University of Oulu

Elina Jääskä, Jaakko Kujala & Kirsi Aaltonen (2023) A game-based learning method to teach project management – the case of the earned value management, Cogent Education, 10:2, DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2023.2264035

A game-based learning method to teach project management : the case of the earned value management

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Author: Jääskä, Elina1; Kujala, Jaakko1; Aaltonen, Kirsi1
Organizations: 1Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-18


The earned value management (EVM) is a project management method for monitoring and controlling project expenditure and progress. Teaching EVM is challenging as the method may appear theoretical, mathematical, and disconnected from the uncertainty of real-life projects. Educational games have been suggested as one method to influence students’ motivation and to teach relevant skills with practice-based and intriguing approaches. This study examines how educational games can be used to teach complex project management phenomena. The research process of this study follows a one-group, posttest-only, quasi-experimental design. We conducted a quasi-experiment using an educational game and related learning activities designed to teach EVM to 39 university students. As part of the experiment the students wrote reflective essays of their perceptions and learning experiences, which were analyzed using qualitative content analysis methods. This data was complemented by students’ feedback survey regarding the achievement of learning outcomes and presented as summative descriptive statistics. Our findings indicate that GBL methods are suitable for teaching and learning EVM, because they prepare learners to deal with project uncertainty, provide challenges and also repetition. Our findings indicate that learners’ holistic project management understanding and skills improved, because the GBL solution demonstrated the importance of managing unexpected events, re-planning the project and making evidence-based decisions. This study provides new knowledge on how game-based learning (GBL) can be applied to teach and learn project management methods such as EVM.

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Series: Cogent education
ISSN: 2331-186X
ISSN-E: 2331-186X
ISSN-L: 2331-186X
Volume: 10
Issue: 2
Article number: 2264035
DOI: 10.1080/2331186X.2023.2264035
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.