Students making games as a learning strategy for chemical engineering

Sílvia Fornós

Publikation: Bog / Antologi / Rapport / Ph.D.-afhandlingPh.d.-afhandling


Beyond game-related topics or computer science, other curriculum-based subjects in higher education can be reinforced with game-making activities. Making games is typically a challenging process entailing knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields, which can be used as a learning methodology. Setting out from the hypothesis that students may feel motivated by taking on the role of game designers, this study proposes and explores a learning experience based on making games for learning chemical engineering.

The proposed learning approach investigates the main pillars of the experience, starting with the pedagogical background. Drawing on Papert’s constructionist learning theory, the custom-made Game Editor for Learning is used as educational tool to learn by exploring and experimenting as opposed to following instructions. With the editor, inspired by 2D drag-and-drop platform game editors, chemical engineering students can create game levels and learn autonomously. In addition to the pre-made game items to create levels, the G.E.L. includes a feature to upload 2D pictures, through which new game items can be skinned. With that feature, the editor allows non-game designers to integrate engineering-related content in their creations and, most importantly, to reflect on how the content should be integrated with the different game elements and mechanics, as part of the learning process.

An additional pillar of this research is the educational context. The experience is structured as a CHEM Jam, an event based on the idea of game jams, which are collaborative events where participants try to create games in a relatively short period of time. These events attract participants and engage them cognitively and socially around the creation process. As game jams are fundamentally game-like events to create games, they have the added advantage that they engage participants playfully.
Overall, this interdisciplinary investigation is set at the crossroads of game studies, educational science, and engineering education. Particularly educational practitioners in engineering disciplines may find in this book an inspirational source to integrate a learner-centred activity, with game making at its core, in their lectures or teaching.
ForlagIT-Universitetet i København
Antal sider240
ISBN (Trykt)978-87-7949-396-4
StatusUdgivet - 2022


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