sessions per week. Each session lasted for one hour.

Target group

The target group assigned to the project were upper secondary students aged 16-17. Some had prior knowledge of Minecraft and some did not. All were used to work with a computer and most of them had experience of video games. The tutors were familiar with Minecraft and the management of a Minecraft server but had limited experience of playing the game itself. The tutors also had knowledge of project management with the iterative model SCRUM

Outcome

The general outcome was very positive. All participants had prior experience of collaborative work, mostly from school, but none of them had any kind of project managing skills. All of them agreed that the insight that planning and evaluation leads to less frustration and actually less work in collaborative work was a valuable result. Not all of them expressed that they understood SCRUM on a basic level. Maybe some more iterations, to complete a more advanced or elaborated structure in Minecraft, would help to further that goal.