One of the core courses in the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum has been completely redesigned. In the new numerical methods course, all assignments and learning experiences are built around a video/computer game. Students are given the task of writing computer programs to race a simulated car around a track. In doing so, students learn and implement numerical methods content. The design of the course, around a video game, is rooted in commonly accepted theories of how people learn. The article describes a study to assess the effectiveness of the video game-based course. Results show that students taking the game-based course, on average, spend roughly twice as much time, outside of class, on their course work. In a concept mapping exercise, students taking the game-based course demonstrate deeper learning compared to their counterparts taking traditional lecture/textbook-based numerical methods courses.
Computers & Education – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2009
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