'All They Do Is Win': Lessons learned from use of a serious game for Circular Economy education
Journal article, 2018
This paper aims to explore how Circular Economy (CE) can be taught in higher education through the use of a serious game, In the Loop. Despite the growing literature base related to CE, academic reflection on education for CE is currently limited. In the Loop was developed to provide an experiential learning situation for educating about material scarcity and CE. This study reflects on the use of the game with engineering students pursuing higher education. Seventy-one reflections, written after students played the game, were qualitatively coded through the use of a-priori coding. This paper presents the findings from analysis of five themes: Gameplay, Systems Thinking, Material Criticality, Realism/Real World Connection, and Suggestions for Change (to the game). Use of the game encouraged students to think holistically and reflect on material scarcity. Students highlighted the importance of adopting strategies, including CE, to address resource challenges, with many reflecting on how their own actions and abilities could play a role. Moreover, the study suggests In the Loop has broad relevance in education related to resource management practices and confirms previous research on the benefits of games as boundary objects to facilitate systems thinking.