Including Esports in the curriculum to prepare for the Metaverse(s)
By Dr Isabel Fischer, Reader of Information Systems, WBS
Following the launch of our Warwick Esports centre, in collaboration with the Esports team Jack Fenton and Elenore Jiawen Li, we included Esports in four WBS modules (Digital Transformation, Design Thinking for Digital Innovation, Digital Marketing Technology and Management, and Developing Consulting Expertise). This allowed management students to experiment with and to reflect on digital innovations and to find solutions to problems. Specifically, we wanted to encourage students to develop tangible ideas for the future metaverse ecosystem.
While learning about technologies and business models related to Esports and the Metaverse, the topic also allowed students to reflect on the convergence of technology, ethics, science, psychology and digital wellbeing, as well as on the impact on environmental and social sustainability. Teaching delivery was accompanied by authentic assessments, with students able to choose their topic. These novel assessments (vlogs, blogs, board papers) were introduced in the previous year which allowed for comparisons.
We found on the one hand that the quality of submitted assignments improved, with students seemingly much more creative and also technological ‘savvy’, both for their choice of topics and content as well as for the delivery formats. On the other hand, module evaluation showed that the inclusion of the Metaverse and Esports early on in the module ‘hyped’ students and wet their appetite to ‘fully’ understand the potential applications of the Metaverse despite the Metaverse(s) still being conceptualised. While previous students were happy with carton-based headsets using their own mobile phones, some of this year’s students would have appreciated working with sophisticated VR headsets, possibly because our teaching delivery was further hyped up as it coincided with Microsoft’s $68.7bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, clearly showing the current potential of the gaming industry.
Finally, here are some testimonials from students new to Esports, provided after the initial seminar on Esports:
- I am doing the Design Thinking module where we had a chance to join the esports world. This enables us to think creatively! I love our Warwick Esports Centre.
- Thank you for letting us use the Esports Centre - it was really fun and easy to learn.
- First time and it was a very enjoyable experience. Very well organized and easy for beginners.
- Really enjoyable experience, great equipment.
- The game is really fun to play. It’s quite unexpecting and fun which the seminar works. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for the experience.
- Thank you for giving students such a good opportunity on campus. It really is a good way to bring people from different backgrounds together.
For further information on this initiative you might want to listen to this podcast: https://anchor.fm/ldcuwarwick/episodes/Blogging--AI-Marking--Online-Learning--Communication--Metaverse--Esports-e1d8efu