Professors Panu Kalmi and Tanja Sihvonen received research funding from the Academy of Finland

Uutisen oletuskuva
Academy of Finland has granted 300.000 euros for a two-year research and development project “Game-based Financial Education in Schools”. The funding was granted to the professor of economics Panu Kalmi, who is a specialist in financial literacy and education, and to the professor of communications Tanja Sihvonen, who is an expert in game research.
Tutkimusprojektissa kehitetään pelillisiä talousopetuksen muotoja ja arvioidaan niiden vaikuttavuutta yläkouluissa, kertovat professorit Panu Kalmi ja Tanja Sihvonen.

The purpose of the research project is to improve game-based forms of financial education and evaluate their impact in lower secondary schools. The new research project is based on the on-going Academy of Finland research project “Financial Literacy and Overindebtedness”.

Together the research team with partners will build tools to evaluate the impact of such interventions on students’ financial knowledge and behavior. The study also includes comparisons between different game-based approaches and their combinations.  Further, the group will develop innovative ways to measure the behavioral outcomes of students by utilizing games, game platforms, and gameplay analytics.

The novelty in the research project is that games are developed as learning tools, whereas the previous project has merely evaluated their effects. The new project brings the collaborating partners and researchers closer together.

The central partners in the project are the Me and My City  - project managed by the Economic Information Office, Oma Onni Developed by Vocational Education Center Sedu, Design Center Muova and Planago Company, which has developed a game called Money Flow Challenge for learning to manage personal finances. Also the University of Birmingham and ISM University from Lithuania will participate in the research project.

– The funding decision opens up a new territory for the University of Vaasa. Previously there has not been game research projects of this size at the University, rejoices Tanja Sihvonen.

– The positive funding decision shows that the Academy of Finland considers financial education to school students as a top priority. This decision strengthens further the focal area Finance and Economic Decision-making, and brings the promotion and the study of financial literacy to the center of it, says Panu Kalmi.

Research results related to the project available from the University of Vaasa’s website:

26.11.2015 The financial capabilities of the lower secondary school students were improved with the help of a learning program (in Finnish)

10.5.2016 Teaching financial skills in primary schools is important – game-based learning produces good results

In early September, the well-known US magazine The Atlantic cited the results of the research made at the University of Vaasa on the topic

The project got funding from the Key Project Funding of the Academy of Finland. It is targeted at ongoing, high-quality research and at promoting extensive utilisation of the results of that research. The goal is to further improve the quality of research and increase its impact in society. One way to do so is by promoting active collaboration with end-users of research and by encouraging experimentation and pilot projects.

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