by Anna Seidel, Franziska Weidle, Claudia Börner

How to get students excited about engineering and, at the same time, facilitate sustainable learning by using games?

In 2018, the project Learn&Play began with the question of how students can be made aware of and prepared for engineering contents. As particular challenges we identified a lack of imagination, varied solution options and the high workload in engineering mechanics (a basic subject in engineering), in a questionnaire taken by 150 engineering students. In addition, the high degree of abstraction of the contents and the at times difficult transition from school to university teaching are also noted in the literature. Game-Based learning (GBL) is particularly well suited to address these challenges because it combines elements such as visualising contexts, relevant practical tasks, micro learning and practice, creating good learning experiences, social learning and rewards.

*The project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Federal State of Brandenburg via the Brandenburg Ministry for science, research and culture.

Interviews, questionnaires and playtesting with the target group were conducted in each development phase to ensure a good fit of the learning game with the needs of the learners. When creating the game concept, we were guided by scientific theories such as the Input- Process-Output model[20] or the Foundations of GBL[21]. Teachers can use GBL elements as learning preparation, follow-up or during lessons. Besides their integration into our game re:construction, we also post the learning videos separately on YouTube and upload all other materials on the Moodle learning platform so that the learning content can also be applied in other contexts.
For teachers to find out about the learning game, we actively engage in public relations, participate in conferences and maintain a lively exchange with our two partner schools and a network of university teachers.
We are currently finalising the project. Now only content-related errors and usability are tested and improved. From November 2021, the follow-up project Teach&Play will focus on embedding re:constructionin formal teaching/learning contexts and how teachers can be supported with additional materials to embed the game content in their lessons.

GBL can…
promote individual, time and place-independent learning as well as motivation for a topic when
it is adapted to the needs of the

GBL cannot…
be successfully applied without tailoring it to the needs of the target group and without coherently situating and reflecting on it in a tea