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Teaching Interdisciplinary Teamwork through Hands-on Game Development

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Curricular Issues in Computing and Information Technology Programs I

Tagged Division

Computing & Information Technology

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

24.1165.1 - 24.1165.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23098

Download Count

90

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Paper Authors

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Scott A. Kuhl Michigan Technological University

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Scott Kuhl is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Cognitive & Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Utah in 2009. He has been the faculty advisor for Husky Game Development Enterprise since Spring 2010. His research interests include immersive virtual environments, head-mounted displays, and spatial perception. A link to his web page can be found at http://www.cs.mtu.edu/.

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Robert Pastel Michigan Technological University

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Robert Pastel is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and an Associate Assistant Professor of Cognitive & Learning Sciences at Michigan Technological University. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of New Mexico. Robert help create Husky Game Development Enterprise in 2004 and was advisor to 2010. Robert's research interests include mobile device interactions and software development. A link to his web page can be found at http://www.cs.mtu.edu/.

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Ryan George Michigan Technological University

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Ryan George is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Michigan Technological University pursuing degrees in both Computer Science and Computer Network/Systems Administration, with expected graduation in Spring 2015. He has been a member of the Husky Game Development Enterprise since Spring 2011, and was elected President in Fall 2012. He served as Co-Chair of the Enterprise Student Advisory Board from Fall 2011 to Spring 2013, during which he represented the Advisory Board on the University's Enterprise Governing Board.

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Chad M. Meyers Michigan Technological University

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Chad Meyers is a 3rd-year undergraduate student at Michigan Technological University pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He has been the Vice President of Communications for Husky Game Development since Fall 2013, and has been a participating member of the organization since Fall 2012.

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Matthew L. Freitag Michigan Technological University

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Matt Freitag is an undergraduate student in Computer Network and Systems Administration (CNSA) at Michigan Technological University. He is also the Vice President of Technology for the Husky Game Development (HGD) enterprise, which he has been a part of since April of 2012. His interests include cloud computing, home automation using wireless technologies, software development operations, and (of course) video games.

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Jacob M. Lund Michigan Technological University

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Jacob Lund is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Michigan Technological University pursuing a degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematical Sciences. He has been the Vice president of Finance of Husky Game Development Enterprise since Fall 2012 and has been involved with the course every semester since Spring 2010.

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Michael Paul Stefaniak

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Abstract

Teaching interdisciplinary teamwork through hands-on game developmentCOURSE is an innovative project-based course at UNIVERSITY that gives a diverse set ofundergraduate students the opportunity to develop video games in a business-like setting. Thecourse allows students to exercise their technical and artistic skills on a multi-semester projectwhile also developing their teamwork, problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills.Many of our former students now have careers in the video game industry or in a computerscience related field.The course is modeled after a business where the instructor assumes the role of chairman oradvisor and the students elect their own management and form teams to work on projects. Anyundergraduate who has the skills to fill a need in the COURSE is allowed to enroll for one ormore semesters. Many students enrolled in the course choose to take it nearly every semesterduring their academic career. Although most of the students are pursuing computer sciencerelated degrees, the COURSE also attracts students interested in 2D art, 3D art, sound design,and electrical engineering. Currently, 14% of the students majoring in computer science relateddegrees in the COURSE are women compared to 6% in the computer science department overall.The diversity of students in COURSE gives students the unique opportunity to learn how to workeffectively with people who have different abilities, backgrounds, and interests.COURSE is popular with students, industry, and the community. It has grown from 25 studentssince its inception in Fall 2004 to more than 60 students in Fall 2013. The growing size ofCOURSE is evidence that it is fun and engaging. At the beginning of a typical school year,student management assigns students to teams based on their skills and backgrounds. Wetypically aim to have games completed by the end of the school year. Most game ideas areproposed by the teams themselves in the fall semester, but some projects are assigned to theteams by student management and the faculty advisor. Teams are assigned projects when, forexample, companies sponsor and commission a game from the COURSE or when we agree todevelop games as a component of a federal grant. COURSE has also committed to developing aplatform used by an annual artificial intelligence programming competition. This popularcompetition attracts corporate sponsorship and more than 170 participants from UNIVERSITYand a neighboring university in Spring 2013.In this paper, we will focus on the policies and techniques that we have successfully used toattract, organize, motivate, and evaluate the students in the course. We will also talk about howstudent management and the faculty advisor work together and delegate responsibilities. Wehope that COURSE can serve as one possible model for instructors at other institutions whodesire to implement a similar course.

Kuhl, S. A., & Pastel, R., & George, R., & Meyers, C. M., & Freitag, M. L., & Lund, J. M., & Stefaniak, M. P. (2014, June), Teaching Interdisciplinary Teamwork through Hands-on Game Development Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23098

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: © 2014 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