Learning & Engaging with Videogames in Engineering Education
Abstract: For the past several years, we have been developing video games for college students to use as they study to become mechanical engineers. The games are used in courses which tend to be high theoretical, where students tend to have difficulty seeing how the complex mathematics applies to practical, real-world, engineering problems. Although the videogamebased challenges exist in a virtual simulated world, the problem-solving processes that students must engage in are authentic. To succeed in the game, students must think, act, and evaluate the way that engineers do. Since incorporating the videogames into the engineering courses, we have measured significant improvements in student learning. Also, we have measured significant gains in student engagement in their engineering coursework. Here, engagement is conceptualized in the framework of Flow theory, and measured using a technique called the Experience Sampling Method (ESM).