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Using role-playing games to broaden engineering education

Using role-playing games to broaden engineering education PurposeIn today’s complex society, there is an increasing demand to include a wider set of skills in engineering curricula, especially skills related to policy, society and sustainable development. Role-playing and gaming are active learning tools, which are useful for learning relationships between technology and society, problem solving in complex situations and communication. However, use of these learning methods in higher education, and in engineering particularly, is limited. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a role-playing game for learning about complexities related to sustainable water and sanitation management within a civil engineering curriculum.Design/methodology/approachThe game has been used during three consecutive years in a Masters’ level course. Surveys and course evaluations were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this method from both teacher and student perspectives.FindingsThe results show that students gained knowledge on complex subjects, and both teachers and students had positive experiences. Better integration of the game within the rest of the course could strengthen its effectiveness.Originality/valueThe experiences gained from this study should assist others in the development and use of such active learning techniques in higher education. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Using role-playing games to broaden engineering education

Using role-playing games to broaden engineering education


Abstract

PurposeIn today’s complex society, there is an increasing demand to include a wider set of skills in engineering curricula, especially skills related to policy, society and sustainable development. Role-playing and gaming are active learning tools, which are useful for learning relationships between technology and society, problem solving in complex situations and communication. However, use of these learning methods in higher education, and in engineering particularly, is limited. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a role-playing game for learning about complexities related to sustainable water and sanitation management within a civil engineering curriculum.Design/methodology/approachThe game has been used during three consecutive years in a Masters’ level course. Surveys and course evaluations were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this method from both teacher and student perspectives.FindingsThe results show that students gained knowledge on complex subjects, and both teachers and students had positive experiences. Better integration of the game within the rest of the course could strengthen its effectiveness.Originality/valueThe experiences gained from this study should assist others in the development and use of such active learning techniques in higher education.

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/IJSHE-08-2015-0146
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeIn today’s complex society, there is an increasing demand to include a wider set of skills in engineering curricula, especially skills related to policy, society and sustainable development. Role-playing and gaming are active learning tools, which are useful for learning relationships between technology and society, problem solving in complex situations and communication. However, use of these learning methods in higher education, and in engineering particularly, is limited. The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a role-playing game for learning about complexities related to sustainable water and sanitation management within a civil engineering curriculum.Design/methodology/approachThe game has been used during three consecutive years in a Masters’ level course. Surveys and course evaluations were used to evaluate the effectiveness of this method from both teacher and student perspectives.FindingsThe results show that students gained knowledge on complex subjects, and both teachers and students had positive experiences. Better integration of the game within the rest of the course could strengthen its effectiveness.Originality/valueThe experiences gained from this study should assist others in the development and use of such active learning techniques in higher education.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: May 2, 2017

References