Microgames for Situated Learning: A Case Study in Interdependent Planning

Heide Lukosch, Shalini Kurapati, D Groen, Alexander Verbraeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
83 Downloads (Pure)


Background. Complex, dynamic systems require flexible workforces with skills and attitudes responding to the dynamic work environment. Traditional, formal classroom oriented learning approaches often do not sufficiently support the development of such skills and attitudes and do not provide situated learning activities. Aim and Method. We propose the concept of Microgames as an active, situated learning approach. A Microgame is a simulation game that can be played in a short time period and that starts from a specific problem in the organization defined by a problem owner. To illustrate the concept, we introduce a case study with a Microgame called Yard Crane Scheduler. Results. The study’s results indicate that the Microgame used in our study represented an engaging experiential experience. It was able to foster the awareness of the players for interdependent planning tasks. Due to its shortness, the game’s reality is somewhat limited. To compensate for this limitation, a structured debriefing phase enables players to exchange information on successful planning strategies, enhancing the learning experienceby a social learning activity. Conclusions. Microgames are a novel approach towards situated, experiential learning. Its limitations, mainly caused by the constrained time for game play, have to be taken into account when defining learning goals. Despite this limitation, the Yard Crane Scheduler Microgame has been evaluated as an engaging and valid tool. Further research will investigate distinct design decisions and learning effects associated with the concept of Microgames.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-367
Number of pages22
JournalSimulation & Gaming: an international journal of theory, design and research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • complex systems
  • container transportation
  • informal learning
  • Microgames
  • simulation games
  • situated learning


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