Circular Economy at a European Junior Expert in Circular Economy course

Facts

  • Course: Junior Expert in Circular Economy, Business Sustainability Module
  • Stage of study: European students with diverse backgrounds specializing in Circular Economy 
  • Number of students: 20
  • Teaching mode: online

 Learning solution

Circular Economy

How it was used

  • The Circular Economy Game was used as a final, integrative assignment of the Business Sustainability Module. Students were provided with the basic information about design and building of a new production line based on circular economy thinking. They had to estimate the investment costs, calculate the budget for the project and conduct a project risk analysis. Information about the project set-up was also provided. After this, the design and building of the production line was simulated and students needed to make different decisions, manage unexpected events and monitor the progress of the project. They also had to take the project’s Circular Economy index into account in their decision making, as the value of the index impacted the profits that the production line would be able to generate when in operations. The objective of the players was to get the best financial, schedule, quality and circular economy results by completing a network of tasks given the cost of employees, purchased material and external resources The production line also had to be in five years in operations and its production efficiency and product quality directly influenced the generated revenue.
  • The students played the game in groups of 4-5 students (around 90 minutes). After this they engaged in preparing and presenting a game analysis which focused on the influence of the decisions they had taken, their rationales and the key learnings from the game.

Comments and experiences

The students valued the gaming experience and felt that it was an extremely good way to  learn some of the central ides of project management and circular economy thinking. The students also enjoyed the experience a lot and felt that it got them engaged with the teaching content as well as facilitated fruitful interaction among the students.

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    Project Management at Open University at the University of Oulu

    Facts

    • Course: Fundamentals of Project Management
    • Stage of study: Adult learners (with all kinds of backgrounds) 
    • Number of students: 120
    • Teaching mode: online

     Learning solution

    Building of a town house

    How it was used

    • The project business game was used as a final, integrative assignment of the Fundamentals of Project Management course that is part of the University of Oulu’s lifelong learning. Students were provided with the basic information about the town house project they had to manage. They were also provided with information related to the tasks of the project and cost of resources and personnel based on which they had to calculate the budget and schedule for the project. The project game was then played during which students needed to make decisions and monitor the progress of the project as well as make earned value analysis calculations to estimate the completion time and costs. Different unexpected events and risks also realized during the game. The objective of the player is to get the best financial, schedule and quality results by completing a network of tasks given the cost of employees, purchased material and external resources. A short video on the game mechanics was also provided as a pre-material. 
    • The students played the game individually (around 45 minutes/game) and could play the game as many times they wanted during a pre-determined period. The game was integrated to Moodle and the game results, which affected the course assessment were returned directly from the game to Moodle.

    Comments and experiences

    The project business simulation game was considered as a very engaging way to learn and apply the gained knowledge of project management in practice. Here is a comment from an adult student: 

    • The game illustrated what was learned very well and also tested the capability to apply knowledge better than other types of exercises. It required me to truly internalize the essential knowledge better than what for example a test would have demanded.  

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      Project Management at University of Oulu

      Facts

      • Course: Project Management (Industrial Engineering and Management degree)
      • Stage of study: 1st year of Bachelor’s studies 
      • Number of students: 310 
      • Teaching mode: online

       Learning solution

      Building of a town house

      How it was used

      • The project business game was used as a final, integrative assignment of the Project Management course. Students were provided with the basic information about the town house project they had to manage. They were also provided with information related to the tasks of the project and cost of resources and personnel based on which they had to calculate the budget and schedule for the project. The project game was then played during which students needed to make decisions and monitor the progress of the project as well as make earned value analysis calculations to estimate the completion time and costs. Different unexpected events and risks also realized during the game. The objective of the player is to get the best financial, schedule and quality results by completing a network of tasks given the cost of employees, purchased material and external resources. A short video on the game mechanics was also provided as a pre-material.  
      • The students played the game individually (around 45 minutes/game) and could play the game as many times they wanted during a pre-determined period. The game was integrated to Moodle and the game results, which affected the course assessment were returned directly from the game to Moodle.

      Comments and experiences

      The project business simulation game was considered as a very good way to learn about the key aspects of project management and to have the opportunity to apply the project management knowledge in practice. Here are a few students’ comments: 

      • I liked the project business game very much – it was really useful in testing and applying all the knowledge that I had gained during the course. 
      • The game really took my learning to the next level and supported me to learn how things are done in practice – it also provided a nice and different experience compared to the usual ways of teaching 

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        Product line investment at Aalto University

        Facts

        • Course: Diploma in project management (continuous education program at Aalto University)
        • Stage of study: Experience project managers / continuous education 
        • Number of students: 10 
        • Teaching mode: online

         Learning solution

        Production line investment project

        How it was used

        • Students were provided a simple project to learn game mechanics and one page information about the project.
        • During the classroom we briefly discussed about learning goals for the project, and additional brief introduction to game was provided to make sure that all students understood game mechanics.
        • Student were assigned in Zoom breakout rooms, and they played the game in pairs (one student was operator of the game and shared the screen with other student).
        • In the middle of game all player were taken to main session to provide a brief description of project status and their estimate of when project is completed and what is the final cost of the project.
        • In the de-briefing session focus was on different decision made during the project – and how they relate to learning goals. Experience project managers also provided insights from their real-life experiences. 

        Comments and experiences

        The project business simulation game provided different type of learning experience, which broke the normal lecture – discussion in groups – each group provide key insight from discussion cycle. 

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          Project Management at Utrecht University

          Facts

          • Course:  Operations Management (Fundamentals of Business and Economics master program)
          • Stage of study: 2nd year of a master’s program 
          • Number of students: 40 
          • Teaching mode: online/offline

           Learning solution

          Introduction to project schedule and resources management

          How it was used

          • For preparation, two simple projects were provided to learn game mechanics. By managing these simple projects, students learn how to assign resources, material, and personnel to the project. The simple projects played individually (5-10 minutes) with a short introduction of the critical path method beforehand. The objective of the game is to get the best financial results from a project by completing a network of tasks given the costs of employees, purchased material, and external resources.
          • The main game was played in groups of 3-4 students in one round (25 minutes) with a reflective session after the round and discussing the results. This discussion provides an opportunity for students to reflect on their decisions and recap the learning points.. 

          Comments and experiences

          The project business simulation game made a memorable learning experience that sticks to the student’s mind. It is an interesting way of keeping students motivated and teach them both simple and challenging concepts of project management. Simulations allow students to experiment with ideas and receive real-time feedback. 

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            Concurrent engineering at University of Agder

            Facts

            • Associate professor Magnus Hellström, University of Agder 
            • Course: IND514-G Project Business and Governance (part of a two year master program in industrial management and economics) 
            • Stage of study: 2nd year of a master’s program 
            • Number of students: 30 
            • Teaching mode: online 

             Learning solution

            Concurrent Engineering

            How it was used

            • The game was played in groups of 3-5 students in three rounds (a 10-20 minutes) with a short introduction before and a short reflective session after each round. 
            • No preparations were required from the students, but they were advised to read an article on managing information flows in a project. 

            Comments and experiences

            Student comment: In the lectures, we learned about concurrent engineering and through the project game we were able to experience the benefit of utilizing concurrent engineering and fast-tracking in through practical simulation of a realistic situation. The results of the game got better for each round and so did of understanding of the phenomenon. 

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