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Speaking at the StartUp Sussex awards ceremony

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I was delighted to speak at this awards ceremony, celebrating the third year at which this competition has been running at Sussex. Three groups of students had the chance to win a total of over £17,000 in funding, having developed their ideas this academic year with the Sussex Innovation Centre. It was inspiring to see such enthusiastic and entrepreneurial students. I spoke about my experiences of winning the competition in 2012, what I spend the funding on and EconoFun’s plans for the future.

Videos

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I am currently working with two groups of Media-Practice students on creating a short clips about EconoFun. One group are focusing on the board itself, creating a stop-motion video to introduce the game. The other group are creating a video for the website, featuring students, lecturers and staff who talk about their experiences of playing the game. Both clips will be ready to view in the next four weeks. This is an exciting project which adds a new dimension to the marketing of EconoFun, by providing viewers with a clear understanding of how to play and the benefits of that game.

Trial at Millfield School

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In October 2013 I visited MillField school to introduce the staff and students to EconoFun. I was equipped with two prototypes which I planned to leave at MillField for several months, with the aim of collecting further feedback.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the Economics department and the enthusiastic students from GCSE to A2, and was grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate my game to them. I feel that EconoFun will complement their range of teaching resources and aid student engagement during lessons.

Overall the feedback was positive, and I look forward to receiving further feedback over the course of the trial.

Award For ‘Best Student Entrepreneur’

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At the end of my second year studying Economics and Management BSc, I was delighted to win an award for ‘Best Student Entrepreneur’. This was awarded to me by the University of Sussex School of Business Management and Economics (BMEc) at the Awards Ceremony after being nominated by several students and academics.

Presenting at the Development in Economics Education (DEE) conference

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This september, I held a workshop at a conference organised by the Economics Network at the University of Exeter.

As an undergraduate, it was a unique opportunity to participate in the conference, interact with delegates, and get a feel for the extensive research that goes into the teaching of economics at higher education.

In my session I could observe closely how the game works in practice, which is invaluable as I continue to develop and refine the game. I was lucky enough to have Dimitra Petropoulou, a Lecturer in Economics from the University of Sussex, join me in this process. The DEE conference was a fantastic opportunity to introduce my game to academics and people interested in economics teaching. I look forward to more testing and improvements.

Focus Group at Rickmansworth School

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Focus Group at Rickmansworth School

This was the first time I was testing my game in a new setting. I had never been to the school nor did not know the teachers or students, but everyone seemed to be very friendly and helpful.

Again it was great to see the game in action. The students took to it well and they helped each other out with questions a lot which was one of the main aims of the game.

It was helpful speaking to a economics teacher I did not previously know and get feedback about other revision tools in the market.

Overall another very valuable focus group highlighting more changes to be made.

Going back to school

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Once I had my first prototype, I decided to go a trip back to school to test the game there. I managed to test it on both AS-level students and IB students which extremely useful. Some of the feedback including separating the cards in to Microeconomics and Macroeconomics, also splitting them in to AS and A2. I decided to do this for my next batch of prototypes. 

The First Focus Group

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The First Focus Group

Days after I received my first prototype, with the help of an Economics lecturer, I arranged my first focus group. This consisted of five PHD students at the University of Sussex. To support my project, the Head of Department provided lunch for attendees and a bottle of wine for the winner. This was the first time people had official played my game, and it went well! It was useful to identify several problems, the main one being that the board was too long and the number of spaces needed to be reduced. Also that graph questions could be tricky and players may get stuck on these. Overall they appeared to enjoy playing and I got feedback on improving.

Finding a games manufacturer

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Weeks after I found out I had won Sussex StartUp, I contacted Cartamundi, they are a well known cards and games manufacturer producing games such as The Logo Game and Uno. They are a very friendly group of people who gave good honest feedback about how to continue with my game and it was helpful to get an idea about costing. However, at this stage I need more funding and to do more testing before I can think about producing my first batch. One of the main challenges I face is that my market is not very large, however producing a small batch of games means the per-unit cost will be higher.