APPLICATION OF SERIOUS GAMES AS AN ACTIVE TEACHING METHODOLOGY FOR SKILLS LEARNING IN ENERGY ENGINEERING

The European Higher Education Framework makes mandatory the teaching of practical skills to university students at all competence levels. This implies a review of the traditional teaching methodologies and the adoption of active ones where the student plays the main role in the teaching-learning process. However, this is not an easy task and we require techniques and tools which help us to motivate students as well they acquire the desired knowledge and competences. We found that some serious games can help us to achieve these objectives.

In this work, a brief review of the main available games related with the energy management is presented first. Then, we show the results of a real experience with a SIEMENS developed game, called "Power-Matrix", conducted on a third year class group of Energy Engineering. Two class groups from two consecutive years have been analysed in comparison with others of previous years when this technique was not applied yet.

Results show that applying serious games such as the proposed one makes the contents more attractive to students and they feel themselves better prepared for challenging related tests. Although we did not find a statistical significant improvement on the academic marks of an specific subject, we found an overall improvement of the course and the development of transversal skills such as time management, cooperation with partners and strategic thinking.