PRZOOM - /newswire/ -
Brighton, Sussex, United Kingdom, 2007/10/16 - ‘Student Survivor’, an online game that provides key information about student finances, has been accessed by more than two million people since its launch in April 2005. Now it has earned the companies behind it a Regional National Training Award.
The partners behind the game are:
UNIAID, an independent charitable organisation sponsored by HSBC among others
Epic, the UK market leader in the development of bespoke e-learning, blended learning and knowledge solutions
Rubbaglove developed the Student Calculator
Kerb conceived and produced the Student Survivor project
Epic was contracted by UNIAID following an open tendering process. The main role of Epic in the creation of this programme was to act as instructional design experts and developers of many of the interactive online materials.
Alistair Lomax, chief executive of UNIAID, explains:“Despite significant Government investment, there has been no noticeable shift in the social classification within higher education (HE) for 30 years”.
“There is a whole generation affected by the fear, confusion and misunderstanding of a burden of cost which, for the first time in England, would be upon their shoulders.”
HSBC focuses on helping young people to understand how to manage money responsibly and effectively. “The partnership with UNIAID and the innovative approach that they took to this challenge has enabled HSBC to support financial learning to an audience which both strongly needs this information and is notoriously hard to engage.” said Judith Austin, sponsorship manager of HSBC Holdings Plc.
Recent research revealed that 84 per cent of school leavers believe student debt deters entry into HE, with concern greatest among those from low income or single parent families.
“An online, interactive role play and scenario-based approach to learning was chosen as this would give students an engaging experience of the realities and challenges of university life.” says Alistair.
“The fact that the learning materials were competing for 16-19 year olds’ free time was taken into account across the board in the design, i.e. concept, language, interface, look and feel, use of rewards, etc.”
Tracy Capaldi-Drewett from Epic says “The biggest obstacle for Epic in this project was around the learner engagement of this challenging audience. We are delighted this effort has paid off and that the programme has been so successful.”
The game enables young people with little or no idea about the challenges of independent living to rehearse and prepare in a safe environment.
Since launch, more than two million young people have played Student Survivor – many using it for up to an hour.
Alistair added: “Although surveying a captive audience within a school will never be an exact representation of the sort of online audience you get through viral marketing, this approach to evaluation did show that 97 per cent of those asked would be more likely to go to university as a result of the training.
Epic is a leader in the innovative use of digital media for learning and communications. It creates tailored solutions specific to the needs of clients and end-users that help organisations improve their performance. Epic’s many loyal clients cover a broad spread of industries across both public and private sectors, with particular strengths in Government, Defence, Education, Finance, Retail and Telecommunications.
The company has won numerous awards over its two decades of existence, and is highly respected for its work in fostering understanding of this emerging area of practice. A wealth of free resources is available on its website, including the white papers and new Epic Blog.