Winter school on a serious game in agro-ecology

Date: 3 – 7 February, 2020

CFU: 2

European agriculture is facing many challenges, among which producing food and non-food products in sufficient quantity and quality and generating added value for farmers and food chain actors, while reducing agricultural impacts on the environment. Agroecology, defined as “the study of the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment within agricultural systems”, is seen as a very pertinent option to reorient European agriculture in order to answer these major challenges. However, higher education in European Universities is not yet fully adapted to train the present and future agricultural professionals on agroecology. In particular, multidisciplinary approaches are not very developed in existing programs. Moreover, current pedagogical methods often lack interactive and digital dimensions that are promising learning methods. Innovative tools are thus urgently needed to help university teachers deliver multidisciplinary, high quality and attractive training on agroecology to the students and current agricultural professionals.

SEGAE thus aims at facilitating a multidisciplinary and systemic understanding of agroecology for secondary and higher education students as well as agricultural professionals through the development of a digital training tool. This tool will take the form of a serious game, i.e. a computer simulation game that will help students and agricultural professionals understand concretely how to implement agroecology in agriculture. Several game modes will be accessible to answer different learning outcomes and to reach different publics. The game will include learning tools, factsheets and other information to help learners taking decisions on their virtual farm. A tutorial, pedagogical guide and online course will also be developed. The game, tutorial and pedagogical tools will be freely accessible online at the end of the project.

To reach this goal, we gathered a consortium of six European Universities: University of Liège (BE), Agrocampus Ouest (FR), Groupe ESA (FR), Oniris (FR), University of Agriculture in Krakow (PL) and University of Bologna (IT). Partners were selected based on their scientific excellence, the complementarity between scientific disciplines, their experience of European projects and their representativeness of the European diversity of dairy and crop production systems. Partners have participated in several European projects together, which is a guarantee for success.

This project will lead to the conception of 3 intellectual outputs: a serious game (O1), its tutorial (O2) and pedagogical tools (O3) to use the game in higher education or professional training. The student training week in Bologna (C1), the dissemination to teachers (E1) and to professionals (E2) that will be organised during the project are very important to test the serious game in real conditions. As final result, the serious game will be integrated in the partners’ existing study programmes.

Unibo structure involved: Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, Prof. Giovanni Burgio, Prof. Davide Viaggi, Prof. Fabio Sgolastra


  • Université de Liège (BE)
  • Uniwersytet Rolniczy im. Hugona Kołłątaja w Krakowie (PL)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (IT)
  • Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire, Agroalimentaire et de l'alimentation Nantes Atlantique (FR)
  • ASS Groupe Ecole Supérieure d’Agricultures (FR)