By Mala Mann | Published: 2023-08-13
Irma Klerings, Information Specialist, Danube University Krems, Department for Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Austria.
Not so serious business – fun and games at EAHIL 2023. I draw a card. “Error! Wrong answer – 1 minute penalty” Oh no! In our haste to be the first to finish, my team made a mistake while solving a puzzle in “Mission RDM: a card-based educational escape game on research data management”.
This workshop put delegates in the shoes of the students and researchers we usually try to support. It gave us an opportunity to experience first-hand how a gamified approach can be used to great effect to teach an otherwise dry topic. In the end my team didn’t win, but we still had a lot of fun figuring out the correct steps of RDM. And even better: we can take the game home with us: the creative commons license means everyone can use and adapt it.
Playful approaches were extended to the conference format itself. Teach meets replaces the traditional poster sessions this year: a room with several tables a presenter at each table. Every few minutes a bell would ring, and delegates would switch tables. There were enough chairs for everyone, but the experience was not unlike journey to Jerusalem, injecting a bit of playful chaos into the familiar format. But sometimes playing is just playing: the conference even boasted a video game room where delegates could compete against each other in Mario Cart! I remember when this was announced, and wondered if it was correct. However, I didn’t have time to check it out. In the end, games and playing add an additional dimension to a good conference. It’s not just about the content and the people, but also about exploring new formats.
Author: Irma Klerings, Information Specialist, Danube University Krems, Department for Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Austria.