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Gamification in factory management education

A case study with Lego Mindstorms

Müller, Bastian C.; Reise, Carsten; Seliger, Günther

Research oriented teaching in universities provides opportunities to support the student's desire to explore. A student's learning success can benefit from gamified project work, especially when students face self-guided learning processes in demanding educational activities. Gamification is defined as the use of game elements in a non-game context. Games offer the chance to improve the motivation of students, support group work, train communication skills and introduce the capacity for experimenting in safe environments. Therefore the learning effect of prospective engineers can be increased through the integration of Gamification into educational activities. This leads to higher student participation in university courses and encourages the development of the student's social, personal and technical competences. In this paper a game concept for teaching in universities is introduced focusing on the impartment of the state of the art on manufacturing for value creation, e.g. production planning and control. The concept covers a level based storyline with rules and goals using physical artefacts of Lego Mindstorms. Due to the modular characteristic of Lego, which supports creativity by having a high number of possible combinations, a “free playing space” for students is established. In groups, the students work in a highly problem oriented way, e.g. finding cost savings for their factory due to a changing market condition. Feedback in the sense of the success of student's strategies is given directly through the designed Lego model and its functionality.
Published in: Procedia CIRP, 10.1016/j.procir.2014.07.056, Elsevier