June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.253.1 - 11.253.10
Assessment of Shortfall: A Board Game on Environmental Decisionmaking Abstract
Significant disparities in the learning styles of millennial students (students born after 1980) and those of their instructors have been documented. Shortfall is a board game designed to raise awareness of the concept of environmental decisionmaking in the supply chain. The project explores the hypothesis that millennial engineering students approach learning in a communal, active manner using trial and error approaches. Results of this pilot exploratory project suggest that engineering students are able to learn new information in a collaborative game approach, which impacts their confidence and self-awareness of their knowledge base.
The goal and challenge of the board game entitled Shortfall is for students to learn to maximize profit with an increased awareness of environmental impact. The objectives of the game are to foster better understanding of these issues and to encourage potential future industry leaders to make these practices part of every day planning. The auto industry represents excellent opportunities to investigate the relationships among design considerations, supply chain management, environmental issues, research and development, and profitability. The original idea for the game was developed through a MS thesis1 as part of an integrated research/ education plan for NSF supported work. Classroom exploration of the tradeoffs in the triple bottom line (economic, environmental and social performance) is most often limited to traditional lectures and descriptions of case studies. Instead of using a lecture format for green manufacturing, we tested and evaluated the potential for successful learning outcomes through participative group game play, cooperation and communication. The supply chain is simplified, but allows students to experience the ramification of materials processing decisions, i.e., technological solutions on the triple bottom line through an educational format designed to appeal to the generation labeled as millennial.
The decision to use a game methodology reflected, in part, a response to the current educational concerns around the millennial generation of students and their impact on higher education2. The differences in learning styles of the millennial student are already having an impact on learning and teaching in higher education3-5. Given the technological context in which children are raised in the U.S., the standard lecture and textbook homework assignments may not be the best method for teaching and communicating new ideas. It is our belief that this game will encourage the exploration and adoption of new, more exploratory teaching techniques. The prospect that a learning tool of this nature will encourage entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary thinking presents significant opportunities for transformation of higher education. The strategy to use well- designed, challenging games for educational purposes may lead to new methods for teaching engineering design. These types of tools can stimulate students with alternative learning styles, and thus creating a more diverse work force.
In this pilot study, we explored the following research questions: Can millennial students learn by playing multiple iterations of a board game designed to meet their learning styles? Does playing the game actually teach them anything new? Students who played a very early board-
Qualters, D., & Isaacs, J., & Cullinane, T., & McDonald, A., & Laird, J. (2006, June), Assessment Of Shortfall: A Board Game On Environmental Decisionmaking Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/713
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