373346 Engineers at Play: Utilization of Games As Teaching Tools for Undergraduate Engineering Students

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 4:39 PM
M105 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Cheryl A. Bodnar1, Daniel D. Burkey2, Joshua A. Enszer3 and Daniel Anastasio2, (1)Engineering Education Research Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, (2)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, (3)Chemical, Biochemical, & Environmental Engineering, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD

Students currently entering into our universities have not known a time when there were no computers or internet.  These students have high expectations for their education and may not respond strongly to instruction that they do not perceive as appealing.  Games and gamification are one pedagogical tool that can be used to help engage these students in a classroom environment.  Games can incorporate many aspects of active learning, such as teamwork, immediate feedback, and simulation of different scenarios. As such, games in the classroom or gamified aspects of classes can cater directly to the preferences of these students, which can help them be more engaged in their learning process. A significant open question is whether games in an educational context can meaningfully improve student learning in addition to the apparent benefit to engagement, and if so, how can this gain in learning be quantitatively measured.

Two of the three presenters of this submission met as a direct result of the Chemical Engineering Summer School (specifically the poster session) at UMaine in Orono, in the summer of 2012, and expanded to include the third when presenting their work on games and gamification in the chemical engineering curriculum at the AIChE conference in Pittsburgh in 2012. Since that time, they have all experimented with different types of games and gamified aspects within their classrooms at their respective institutions spanning across all levels of the curriculum. This presentation will present the challenges, lessons learned, and provide ideas for faculty who are interested in introducing games or gamification into their classes. Since meeting nearly two years ago, the presenters have collaborated to write a comprehensive review on games in engineering education, which is currently under review at the Journal of Engineering Education.

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