Jacqueline A. Isaacs
Hameed Metghalchi, Yaman Yener
Date of Award
Master of Science
Department or Academic Unit
College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
industrial engineering, computer games, education, millennial generation, social capital, sustainability
Millennial Generation students bring significant learning and teaching challenges to the classroom, because of their unique learning styles, breadth of interests related to social and environmental issues, and intimate experiences with technology. As a result, there has been an increased willingness at many universities to experiment with pedagogical strategies that depart from a traditional "learning by listening" model, and move toward more innovative methods involving active learning through computer games. In particular, current students typically express a strong interest in sustainability in which economic concerns must be weighed relative to environmental and social responsibilities. A game-based setting could prove very effective for fostering an operational understanding of these tradeoffs, and especially the social dimension which remains largely underdeveloped relative to the economic and environmental aspects. Through an examination of the educational potential of computer games, this study hypothesizes that to acquire the skills necessary to manage and understand the complexities of sustainability, Millennial Generation students must be engaged in active learning exercises that present dynamic problems and foster a high level of social interaction. This has led to the development of an educational computer game, entitled Shortfall, which simulates a business milieu for testing alternative paths regarding the principles of sustainability.
This study examines the evolution of Shortfall from an educational board game that teaches the principles of environmentally benign manufacturing, to a completely networked computer game, entitled Shortfall Online that teaches the principles of sustainability. A capital-based theory of sustainability is adopted to more accurately convey the tradeoffs and opportunity costs among economic prosperity, environmental preservation, and societal responsibilities. While the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability have received considerable attention in traditional pedagogical approaches, specific focus is provided for the social dimension of sustainability, as it had remained largely underdeveloped. To measure social sustainability and provide students with an understanding of its significance, a prospective metric utilizing a social capital peer-evaluation survey, unique to Shortfall, is developed.
Zachary Andrew Gennett
Gennett, Zachary Andrew, "Shortfall online: the development of an educational computer game for teaching sustainable engineering to millennial generation students" (2010). Industrial Engineering Master's Theses. Paper 2. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000903
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.