About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2681-2687
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.0738

Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain

STUDENTS DESIGN AND PROGRAM THEIR OWN VIDEO GAME TO LEARN ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS

D. Randelovic, W. El-Sokkary

Petroleum Institute (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
This paper examines the benefits of incorporating coding skills in the instruction of the engineering design process in an engineering university that specializes in oil and gas related engineering. The project basically involved changing the traditional method of teaching the engineering design process. Instead of only designing a simple product, the students were trained to design and actually build a fully functional video game by using a free, easy-to-use online software that can be used by other students.

Code literacy is, almost unequivocally, a prerequisite for entering a digital world and the critical thinking skills involved in developing an effective program code are simply phenomenal. Therefore, we can safely argue that writing a glitch-free program code is at the top echelon of problem solving skills. Realizing how beneficial code literacy is to engineering students, the authors looked for potential incorporation of coding in the engineering design course referred to as STPS-201 (Strategies for Team-based Engineering Problem Solving).

STPS201 is the first course in a two course sequence that introduces students to engineering design and problem solving in a project-based learning environment. Solutions to engineering problems are developed through a process that has a number of phases beginning with problem definition and culminating in a feasible “conceptual design”. However, this course stops at the abstract idea of a conceptual design. The remaining phases are addressed mainly in subsequent courses (STPS251 and Senior Design).

The authors of this paper decided to pilot the idea of asking the students to develop a fully functional prototype of a video game and not just stop at the conceptual design phase. Other colleagues felt it would be too challenging. The working prototype idea was not favored because it seemed too daunting and because programming a video game seemed to be asking our students for too much at this stage. However, the authors acquired permission to proceed with the pilot idea from the department and the results were extremely promising. The success of this pilot influenced subsequent semesters and many teams are now developing similar projects.

The authors believe this pilot was innovative as it was never attempted at this university before students moved into their engineering majors. The pilot seems to have demonstrated significant impact on teaching effectiveness, student learning and retention. The student feedback on this pilot supports this claim. The idea clearly has potential for widespread use within and across disciplines and the authors have already started scaling it to larger sections. After all, who would say no to a fun challenge like designing your own game?
@InProceedings{RANDELOVIC2017STU,
author = {Randelovic, D. and El-Sokkary, W.},
title = {STUDENTS DESIGN AND PROGRAM THEIR OWN VIDEO GAME TO LEARN ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS},
series = {11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-8491-2},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2017.0738},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2017.0738},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {6-8 March, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {2681-2687}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Randelovic AU - W. El-Sokkary
TI - STUDENTS DESIGN AND PROGRAM THEIR OWN VIDEO GAME TO LEARN ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS
SN - 978-84-617-8491-2/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2017.0738
PY - 2017
Y1 - 6-8 March, 2017
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2017 Proceedings
SP - 2681
EP - 2687
ER -
D. Randelovic, W. El-Sokkary (2017) STUDENTS DESIGN AND PROGRAM THEIR OWN VIDEO GAME TO LEARN ENGINEERING DESIGN PROCESS, INTED2017 Proceedings, pp. 2681-2687.
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