Project Number UK/10/LLP-LdV/TOI-368
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Country UK-United Kingdom
Marketing Text "The iSpectrum project aim was to improve the work based social interaction skills of people with Autism, Aspergers and other related special needs through a virtual work environment to increase their chances of gaining employment."
Summary The project transfered aspects from 2 projects featuring games based learning and activities to include disadvantaged learners into a new initiative that seeks to improve the employment opportunities of learners with Autism and Aspergers. Specifically the project transferred methods and practices in gaming technologies and learning from Italy to the UK, Bulgaria and Germany, and also transferred methods for using games technologies with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from Germany to other partners. The ultimate target group was autistic people who wished to be engaged better with the labour market. The main results are a virtual workplace serious game for autistic people, a training manual for practitioners, and and training and a guide to developing appropriate games.
The project aims were to ultimately improve the work based social interaction skills of people with ASD, Aspergers and other special needs to increase their chances of gaining employment thus increasing the numbers of employed people with ASD in the UK, Germany, Italy and Bulgaria.
We provide a serious game virtual work environment specifically for people with ASD that focuses on 3 sectors: retail, outdoor/gardening and office/IT along with a virtual placement office/job centre where users can practice their interview skills and develop jobsearch skills. the individual virtual work environments can be used alongside units of vocational qualifications in retail, outdoor and office work relating to communication, social interaction, collaboration, team work, customer service etc. and is designed specifically to promote understanding of, social relationships, conversation skills and dealing with abstract concepts.
The project results also contain intelligence, skills and knowledge on the benefits of serious games virtual work environments for people with ASD through integrated research, documented testing and trials, advisory group findings and live training and an e-learning course for VETPROs, developers and other related professionals to increase knowledge and expertise in this area across Europe.
The project contributed to developing the quality and attractiveness of VET systems and practices by providing an innovative platform for people with ASD to participate in a semiotic domain, i.e. a field or a set of pedagogically sound activities, in which you think, act and evaluate in a certain way including the use of one or several semiotic modalities such as verbal language, pictures, symbols, sounds, graphics, artifacts, etc., which call for thinking and making decisions. The use of a serious game includes a play dimension which provides a pleasurable and motivating method of learning that will include activities promoting: Action, Challenge, Reification, Sociality, Performance, Self-interpretation and Enjoyment.
Research suggests that learners are ready for designers to catch up to the ways they are already using technology for living and learning, therefore this project also aims to promote the development of good practice and methodologies within the serious games arena along with promoting serious games being woven into vocational training curriculums for people for people with ASD.
Open and distance learning
Access for disadvantaged
Information and Communication
Administrative and Support Service Activities
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles
material for open learning
transparency and certification
open and distance learning
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
The iSpectrum project produced the following:
Project Management Website
Advisory Group feedback, advice and case study
Research Report on developing social interaction skills in serious games virtual work environments
An Online serious Game/ Virtual work environment.
ASD friendly website
Accredited 3D and 2D e-Learning course on developing and using virtual work environments and serious games for people with special needs.
Training Manual on "Developing and Using virtual Work environments and Serious Games for people with Special Needs"
Research Paper on suitability of virtual platforms and technology for serious games for people with ASD.
Research Study into the effectiveness of developing social interaction skills through serious games.
Video of Serious Games trials
Good Practice Document on development of a virtual work environment for people with Autism/ Aspergers
A Serious Games Virtual Work Environment Network
Mainstreaming Events in UK, Itlay, Germany and Bulgaria
Conference + Virtual Conference