Game Facilitators in Higher Education: Analysis of Current Competencies and Their Potential Optimization

Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge, Heinrich Söbke, Thomas Bröker, Theodore Lim, Angelo Marco Luccini, Maksims Kornevs, Sebastiaan Meijer

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Background: Serious games are often said to be a powerful learning tool in higher education. The games used are often
facilitated, and literature indicates that the success of the players’ learning outcomes depends on the facilitators’ competencies.
Facilitators in most commercially offered game-based training have undergone specific instruction, but for facilitators in higher
education, this is hardly documented. We therefore assume, that the latter is not the case.
Objective: This article presents a study addressing the actual competencies of occasional game facilitators and their possible
perceived competency deficits.
Methods: As the authors have many years of experience as facilitators themselves, the authors defined requirements for the role
of the occasional game facilitator. Based on these results, guided interviews with additional occasional game facilitators were
conducted (N=4). Thereafter, an online questionnaire based on existing competency models, was answered by occasional game
facilitators (N=30).
Results: The measurements primarily determine (i) Which competencies are particularly needed by the facilitator and what are
training needs for the facilitator? (ii) What do current training courses for occasional game facilitators in higher education look
like? (iii) How do the competencies of occasional game facilitators differ from other competencies?
Conclusions: The results show on the one hand the characteristics of the competences which game facilitators require and on the
other hand a considerable demand for specific formal training. Thus, the study contributes to the further development of a
competency model for game facilitators and consequently to the enhancement of serious games' efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJMIR Serious Games
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Mar 2021


  • Serious games
  • Facilitation
  • Competencies
  • Higher education
  • Simulation
  • Gaming
  • Educational games


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