Teaching Engineering with Games

Alan S. Hoback

ASEE North Central Section Conference, Vol. 1998, Issue 4A, pgs. 1-6, 1998/04/02.


Various games are used in two engineering courses. The games are used in Structural Theory CE342 which is a Civil & Environmental Engineering junior level course, and in Engineering Design & Graphics E101 which is a freshmen level required engineering course. The games consist of computer games and printed puzzles that are used to teach specific and general engineering concepts. The computer game SBGAME is used in Structural Theory to teach intuitive sketching of beam shear and bending moment diagrams. Other puzzles have been created by the instructor. The puzzles teach a wide range of topics including three-dimensional visualization, perspective, mechanics, construction methods, invention, and design. Games are used in the freshmen year to improve retention, class attendance, and student enthusiasm. The games replace dry lectures about physical geometry with fun activities. The class instruction platform is changed from lecture into cooperative learning.

Link to full text.

1. Hoit, M., Ohland, M., The Impact of a Discipline-Based Introduction to Engineering Course on Improving Retention, J. of Engin. Educ., Vol. 87, No. 1, Jan. 1998, pp. 79-85.
2. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., Smith, K. A., Maximizing Instruction Through Cooperative Learning, Prism, Feb. 1998, pp. 24-29.
3. US, Copyright Law of the United States of America, Title 17 of the US Code, Section 107, 1977 and as amended.