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A Corporate-Academic Partnership to Deploy Game-based Learning Around the World

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2017 ASEE International Forum


Columbus , Ohio

Publication Date

June 28, 2017

Start Date

June 28, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Concurrent Paper Tracks Session I - Skills Development

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Main Forum (Podium Presentation)

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Paper Authors


Daniel Christe Drexel University

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Daniel Christe has research interests at the nexus of mechanical engineering, materials science, and manufacturing centering on predictive design for functional fabrics that "see, communicate, sense, and adapt". Daniel is currently lead modeling engineer in the Theoretical & Applied Mechanics Group and Drexel University’s Center for Functional Fabrics at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. He also holds a research appointment at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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Jay J. Bhatt Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Jay Bhatt is responsible for building library collections in engineering subject areas, outreach to faculty and students, and teaching information and research skills to faculty and students in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and related subject areas. He provides individual and small group consultations to students, instructional sessions to specific classes, online research support in both face to face and distance learning programs, and conducts workshops for specialized research areas. Jay is actively involved with the Engineering Libraries Division of the American Society for Engineering Education

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The challenges of the 21st century are complex and systemic in nature, demanding transdisciplinary and collaborative mindsets to solve. However, much of university STEM education still reflects an emphasis on instructor-centered content delivery, through passive lectures and uninspiring lab courses. This approach discourages potential science and engineering talent, disproportionately affecting women and underrepresented minorities. The university of the future likely will be an “experience university”, focused on empowering learners to embark on personalized learning pathways. Herein, we present an ongoing partnership between academia and a multinational corporation to produce online gaming experiences to empower students, faculty, and librarians around the world with active learning. The Engineering Academic Challenge (formerly Knovel Academic Challenge) is a five-week game encouraging exploration of National Academy of Engineering (NAE) grand challenge-inspired topics. Each week focused on a new theme, presenting real-world scenarios to provide players with the impetus to “pull” from knowledge discovery platforms to derive the correct answer. Players can also earn microcredentials for certain behaviors in the game, a rising trend in 21st century academic credentialing. The game is co-created by a team of students, an engineering librarian, and a major technical publisher. To date, the two games have impacted over 5000 students in 530 universities worldwide over the past two years. Over eighty percent of players indicated that the game was their first exposure to the NAE grand challenges. Forty percent of players indicated it was their first time using either the Knovel or EngineeringVillage products. Players stated that they i) enjoyed the real-world connection of the game, ii) were exposed to knowledge discovery platforms to accelerate search, and iii) were very likely to use the platforms again in future research and development projects. The future direction of this work is toward a platform for open-ended STEAM challenges created by the community, for the community to empower learners around the world.

Christe, D., & Bhatt, J. J. (2017, June), A Corporate-Academic Partnership to Deploy Game-based Learning Around the World Paper presented at 2017 ASEE International Forum, Columbus , Ohio.

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