1 University of Thessaly (GREECE)
2 Porto Polytechnic (PORTUGAL)
3 Tallinn University (ESTONIA)
4 University of Vigo (SPAIN)
5 Aalborg University (DENMARK)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 7116-7123
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.1833
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Today’s young generation will be called to address urgent challenges such as sustainable growth, quality in education, responsible natural resource management, mitigating climate change, addressing natural risks, fighting poverty, informing global health, and more. The challenges that global society faces are daunting and the need for introducing solutions towards well-being and equity is pressing. Solutions to modern challenges do not stem from the deployment of knowledge from a specific area; they require the integration of knowledge from diverse fields. Education needs to be re-engineered in order to build the knowledge, skills, and mindsets that young adults need to become leaders and innovators in designing integrated, effective, and equitable solutions that ensure quality of life and social cohesion.

Solutions to emerging challenges often involve a combination of engineering and economics knowledge. Engineering technology and business process innovation evolve at a past pace, with solutions that are considered groundbreaking at a point in time becoming obsolete only a few years after their introduction as the result of their replacement by more powerful, flexible, and suitable approaches. The biggest challenge facing HE today is not simply building the foundational knowledge of young professionals; it needs to shape young adults that are problem solvers, high level and critical thinkers, innovators, effective collaborators in multiple social contexts and large groups, and capable of learning independently to remain at the forefront of their fields.

This work presents an active, game-based learning approach for building problem solving capacity in the combined fiends of engineering and economics. The work introduces modern educational offerings that help build the required high order problem solving skills for addressing emerging societal and industry challenges through innovative technology and business processes. The learning intervention exposes HE students to complex challenges the solution to which requires the integration of interdisciplinary knowledge in a manner that emulates real world problem solving processes. It further builds problem-solving, communication, and entrepreneurial skills.

The work explores problem and project-based digitally-enabled educational design. This is be pursued through a digital game-based, active learning environment that challenges learners to collaborate, think innovatively, and weave diverse knowledge towards introducing solutions to non-trivial learning scenarios inspired by 21st century needs. Digitally enabling the problem-solving process effectively increases class interaction, communication, knowledge exchange, peer learning, and collective skill building contributing to the development of desirable transversal skills. Gamifying the problem solving process promotes active student engagement in learning through a sense of mission, a sense of affiliation, healthy competition, rewards, and social recognition by peers among other mechanisms.

The work is implemented in the context of the HERA: Higher Education Re-engineering through Active learning for Growth project, which is funded through the Erasmus+ Programme and runs from 2019 to 2021.
Game-based learning, active learning, problem-based learning, engineering, economics.