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Decision-Making, Information Seeking, and Compromise: A Simulation Game Activity in Global Industrial Management

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Industrial Engineering Division Tech Session 2, IE-ing the Classroom

Tagged Divisions

Engineering Management, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering

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Paper Authors


Alejandro Salado Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Alejandro Salado is an assistant professor of systems science and systems engineering with the Grado Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech. His research focuses on unveiling the scientific foundations of systems engineering and using them to improve systems engineering practice. Before joining academia, Alejandro spent over ten years as a systems engineer in the space industry. He is a recipient of the Fabrycky-Blanchard Award for Systems Engineering Research and the Fulbright International Science and Technology Award. Dr. Salado holds a BSc/MSc in electrical engineering from Polytechnic University of Valencia, an MSc in project management and a MSc in electronics engineering from Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the SpaceTech MEng in space systems engineering from Delft University of Technology, and a PhD in systems engineering from the Stevens Institute of Technology. He is a member of INCOSE and a senior member of IEEE and IIE.

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John Ray Morelock Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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John Morelock is a doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech. His research interests include student motivation, game-based learning, and gamified classrooms. He received the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship to study how engineering instructors use digital games, and how these teaching methods affect student motivation.

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Arash Baghaei Lakeh Virginia Tech

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In undergraduate engineering education, students are often overexposed to problem-solving methods that are unrepresentative of how problems are solved in engineering practice. For decision-making problems in particular, students are commonly taught to compare alternative solutions using information that is known and provided. However, many real-world decision-making problems require a broader range of problem-solving strategies, including information seeking, extrapolation of a decision’s consequences, and compromise between parties with competing objectives. Accordingly, this paper describes a simulation game activity designed to offer industrial engineering seniors experience in solving realistic decision-making problems. The simulation game involved students working in teams that role-played as different types of companies in a global smartphone market, where teams needed to negotiate with one another to establish profitable contracts within the game’s ruleset. In accordance with our learning objectives, we qualitatively examined how students sought information, adapted to changing conditions, and made decisions informed by constraints. Particularly, we sought to identify learning frameworks that fit the data well and would help us improve the design and assessment of the activity in later iterations. We found that the learning frameworks of metacognition and discrepancy resolution combined to explain most student activity relative to our learning objectives, and these frameworks suggest several points of improvement for the design and assessment of the simulation game.

Salado, A., & Morelock, J. R., & Baghaei Lakeh, A. (2017, June), Decision-Making, Information Seeking, and Compromise: A Simulation Game Activity in Global Industrial Management Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28100

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