Based on the successful implementation of two Gamification Labs in Kenya and the Philippines in 2017, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Gamification for Humanitarian Learning launched on Kaya which ran in June-July 2017 was conceived to be an innovative online laboratory geared at identifying and shaping concrete challenges, which should then be addressed in a creative yet constructive way through game-based techniques.

The Gamification for Humanitarian Learning MOOC also aimed to create the space for hands-on creative activities where participants were provided with opportunities to enhance their design skills and exchange with professionals, with the overall goal of contributing to better humanitarian preparedness.

The MOOC also aimed to increase the awareness of non-profit and development professionals focusing on humanitarian themes such as disaster and risk management and disaster response and resilience, towards the use of gamification for capacity building. The idea was to dive into literature, explore interesting practices jointly with other professionals, compile new resources, learn from each other and co-create serious games for humanitarian professionals.

With more than 1,100 participants, this course proved that despite its specialised content it attracted a large number of participants, mainly already employed in the humanitarian sector. The learners identified various challenges in the humanitarian sector, deriving from their professional experiences that could be addressed through gamification.

According to the learners, one of the main advantages of this MOOC was that its approach was more practical. In the evaluation question “How do you judge the contents in relation to your starting knowledge in Gamification?”, the learners described it mainly as practical.

The learners were overall highly satisfied with the course and 93% of the learners would recommend the MOOC to a colleague. In total there were 32 game prototypes with humanitarian relevant content submitted during the MOOC, on topic ranging from helping refugees on their resettlement journeys, raise awareness of environmental issues, fostering inclusion in humanitarian response and improving leadership skills of executives.

“This MOOC training was useful and I will recommend it to my colleagues and apply what I’ve learned in my organisation.”

“The MOOC was quite impressive and more practical. We recommend more effective MOOCs related to humanitarian issues.”

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