Student perspectives on application of game-based learning within a graduate-level engineering course

Document Type

Conference Paper

Version Deposited

None (link only)

Publication Date

October 2016

Conference Name

Frontiers in Education Conference




In recent years, game-based learning has been increasing in popularity as a tool for providing students with experiential learning opportunities. Although there have been a few implementations at the graduate level, there is still the need for a greater number of studies documenting the effectiveness of game-based practices in graduate-level environments. In our study, we developed and implemented a digital game with technical content in a graduate-level, distance-enabled nuclear engineering course. As part of assessing this implementation, we gathered the perspectives of the students using a learning environment survey, a focus group, and individual interviews. The results of these methods demonstrated positive student viewpoints towards the learning environment and the use of the game in this course. Based on a double-coded content analysis of the focus group and interview data, the students found the game engaging and noted the possibility of points and “winning” associated with playing the game. They further indicated that the use of the game was a good approach with potential that “changed things up.” Although we received positive feedback, the students also provided constructive feedback on this initial implementation and how it could be improved, including increased gaming elements and challenge level as well as providing more performance feedback to students as they participate in the game.


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