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Learning is frequently seen as an awkward activity. This problem becomes worse in technology and science topics, since they are often perceived as cold and difficult subjects to learn. On the other hand, playing is considered funny and engaging, which gives motives to people to do it voluntarily. Moreover, the current increasing use of social networks can represent an opportunity for knowledge and skill development, in particular by enabling students' collaboration and competition. This has led to the idea of exploiting and investigating the appeal and educational potential of serious games in a higher education context, in particular for technology and science topics. This paper proposes mini-games based serious game format targeting in particular higher education technology and science topics, and exploiting advanced web-based and social networking technologies, able to support easy diffusion and user competition/collaboration. We have set-up a client-server based architecture for the implementation of a prototype for a Digital Electronic System BSc course. Preliminary test results show that users have a positive attitude towards the games, as they give an average rating of 4/5 in terms of desirability. Furthermore, it takes 3 times of replays, on average, for users to achieve good scores. Usability issues are also presented and discussed.
Date of Conference: 4-6 July 2012