• Eszter Juhasz-Nagy
4. semester, By-, Energi- og Miljøplanlægning, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
This research investigates the possibility of using serious games as a means to help prepare planning students for dealing with the task of negotiating sustainable urban development processes, specifically to aid their cognitive learning in relation to the social and economic goals of stakeholders of such processes. Preparing future planners for this task is important, as these various aspects of sustainable development are interrelated: while there are inherent conflicts between them, there are also synergies, and it is not possible to disregard either social equity or economic growth if a well-balanced outcome is expected from an urban development process. Planning education makes use of various experiential learning tools, such as problem-based learning, to prepare planners for dealing with the poorly structured, messy processes in planning practice. Games as experiential tools have also been used in planning for decades, providing an aid for learning, practice and research. It is possible that using games can be beneficial, combining skill development and cognitive learning. Therefore, this research attempts to find the answer to the question:
How does a game affect the cognitive learning of planning students in relation to achieving different, often conflicting social and economic goals of stakeholders in a sustainable urban development process?
In order to answer this question, an exemplifying case study was conducted by creating a game about a sustainable urban development process in the North Harbour in Copenhagen, and was played by planning students at Aalborg University, whose learning was evaluated. In preparation to the case study, the state of research was reviewed in the fields of sustainable urban developments, game-based learning and the design of serious games. The game was created in collaboration with a group of Medialogy students at Aalborg University Copenhagen, and it is a competitive strategy game with role-playing and puzzle elements. It was based on the social and economic goals of the main stakeholders in the development process: the City of Copenhagen and the Danish State, CPH City and Port Development, and the various investors and developers involved in the area.
Based on the case study and the review of the state of the art, the research concludes that games can be useful for the purpose of facilitating cognitive learning. The verbal knowledge or students increased during gameplay, and they showed signs of learning. Their interactions about the goals and strategies changed during the sessions, and this reflected increased knowledge as well. Based on the results, it is not entirely clear whether games are useful for increasing the cognitive strategies of students about the goals in sustainable urban development processes, but introducing the students to the rules in a written format prior to gameplay seems to affect this aspect positively.
The researcher proposes further areas of investigation as well, such as comparative studies between digital and board games as well as single- and multiplayer games in relation to their ability to encourage reflective, interactive behaviour about the learning goals; and the effect of previous familiarization of players with the rules on the changes in their cognitive strategies.
Udgivelsesdato3 jun. 2015
Antal sider102
ID: 213500392