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Serious Gaming For Aerospace Engineering Design: Exploring Learning Potential And Students' Readiness

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Teams and Teamwork in Design I

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1052.1 - 14.1052.15



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Paper Authors


Yogesh Velankar Purdue University

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Yogesh Velankar is a graduate student in Purdue University School of Engineering Education. His research interests are in the area of corporate learning and designing effective learning environments.

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Sean Brophy Purdue University

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Dr. Sean Brophy, is an assistant professor in Purdue University School of Engineering Education. His research interests are in using technology for learning and assessment. He brings experience in designing effective learning experiences based on theories of knowing and how people learn.

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Masataka Okutsu Purdue University

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Dr. Masatak Okutsu is a postdoctoral researcher in Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He provides expertise in Space Mission Design and is a co-instructor in the Introduction to Aerospace Design during past semester. Dr. Okutsu is leading the project development of AeroQuest Serious Game.

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Daniel Delaurentis Purdue University

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Dr. Daniel DeLaurentis is an assistant professor in Purdue University School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. His research interests and specializations are in the area of Aeronautical and Systems of Systems expertise. He is lead instructor of the Introduction to Aerospace Design course.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Serious Gaming for Aerospace Engineering Design: Exploring Learning Potential and Students' Readiness Introduction

Engineering design involves generating original ideas and transforming them into innovations. This process of formulating ideas and expanding them is not done in a vacuum. The ideas come from careful listening to customers’ needs and awareness of current technologies and understanding governing principles to identifying appropriate conceptual design alternatives. Developing this talent in engineering students involves engaging them in various design challenges that are solved through collaboration with team members. Project-based and challenge-based instruction are excellent instructional methods for organizing these kinds of learning experiences. An Aerospace Engineering Design course has blended project-based learning experiences into the traditional sequence of lectures and homework instructional design. Prior evaluations of this course demonstrate that students find this approach compelling and vital to their learning because it replicates experiences they anticipate having in their career. However, the experiences are still too artificial. Students report frustration when they know they need information, but the source of this information does not come until lectures scheduled much later in the course. Also, the instructor would like more detail of the quantity and quality of a team’s interactions. The advancement of technology and what is known about principles of serious games suggest a course like this could be enhanced if it were implemented as a serious game.1

Our research team is transforming an introductory aerospace design course into a multiplayer on-line serious game in an effort to target learning goals beyond our current course implementation. This paper explores the rationale and potential for this conjecture. In addition, we recognize the success of this project depends on learners’ willingness to use technology and learn with technology. In particular, what is their readiness to participate in a serious gaming environment? We begin with a brief description of the current course and how we are transforming it into the game play in the serious game. Next, we provide a brief description of learning theory guiding our design decision for the gaming experience. Finally, we share results from an initial study to evaluate students’ use of technology and their willingness to use various technologies for learning. We end with future directions for using serious games for engineering design courses.

Current Course

The current course introduces second year undergraduate engineering students to principles of design and analysis of aeronautic vehicles. The course presents the fundamentals of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering (AAE) through a course project presented as a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a client. These fundamentals include aircraft and spacecraft anatomy, propulsion, aerodynamics, stability and control, orbital mechanics, vehicle sizing and cost estimate / analysis. The course culminates in a design project, which gives students the opportunity to apply their new aerospace design

Velankar, Y., & Brophy, S., & Okutsu, M., & Delaurentis, D. (2009, June), Serious Gaming For Aerospace Engineering Design: Exploring Learning Potential And Students' Readiness Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5655

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015