Project management training through serious games in MS Project environment

Matsangos DimitrisStudent: Dimitris Matsangos
Year: 2020
Affiliation: National Technical University of Athens
Level: Undergraduate
Thesis written in Greek


Title in Greek: Εκπαίδευση στη διοίκηση έργων μέσω παιγνίων σοβαρού σκοπού σε περιβάλλον MS Project


Abstract: Project management is an important part of the engineering and management education for many universities globally. Also, the successful completion of projects is vital for the majority of industries around the world. Along with the increasing importance of project management, projects have become more complex and their successful completion has become a difficult task. To cope with complexity, future project managers need to have the experience to apply their knowledge in the right situations. The application of serious games in project management education is a potential answer. The aim of this research is the development of an alternative way to teach project management by exploiting serious games.
Firstly, through an extensive literature review, the application and the effectiveness of serious games in project management education in comparison with the lectures is identified. Based on the findings, a new learning process which combines traditional learning methods with game-based learning methods is developed for teaching project management. The aim of the new learning process is the retention of knowledge in the long run and the collection of experiences from playing serious games that simulate real life projects. The part of game-based learning is implemented with the development of two case studies with gaming elements.
The case studies are developed in the Microsoft Project software environment. Each case study simulates the planning stage, the executing stage and the closing stage of a real project. Also, the case studies simulate a range of project knowledge areas such as the management of time, cost, quality and human resources, the risks' response and the application of different techniques for the reduction of projects' duration. The case studies give the freedom to the players to experiment with a series of different options in order to successfully complete the projects. Through this process students can understand the impact of their decisions in the successful completion of a project and gain valuable experiences.
Also, along with the development of the two case studies with gaming elements, an evaluation process of the students' performance is developed. Furthermore, the targets of each phase of the case studies and the grade system are specified. The evaluation process enables the monitoring of students' performance and the degree of the achieved targets. From the students' perspective, the grading system can give them motivation for further engagement. Through the evaluation process, the educators can easily identify the areas the students may not have understood.

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