Game-based learning of multi-cultural team competencies: The effects of playing BAFÁ BAFÁ on attitudes and skills of future engineers

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Abstract

Learning multi-cultural team competencies is important for engineering students to prepare for an increasingly global workspace. We evaluated the game BAFÁ BAFÁ with groups of Master students from varying engineering programmes using a mixed methods approach. The game experience of 118 participants was measured. These participants experienced the game overall positively, although difficulties to understand other players in the game triggered mild stress and confusion. 91respondents also completed questionnaires before and after the game about certain attitudes, skills, and values related to working with people from other cultures: willingness (attitude) and ability (skill) to understand those people; and appreciation (value) of working with them. We used paired t-tests and qualitative analysis to determine the game’s effectiveness: after playing the game the players’ willingness increased significantly (t(90) = 3.6, p=.001), but their ability to do so decreased
significantly (t(90) = 3.3, p=.001) and their appreciation remained constant (t(90) = 1.3, p=.195). The qualitative responses supported our quantitative results: after playing the BAFÁ BAFÁ game, players were more willing to understand people from other cultures. Moreover, players had become more aware of their own shortcomings in understanding people from other cultures. Finally, the learning effects were likely not caused by a test effect, since the appreciation (value) of working with people from other cultures had not increased after playing the game. We concluded that the BAFÁ BAFÁ game is a powerful instrument to embark upon teaching multi-cultural team skills, and therefore, to train more culturally aware engineers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSEFI 48th Annual Conference 'Engaging engineering education' proceedings
PublisherSEFI
Pages262-272
Number of pages1504
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-020-5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event48th SEFI Annual Conference of the European Society or Engineering Education (Virtual/online event) - Virtual/online event due to COVID-19, Netherlands
Duration: 20 Sep 202024 Sep 2020
https://www.sefi2020.eu/

Conference

Conference48th SEFI Annual Conference of the European Society or Engineering Education (Virtual/online event)
Abbreviated titleSEFI 2020
CountryNetherlands
Period20/09/2024/09/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • Intercultural learning
  • game-based learning
  • multi-cultural team work
  • persuasive games
  • mixed methods

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