Want to make education fun?
For each year that alcohol use is delayed, the risk of future alcohol dependence is reduced by 10%. Blurred Minds overarching aim is to delay drinking initiation for as long as possible. Blurred Minds is a gamified alcohol education program delivered in Australian secondary schools. The program features five lessons that create a fun and interactive environment to teach students about the serious consequences of alcohol and drugs.
Blurred Minds was created using the 3-step social marketing process: co-create, build, and engage (CBE).
Read on to learn how we applied the CBE process to build Blurred Minds.
Blurred Minds involved key stakeholder groups (students, teachers, experts) to understand their views prior to program build.
We used a range of research methods including a systematic literature review, a segmentation study, and co-design sessions to understand student learning preferences and ideal modes of delivery. Three theories (Theory of Gamified Learning, Social Cognitive Theory and Theory of Planned Behaviour) informed and guided the team throughout the CBE process.
An important insight gained from this step was that the program must engage first and provide education second.
The marketing mix guided the build of the Blurred Minds program (service), featuring a range of offline activities and online games that are offered at a cost to schools (price). The program is offered in schools (place) and advertised through email (promotion).
The principles of gamification underpinned the design of Blurred Minds and the program features a range of online and offline games to engage students. A suite of online games along with five offline gaming activities were created (see Figure 2).
Deso Driver Game
Alcohol Trivia Show
Figure 2 - Exemplary online games from Blurred Minds
Perfect Pour Game
Engage students with virtual reality
Blurred Minds also featured the first virtual reality (VR) house party (see Video). Using a VR simulation, students can decide on how their party should unfold facing real life scenarios. Their choices will determine how and when their night ends.
To date, Blurred Minds has been delivered in more than 50 schools to more than 4,500 14-16-year-old students.
Figure 3 - Changing knowledge and attitudes for the better
Students that participated in Blurred Minds increased their knowledge, had more negative attitudes towards binge drinking while maintaining low intentions to binge drink (see Figure 3).
"This program (Blurred Minds) is more than changing attitudes, it is changing culture."
(John Percy, Executive Officer – Education, Queensland Catholic Education Commission).
Blurred Minds resources have also been made available via a FREE teacher kit. Program materials have been accessed by schools in Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Greece and Turkey. Web analytics report 30,000 website visits, 10,000 gameplays and more than 350 teacher kit downloads from health and physical education teachers.
The resources have been incorporated into the Queensland Department of Education alcohol and other drugs education program, and materials have been used by 1/3 of all Queensland schools.
If you are interested to learn more about the Blurred Minds program, or to enquire about facilitating the program at your school, please contact Dr Timo Dietrich at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.