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Your VUture

Last updated on 16 June 2022
How can we help students make the most of their studies? With this question in mind, the VU Education Lab developed the Your VUture games for VU students.

Your VUture triggers students to think about their academic career at VU by offering concrete goals and tools that the student can immediately work with. The games are most effective when used during mentoring or tutoring classes, and are introduced and discussed by the mentor or tutor.

Explainer video Your VUture (in Dutch)

The Your VUture games

  • Game 1: Discover Your VUture - online mini-quiz

    The first game, Discover Your VUture, is an online miniquiz to help students think about what they want to work toward with their studies. Do they see themselves working at a multinational, at an NGO or perhaps at university?

    By answering questions such as 'Which magazine do you grab at the dentist?', 'What do you prefer to do as extracurricular activities?' and 'Do you want to do an in-depth minor or would you rather have an internship on the Zuidas?', the students get to a profile such as 'Career Tiger' or 'World Citizen'. This reminds of a self-test like 'which animal are you' or 'which actor are you', so it is very inviting to fill in.

    Academic Citizenship
    The answer options for each question are actually based on the three pillars of Academic Citizenship: Academic, Professional and Societal Development. The profile is based on the ratio between the student's academic, professional and societal interests:

    • Academic development - the development into an independent academic or perhaps even scientist. Primarily in the form of knowledge.
    • Professional development - the acquisition of skills that influence the definition and characterization of further study and later careers. Primarily in the form of skills.
    • Societal development - awareness of one's own societal position and responsibility as a future academic and professional. Primarily in the form of involvement.

    Reflection
    After reading the profile, students should ask themselves: does this character profile fit me? What type of academic would I like to be when I graduate? The students then discuss this with each other, under the guidance of their (student) mentor or tutor.

    By offering this reflection exercise in the form of a self-test-with-a-wink, of which there are many circulating on social media, the exercise is an accessible way for the students to think about how they can shape their academic study path. The first message they get from the game is that 'studying is more than reading books and taking exams'. The 'VU tips' at the end of the game is a list of sources of help and inspiration that students can draw from throughout their studies.

  • Game 2: Explore Your VUture - blended board game

    After the students have discovered what type of academic they want to become at the end of their studies during Discover Your VUture, they explore the route towards this goal in an active and playful way through the game Explore Your VUture. In three rounds on the game board, the students go through the three bachelor years of their own study, and along the way they are confronted with choices or key moments that they will also encounter 'in real life'. For example, 'am I going to join a student association committee or not?'. Or, 'what is the best way for me to use my elective space?'.

    At (almost) every field on the game board, the student has to decide whether the presented option is a useful step towards the final goal of the study or not. And, of course, whether it is realistic to choose something extra: the exams still must be passed.

    Obstacles, windfalls and helplines
    In addition to the conscious moments of choice, students also encounter unexpected factors in (university) life that turn out to be obstacles or windfalls for their study progress. They may not be able to settle down in Amsterdam, or they may have to deal with family circumstances that throw them off balance. It could also be that they really feel at home with their fellow students, receive a nice compliment from their teacher and become more motivated.

    They can turn to seven different 'helplines' for a helping hand: the study advisor, student psychologist, student dean, student mentor, teacher mentor, study skills courses and a 'family member' give the students a nudge in the right direction. The students learn which forms of student counselling are offered at VU and they get to know some of the faces: the counsellors have all recorded a video that can be viewed during the game.

    Goal-oriented graduation
    During Explore Your VUture, students must divide their time and energy ('effies', from efford) in such a way that after three play rounds they graduate according to the final goal they set for themselves via Discover Your VUture.

    Explore Your VUture is a blended board game: the players are seated around a game board with pawns, cards and chits, but there is also a tablet in the middle which shows, among other things, game explanations, videos and quiz questions (www.yourvuture.nl). These quiz questions, but also the exams that students come across, are based on the students' own studies. The use of the tablet means that Explore Your VUture can be customized for each bachelor programme.

Your VUture for your programme

Discover Your VUture is freely available in Dutch and English for all VU programmes.

Explore Your VUture is tailor-made for each study programme by the VU Education Lab. This mainly concerns the digital part of the game that is offered through the tablet: the quiz questions, names of exams during the study and (if desired) videos of programme-specific helplines such as the study advisor, mentor or tutor.

For more information, please contact onderwijswerkplaats@vu.nl

Explore Your VUture game instructions

Explore Your VUture game instructions

In this video, Nadia van der Pool (VU Education Lab) explains, step by step, how to start the board game Explore Your VUture and the game rules.

Go to the video
Video still: Nadia in front of the Explore Your VUture game board, explaining the game rules

How can we help you?

VU Education Lab address

Nieuwe Universiteitsgebouw
NU 1A-25
De Boelelaan 1111
1081HV Amsterdam

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