Serious Games Project
AAE251 Introduction to Aerospace Design
Our mission is to develop foundational capabilities that enable broad applications of gaming in education and training.
Our Serious Games Project pursues two major objectives: a) development of a Serious Game version of AAE251 Introduction to Aerospace Design for Fall 2009 and b) research on the efficacy of multi-user, multimedia interactive game formats for learning engineering design of complex systems.
More than half of the science and engineering workforce in the United States is approaching retirement age, while enrollment in engineering degree programs is declining. More engaging learning environments that will attract and inspire a broader range of students to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines are needed in the U.S. New digital learning environments are integral to addressing this need, especially game formats that can inspire interest through intellectual engagement and that attract women and underrepresented minorities to the STEM disciplines.
We will create a Serious Game version of a Purdue undergraduate engineering course in aerospace design that engages diverse student learners, generates new modes of learning, and answers critical research questions concerning the efficacy of gaming venues as new digital learning environments for formal college instruction. Core features include: team-based collaborative learning environments, assessment of learning and communication in collaborative digital environments, and adaptation skills of students pursuing quests of evolving complexity. This project will make significant and original contributions to the field of digital media and learning that are extensible to other disciplines and learning levels. While teaching aerospace engineering, the game introduces students to team-based collaborative environments integral to the professional practice of modern engineering. We also anticipate this project being integral with broader efforts at Purdue that bring STEM (plus social sciences) to preK-12 learners. By playing the game, students are introduced to the design profession of aerospace engineering and afforded means to learn to increase the effectiveness of team working. Instructors are provided opportunities for measuring students’ learning skills and collaboration styles.
Shown here is the concept art depicting some environments from the game version of AAE 251. Students will be represented by avatars—their in-game alter ego—and work collaboratively with their team members on engineering design challenges.
To assess the effectiveness of the serious game format, we combine current theories of learning and instruction with the principles of game design to provide a revolutionary education tool. Specific questions include
- What new learning modes and obstacles arise in this novel approach?
- What player behaviors or game elements lead to higher group performance and greater individual learning?
- Is the game setting more engaging than traditional lecture-based setting? And if so, does the greater engagement leads to greater learning?
For More Information
For further information about the AAE 251 Serious Games Project is available from our project home page. We can also be reached at Purdue University by the following emails:
Dr. Daniel DeLaurentis (PI)
School of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Dr. Sean Brophy (Co-PI)
School of Engineering & Education
Dr. David Ebert (Co-PI)
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Dr. Masa Okutsu
School of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Discovery Learning Research Center
207 South Martin Jischke Drive, Suite 203
West Lafayette , IN 47907-1791
- AAU STEM Education Initiative
- APLU STEM Education Center Profiles
- ADVANCE PCFS
- Center for Leadership Excellence
- Center for Literacy Education and Research
- HHMI, Deviating from the Standard
- I-STEM Network