International Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) (7th : 2015)

Critical evaluation of simulations and games as tools for expanding student perspectives on sustainability Dahlin, Jon-Erik; Fenner, Richard; Cruickshank, Heather


Games have been used at the Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and the University of Cambridge (UK) to aid the teaching of sustainable development to diverse groups of engineering students. This paper explores how games have helped students at two institutions to reflect on issues from different perspectives. More specifically, the work addresses whether games helped to stimulate students’ learning of facts; student reflections; and student peer discussions. The games evaluated include: Building Futures; Democracy; Dilemma; Fishbanks; GaSuCo; Power Grid; and Puerto Mauricio. Methodologies used include: student surveys; deep interviews; group interviews; and essays, written assignments and tests. The main findings are that games contribute strongly to the learning of sustainability and improve critical reflection as well as facilitate interpersonal communication.

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