Getting started with Mega Project

Context:

This blog is being written as an update of Amal Academy’s Mega Project. It is a 2-months long project that helps fellows get out of their comfort zone and practice their learnings at Amal Academy along with a touch of Entrepreneurship.

You can learn more about Amal Academy here.

Fellows are required to come up with a solution to any social problem and then implement it. Impact measuring is another important thing to be considered as a part of the project.

Let me introduce group members and then we shall move towards a discussion of Mega Project which is based on a problem and solution developed by the group.

Group Introduction:

We are representing Circle-2 from Amal Academy’s Batch 220. We are a group of 6 hailing from quite diverse expertise and backgrounds.

Responsibilities:

Myself, Ata Ul Mohsin will be leading the group. I shall be managing group weekly and daily updates sessions and communication with facilitators of projects. I shall also administer an online code base for the project.

Muhammad Zeeshan Javaid will act as Research and Analysis Lead. He will be researching possible ways regarding creating awareness for Finances. He will also be responsible for the analysis of systems developed by the team.

Manish Kumar Mahato will act as Development Lead. He will be developing games as instructed by the team members. He will also take part in designing prototypes of modules.

Mursleen will be the Graphics Lead for our project. She will be managing all the responsibilities related to graphics and illustrations. For developing the games and online platform, she will design themes and graphics and coordinate with the development team.

Muhammad Soban Anwar will be the Content writer for mega project documentation and marketing. He will be coordinating with the Social media team for assistance in tasks related to content writing.

Izza Haider will be acting as social media manager. She will manage marketing-related tasks and social media engagement for the project. She will also assist the development team as a Quality Assurance Lead as she is from a finance background.

Let us dive into problem identification and timelines for the execution of projects.

Problem Identification:

Although there are several problems here and there. Finding a problem with a solution implementable in 2-months was a task and for this purpose, we selected almost 10 topics ranging from health, law, and order, education, and finance sector. Narrowing down this, we closed the discussion to select education with a blend of any other domain from the given above.

Then it was found that there’s a lack of awareness among children about finances and savings. Also, it was found that even some children are not able to purchase basic necessities from a nearby shop. Call it negligence or not, but it is the need of hour to teach financial concepts to children so that they can be aware of cash flow and be able to manage their expenditure.

So, it is evidently a problem that children are not taught financial concepts and hence they are not able to manage over-the-counter transactions.

Not only children even some people of mature age groups are also not aware of financial concepts and they do not understand relevant terms on daily basis. Continuing that, some people do not know about investments and other terms that can help them in long run and generate capital.

I hope you can understand that it is a problem many of close contacts are facing and it needs to be solved at early grounds so that those who are not contributing to the national capital can take part in it.

With a mutual decision of group members, we decided on the topic of “Financial Literacy”.

What is Financial Literacy?

Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. Financial literacy is the foundation of your relationship with money, and it is a lifelong journey of learning.

Goal:

Our primary goal is to create awareness among children about financial literacy. There are many ways to do so but we shall be developing an online platform where children can play games and learn concepts of finances.

The target group will be children of age 6–14.

Flowchart:

Solution Form:

  • WordPress based Site where we can launch our games.
  • Social media Pages (For marketing and engaging audience with our platform).
  • It’ll be an online platform with resources for learning, games, and quizzes, etc.

LUDO Game in terms of Financial Literacy:

Savings Concept:

“Money grows on the tree of persistence.”

Japanese Proverb

Notes Puzzle for Kids:

Timeline in terms of SMART Goals

SMART GOAL:

To establish Kids Understanding regarding Financial Literacy

Specific: What is the desired result? (who, what, when, why, how)

How are you going to do it? We’ll teach kids (age 8 to 13) the concept of financial literacy.

Measurable: How much progress do you need to make? (quantify it)?

How can you measure progress? We’ll teach Kids the concept of financial literacy through an onboard and online ludo game.

Attainable/Achievable: What skills and resources are needed?

Can it be broken down into individual tasks?

Is the goal within your reach? We’ll teach Kids the concept of financial literacy through an onboard and online ludo game by spending 3 hours daily in the development process using a WordPress or coding system.

Relatable: Does the goal fit in the overall long-term goal that you have for yourself?

Is it realistic? We’ll teach Kids the concept of financial literacy through an onboard and online ludo game by spending 3 hours daily in the development process using a WordPress or coding system.

Time-bound: What is the deadline?

Is the deadline realistic? We’ll teach Kids the concept of financial literacy through an onboard and online ludo game by spending 3 hours daily in the development process using a WordPress or coding system for a month.

Timeline in the form of Gantt Chart:

SUMMARIZED SMART GOAL:

We’ll teach Kids the concept of financial literacy through an onboard and online ludo game by spending 3 hours daily in the development process using a WordPress or coding system for a month to establish understanding regarding financial literacy.

Point Zero + 15 days:

Most of the ideas discussed above were selected in the last 15 to fifteen. So, a brief recap will be shared in this progress report as well.

Problem Selection:

Agreeing upon a single idea of financial literacy was not less than a challenge for us. We used to meet online on daily basis and conclude without any outcomes. Then a group member suggested that instead of discussing a single idea, we all should come up with unique ideas and then discuss them in the meeting. This approach worked well and all of us participated well with their unique ideas.

Out of those ideas, we narrowed them down to the 5 best ideas and presented them to facilitators for approval.

The major 5 ideas are given below that we decided to go with

  1. Online Learning Portal that will help people learn skills and to make money.
  2. Support Widows By Collection of Funds and then make them able to learn skills to survive.
  3. Hostel Residency Finder Portal to help students where they can easily find suitable residency for them.
  4. Amal Community App for Amal fellows.
  5. Financial Literacy Platform for children to teach them the importance of money, financial assets, and the resources that can help them grow and invest in the future.

We choose the last one.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”

-Benjamin Franklin

Why this idea?

We researched understanding the major problems people are facing like unemployment, poverty, and what we can do for our society. The idea of Financial Literacy is sprinkled out from unemployment and poverty. We came to know that students and children are the main part of any society and we should teach them about the importance of money and resources that can help us to grow our assets and how to use the money to increase our wealth.

Research on previous Projects of this Domain

Another important task was to come up with uniqueness in the idea. For this purpose, we went through other platforms of this domain and researched them. For the part of the game, we played games related to finances on different platforms that eventually helped us understand what can be unique things we can add to our project.

A few of the books and games we used for inspiration are given below.

Books:

  1. Rich Dad Poor Dad
  2. Apple Farmer Annie
  3. Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday
  4. Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock
  5. Lunch Money

Games:

  1. Monopoly
  2. Counting with Coins
  3. Check It Out
  4. Money Talks
  5. Hit the Road: A Financial Adventure
  6. Financial Football
  7. POMPAK Game
  8. Misadventures in Money Management
  9. The Game of Life
  10. Cash Puzzler

Challenges:

  1. What will be the mode of the game? Online or Physical?
  2. If physical then where and how we will implement it?
  3. If we started online which online platform we will choose to accomplish, either the mobile application or web application?
  4. The idea should be unique based on the target audience.
  5. The design of the game?
  6. What will our users learn after playing this game?
  7. How do convince them to play?
  8. What will be the finishing?

Solution for challenges:

Got a problem? No problem, other members are there for your help and guidance. The only solution for all challenges and problems was a meeting with fellows and seeking different opinions from them.

As we all learned in Amal’s courses when there is a conflict, there is a chance for improvement. We strongly, believe this and always seek chances for improvements and different perspectives.

  • The challenges are written with respect to what we might face in the future. We had a discussion about whether to keep the game physical or online. We agreed on keeping it online as much of the children prefer it online these days. In addition to this, we have a backup plan of making the same board game that can be played physically in case of more complications in going online.
  • In the case of a physical financial literacy-based board game, we will print it just as similar to a regular Ludo game but it will consist of financial literacy-based learning in it. We can go to various school students and let them play the game, then analyze whether they were able to learn something new or not. Our way of checking impact in physical FL Ludo games will be on the basis of feedback we get from the players of the game.
  • In the case of online games, we are planning to make it web application based but it’s not exactly confirmed whether we will make a mobile application or web application as it is just the starting phase of game development.
  • Looking at the uniqueness, our game is different from any other regular games because our main target is to provide education and information to kids via it. The reason to teach children using games was to attract them. The big challenge is to make it more unique by adding more ideas to it. We want to make children learn more from our game. It should create interest in them so that they start looking and searching more and more regarding their topic. The interest should be generated.
  • Finalizing the design will take time as we have to look at different aspects, we have to keep different aspects of financial literacy in mind and not go so far that players stop understanding. The plan is to keep it simple.
  • Convincing and attracting the players should be taken more into consideration. Even if we make the game, it should be easier and more attractive so that children would want to play it by their own choice. We will be giving more thought to this part.

Model of the Game:

Which type of games should be designed?

So the next part was which game we should develop to interact with our audience and convince them to play. Remember games should be easy to understand.

  1. Chess Game
  2. Ludo Game
  3. Questions Answers Video Game to Learn Financial Literacy
  4. ONO Cards (To Buy Things based on Cards)
  5. Saving Money Games
  6. Money recognition Games
  7. Scenario-Based Financial Literacy Games
  8. Traveling with Friends and How to Use Money Gently

Future Plans:

Since our aim is already clear that we are going to work is focused on Financial Literacy for children, we decided to make kids learn through this Ludo-based game. We are planning the steps precisely what we need to do first and go on accordingly for better execution of our project.

Our plan from now onwards is to make a financial literacy Ludo game that can be played online. We will finalize what platform we are going to make it on, what programming language we are going to use, what kind of design will attract children for developing interest, and how to make the game easily accessible for them. These tasks will be done one after another. After the game is developed, we will keep adding more features and advancing it by including more ways in it to make children learn various aspects of financial management.

After all these steps are done the main part will be measuring the impact of the game we developed. Our project is mainly focused on learning, we want children to learn as much as possible using this simple game. We will try to measure impact using feedback from players of the game. For example, we
can have an MCQ quiz of just a couple of minutes which can let us know how much players knew from the game.

After taking feedback, we will analyze what we really need to work on so that our project can have more outcomes. We will try to make learn kids about financial literacy and hope they will surely learn at least 90% of what we wanted to convey to them.

“To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep.”

David Bailey

We are open to feedback and suggestions for improving the experience of the Financial Literacy Platform.

In the end, we are thankful to Amal Acadmey for providing us the opportunity to explore entrepreneurship skills. You always know how to make life brighter for everyone!

Peace!

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Ata Ul Mohsin

Ata Ul Mohsin

Learner for the sake of Learning. Nothing unique, I am just a particle of nothingness. Wondering to know who I am.