The Planning and Implementation of Computer-based Games for Project Risk Management Education: A Preliminary Case Study

David Baccarini
Jianhong Xia
G Caulfield


This paper reports the preliminary stages of an action research project for the design, development and assessment of a computer-based game for student learning about project risk management. A computer game was created through the use of systems dynamic software (Simsoft) incorporating a land development project. The game was played by final year undergraduate construction management students who had to make decisions in identifying, assessing and managing project risks. A survey of their experience found: that most students had not experienced this form of online educational game previously in their studies despite the ubiquity of information technology for learning purposes in the university sector; there was no strong support for the idea that the acquisition of knowledge was better compared to conventional learning through lectures and books; the computer-based experience was enjoyable thus indicating it drew them into the learning environment; and student testing found they had gained understanding of the project risk management process.

Full Text:



Becker, K. (2011). 'The Magic Bullet: A Tool For Assessing The Evaluating Learning Potential In Games.' International Journal Of Game-Based Learning. 1, 19 - 31.

Bloom, B.S., Masia, B.B. & Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy Of Educational Objectives: The Classification Of Educational Goals (Handbook I: Cognitive Domain Ed.), Longman London.

Burns R.B. (2000). Introduction To Research Methods, Longman, London

Caillois, R. (1961). Man, Play And Games (M. Barash, Trans.), Free Press Of Glencoe, New York.

Caulfield, C.W. (2011). Shall We Play A Game? Unpublished Phd Thesis, Edith Cowan University, Perth.

Caulfield., C.W., Veal, D. & Maj, S.P.(2011). 'Implementing System Dynamics Models In Java.' International Journal Of Computer Science And Network Security, 11, 43-49.

Feldman, H.D. (1995). 'Computer-Based Simulation Games: A Viable Educational Technique For Entrepreneurship Classes?' Simulation & Gaming, 26, 346 â 360.

Gredler, M.E. (2004). 'Games And Simulations And Their Relationships To Learning', In Handbook Of Research On Educational Communications And Technology, 2nd Edition, Ed., Jonassen, D.H., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers, New Jersey, Pp. 571 â 581.

Hays, R.T. (1989). Simulation Fidelity In Training System Design: Bridging The Gap Between Reality And Training. Springer-Verlag, New York.

Hubbard, D. W. (2009). The Failure Of Risk Management, Wiley, New Jersey.

Hung, D., Chen, V. And Lim, S. (2009). 'Unpacking The Hidden Efficacies Of Learning In Productive Failure.' Learning Inquiry, 3(1), 1 â 19.

Iso. (2009). Iso 31000: Risk Management â Principles And Guidelines, Geneva, Iso.

Knotts, U.S. & Keys, J.B. (1997). 'Teaching Strategic Management With A Business Game.' Simulation & Gaming, 28, 377 â 394.

Meadows, D.L. (1989). 'Gaming To Implement System Dynamics Models', In Computer-Based Management Of Complex System, Eds., P. M. Milling And E. O. K. Zahn Springer-Verlag Berlin, Pp. 635 â 640.

Michael, D. & Chen, S. (2005). Serious Games: Games That Educate, Train, And Inform, Thomson Course Technology Ptr, Boston.

Petranek, C.F. (1994). 'A Maturation In Experiential Learning: Principles Of Simulation And Gaming.' Simulation & Gaming, 25, 513 â 522.

Schrage, M. & Peters, T. (1999). Serious Play: How The World's Best Companies Simulate To Innovate, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

Standards Australia (2009). Risk Management. As/Nzs 31000:2009. Sydney, Nsw.

Suits, B. (2005). 'Construction Of A Definition', In The Game Design Reader, Eds., K. Salen & E. Zimmerman, The Mit Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Pp.172 â 191.



Share this article: