Daniel D. Burkey, Ph.D.
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education and Diversity University Teaching Fellow
University of Connecticut
Game-Based and Game-Inspired Approaches to Engineering Education Across the Curriculum
Abstract: Game-based educational techniques can be an interesting and novel approach to active learning in engineering courses. Because games often exist within their own rule sets, they can allow students to explore scenarios and make choices that they wouldn’t otherwise make because they are appropriate within the context and the rules of the game. In this talk, we discuss two different projects involving game-based learning. In the first, we explore multiple game-based approaches to teaching engineering ethics to freshmen engineering students in a multidisciplinary setting. At the beginning of the semester, students are given a baseline survey to quantify the sophistication of their ethical reasoning. Over the course of the semester, different game-based interventions are given to the students, and the survey instrument again is used to determine any changes in their ethical reasoning. The game-based interventions by their nature allow students to explore ethical reasoning in the context of behavioral ethics. In the second project, we discuss the development and use of a digital video game to teach process safety to senior chemical engineering students. Our research team developed a survey instrument to gauge the sophistication of student thinking about process safety. Students completing the survey instrument and then completing similar scenarios in the game show statistically significant differences in the types of responses they make, indicating that different reasoning modes may be activated by the game due to its more authentic and realistic portrayal of the material.
Bio: Daniel D. Burkey is the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education and Diversity, Professor-in-Residence in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and a University Teaching Fellow at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Burkey holds his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and his M.S.C.E.P. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to UConn, he held positions at Northeastern University and at GVD Corporation in Cambridge, MA. Since joining UConn in 2010, Dr. Burkey’s area of research has focused broadly on engineering education, and specifically on moral and ethical development of engineering students, process safety education, and game-based and game-inspired educational techniques. Dr. Burkey serves as a Director of the Education Division of AIChE, where is responsible for running the Future Faculty Mentoring Program. He is a past program chair of the ASEE Chemical Engineering Division, and serves on the publications board ofChemical Engineering Education. In 2020, he was inducted into the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE) for his contributions to engineering education in the state. In addition to his many teaching awards, Dr. Burkey is also the recipient of the 2020 AICHE Education Division Innovation Award for his contributions to new pedagogies in chemical engineering education.
Department of Chemical Engineering