Usefulness of Digital Serious Games in Engineering for Diverse Undergraduate Students

Kimberly Cook-Chennault, Idalis Villanueva Alarcón, Gabrielle Jacob
2022 Education Sciences  
The use of educational digital games as supplemental tools to course instruction materials has increased over the last several decades and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Though these types of instructional games have been employed in the majority of STEM disciplines, less is known about how diverse populations of students interpret and define the value of these games towards achieving academic and professional pursuits. A mixed-method sequential exploratory research design method that
more » ... as framed on the Technology Acceptance Model, Game-Based Learning Theory and Expectancy Value Theory was used to examine how 201 students perceived the usefulness of an intuitive education game that was designed to teach engineering mechanics used in designing civil structures. We found that students had different expectations of educational digital games than games designed for entertainment used outside of classroom environments. Several students thought that the ability to design their own structures and observe structure failure in real-time was a valuable asset in understanding how truss structures responded to physical loading conditions. However, few students thought the educational game would be useful for exam (14/26) or job interview (19/26) preparation. Students associated more value with engineering games that illustrate course content and mathematical calculations used in STEM courses than those that do not include these elements.
doi:10.3390/educsci12010027 fatcat:bhzv3j34tjdz3eey3ohfdfw4z4