onsdag 18 maj 2016

Patterns of Engagement - Playing Gasuco in the classroom


We just submitted a paper to the 8th Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD), a conference that sits at the intersection of 1) engineering educations, 2) sustainability and 3) pedagogics (teaching). Our paper treats our use of the game Gasuco in our course om Media Technology and Sustainbility. Our paper is called "Patterns of Engagement: Using a board game as a tool to address sustainability in engineering educations" and the paper is written together with my colleagues Björn Hedin and Elina Eriksson.

Me and Elina have given our course for four years and we have used Gasuco in the course during the last three years. I have written about Gasuco several times on the blog, but have up until now referred to it by it's former name, Carbonopoly.

We are really happy about the results of using Gasuco in our course and we are especially happy about the game's Discussion cards - which play a prominent role also in our paper. Here are four examples of discussion cards:

The Discussion cards are also the main stars in the paper's concluding discussion:

"While it is possible to play the game competitively (there is a scoring systems), it is much more common for students to use the game as a scaffold for discussions, often flaunting the guidelines for time use, for example discussing a topic that catches their interest for five minutes instead of the allotted one or three minutes for Opportunity cards and Discussion Cards respectively. In the spirit of not playing competitively, we have also noticed that it is unusual for students to flunk other students in their role as discussion leaders. It seems to be more common for students to admit that they didn’t know very much about a topic and that they themselves feel they are not “worth” winning the card in question. While students thus can blatantly disregard the formal rules of the game, no one is happier about it than us teachers."

I think the paper is quite good and I therefore assume it will be accepted to the conference. That would mean that would for sure attend the conference and present the paper in Bruges, Belgium in the beginning of September. I have attended two EESD conferences before; 2010 in Gothenburg and 2013 in Cambridge and they were both really nice. Below is the paper abstract:


The Global Dimension in Engineering Education (GDEE) refers to all non-technical topics that will impact the engineering profession at a global level over the next couple of decades. As teachers at a Media Technology engineering programme at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, School of Computer Science and Communication, we have definitely felt that substantial amounts of ingenuity is required to make students interested in such topics, since many of the students regard them as non- central or of little interest when compared to their (non-GDEE) “core” interests, skills and aspirations.

We here describe how we have worked to overcome students’ (potential) aversion to one particular GDEE topic, sustainability, by incorporating a board game, Gasuco, into the introductory module of a course about “Media Technology and Sustainability”. We describe and analyse our use of the game in terms of “pedagogical patterns for learning” (Laudrillard, 2012).


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