Abstract: Background: In higher education the traditional teaching methods and corresponding learning environments, although often resource efficient and still widely deployed, have a tendency to fail in enabling the authentic learning of management knowledge and skills and to develop genuine practice capability. With respect to fundamental and core skills, knowledge, and capabilities in course curricula this is often observable by academics and employers in students' inability to demonstrate and apply what has apparently been learned and assessed at an earlier level of the course or upon completion of it.
Purpose: Can an effective learning environment, where active learning in project management is observable, be created using a game development project?
Design/Method: A third level core project management unit offered annually within accredited Bachelor of Engineering courses was used to develop and assess a game development enabled learning environment. A total population of about 200 students was involved (across multiple engineering disciplines). This student population existed across two student cohorts (corresponding to two distinct modes of enrolment): campus-based (online study resources where on campus classes and seminars are available but not mandated) and cloud-based (online study resources distance where online seminars are available but not mandated).
A majority of the assessment for the unit (both formative and summative) involved the development of a board game by students working in partnerships of two. The development goal assigned to student partnerships was to design and produce a serious board game that taught and/or assessed players' knowledge and skills in fundamental project management theory and principles. Peer learning and peer assessment were also included as techniques aimed at enhancing student engagement, active learning, and authentic achievement of learning outcomes.
Results: The use of the game development project in a core undergraduate engineering project management unit was trialled in the second trimester of 2016.
This paper presents interim analysis of results, observations, and outcomes of the the game development project and corresponding summative assessment within the unit.
Conclusions: Compared to traditional and common methods of teaching management theory and assessing the corresponding learning outcomes in higher education (such as historical case study analysis, tests, examinations) the deployment of game development as an alternative for learning and assessment can create a learning environment that better enables authentic learning.
It is anticipated that management learning outcomes will be more capably demonstrated by students in subsequent stages of the undergraduate course and beyond the course in professional practice.
To cite this article: Cavenett, Simon. Creating a learning environment using game development [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 136-147.
[cited 27 Apr 17].