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Innovative Pedagogical ‘Game Design/Creation’ Methodology for Sustainability Education

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Sustainability and engineering education

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.759.1 - 23.759.26



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Paper Authors


Ben D Radhakrishnan National University

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Professor Ben D Radhakrishnan is a full time Faculty in the School of Engineering, Technology and Media (SETM), National University, San Diego, CA. He is the Lead Faculty for MS Sustainability Management Program in SETM. He develops and teaches graduate level Engineering Management and Sustainability classes.
His special interests and research include promoting Leadership in Sustainability Practices, energy management and to establish Sustainable strategies for enterprises. He is an active Affiliate Researcher at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, focusing on the energy efficiency and assessment for IT equipment in Data Centers, and continues this work as a Consultant. He is also a member of the San Diego Gas and Electric’s Public Advisory Group for ‘Workforce Education & Training’.
Prof. Ben Radhakrishnan has an MS from State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, M.B.A (University of Phoenix), and Sustainable Business Practices Certification from University of California, San Diego.
His previous corporate careers include Qualcomm (Director, Technology Program Management) and Senior Program & Design Manager in Lucent Technologies.

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Shekar Viswanathan National University

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Dr. Viswanathan is professor and chair of the department of applied engineering. He has a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering. He is the author of over 100 papers and two book chapters. His research includes mathematical applications in engineering problems and innovative teaching methodologies.

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James Jay Jaurez National University

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Assistant Professor in Digital Media and Computer Science.

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Innovative Pedagogical ‘Game Design/Creation’ Methodology for Sustainability EducationSustainability is now an important issue/concern that the world has to deal with. It is beingembraced at all levels of government, business, and communities. Serious teaching ofsustainability in engineering colleges is still relatively new. Even though some are passionateabout the subject, some consider its contents too dry, some do not really understand it, andsome do not believe in it. Traditional pedagogical methods do not provide the necessaryimpetus for students to realize or recognize the values of the three key elements ofsustainability namely, environment, economics, and equity. In order for the students to fullyunderstand their importance, teachers need to encourage students to explore the differentaspects of sustainability by encouraging them to actively engage in discussions on the subjectwith each other. With higher levels of engagement students will visualize, and, moreimportantly, be motivated to get a thorough understanding of the subject matter.An innovative Game Design/creation Methodology (GDM), developed through our research onthe HP Catalyst Grant project, in conjunction with ISTE and SLOAN-C, was introduced in thegraduate Sustainability Management program courses, as a pilot, to study its impact on studentlearning, motivation, creativity, engagement, innovation, team inter-actions, instructorleadership, and how they all contributed towards the course learning outcomes. GDM wasintroduced in two different courses: Introduction to Sustainability and Sustainable Buildings.These student-built games illustrate the course learning outcomes.This paper presents examples of student developed games for various concepts taught. Theresults from the pilot study are encouraging as specific feedback from students has indicatedthat the game design/creation is a useful innovative pedagogical tool that does promotestudent engagement, motivation and retention skills. This innovative teaching tool should helpchange the declining and waning interest in STEM+ programs.

Radhakrishnan, B. D., & Viswanathan, S., & Jaurez, J. J. (2013, June), Innovative Pedagogical ‘Game Design/Creation’ Methodology for Sustainability Education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19773

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