University of Oulu

Jääskä, E.; Aaltonen, K.; Kujala, J. Game-Based Learning in Project Sustainability Management Education. Sustainability 2021, 13, 8204.

Game-based learning in project sustainability management education

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Author: Jääskä, Elina1; Aaltonen, Kirsi1; Kujala, Jaakko1
Organizations: 1Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 8.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-06


Projects and project-based activities account for over 30% of the global GPD and act as significant vehicles in the transition towards a more sustainable future. Sustainability strategies are typically enacted and implemented through projects in project-based organisations and firms. Incorporating sustainability principles into the project, product, and service management processes with successful project decision making is a challenging task and requires new personnel competencies and skills. Project sustainability management education requires the embedding of sustainability principles into project management education in a purposeful, integrative, innovative, and seamless manner. One way to facilitate this process is educational games. Active and experiential teaching methods will enable learning and practising complex project management activities in a simulative environment and are challenging at the same time. To extend knowledge of designing and using educational games for project sustainability management education, we explore the development and use of a novel educational game solution called the Project Business Game. It provides students and teachers with a computer game environment and game-based learning solution in which project planning, stakeholder management, cost management, decision making, and risk management skills can be enhanced by means of experiential, situational, and problem-based learning. The use of the game was explored in the context of educating European students of ‘Junior Expert in Circular Economy’ on a blended learning course in spring 2021. Action design research was applied as a research method. The results describe the requirements and goals for the instruction and the game design process based on these needs and experiences of the implementation. The findings indicate the strong suitability of using game-based learning methods to teach project sustainability management and create positive student experiences of achieving learning goals and improving engagement.

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Series: Sustainability
ISSN: 2071-1050
ISSN-E: 2071-1050
ISSN-L: 2071-1050
Volume: 13
Issue: 15
Article number: 8204
DOI: 10.3390/su13158204
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: This research was funded by Business Finland, grant number 1648/31/2020 and the Ministry of Education Finland, grant number OKM/131/523/2019.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (