Autori: J. Papathanasiou, S. Armenia, A. Pompei, R. Scolozzi, F. Barnabè, G. Tsaples

Editore: ICERI

Tipologia Prodotto: Contributo in Atti di convegno

DOI: 10.21125/iceri.2019.1313

Titolo convegno: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation

Codice ISSN: 2340-1095, ISBN: 978-84-09-14755-7

Anno di Pubblicazione: 2019



Sustainability and sustainable development have been recognized as the major challenges of the 21st century and to achieve this objective there is the need to think of education not as the traditional, analytic way of transferring knowledge, but as an experience that is centred on the student. Its purpose is to assist them in acquiring the necessary skills to constantly assess the environment, operate and adapt to it through a continuous and iterative process of revision from their frame of reference and finally equip them with the necessary material/tools that will help them comprehend and tackle complexity. The objective of the current paper is to present an effort in the context of an E+ project on Higher Education to use serious games as a means to teach sustainability. To achieve the objective a board game will be designed and developed that will utilize the principles of Systems Thinking for the game mechanisms and design. A systems thinking perspective implies the existence of interconnected elements to fulfill a function or a purpose over time. Those elements can be of physical or information composition. Modelling the system under study in this way allows policy-makers to make decisions based on scientific analysis of future scenarios and provide them with a supporting tool that could be used in synergy while planning and defining policies to get economic and socio-environmental benefits. Causal Loop Diagrams (CLD) are qualitative representations of the system under study and illustrate in a clear manner the causal relations among the various elements. Furthermore, they can illustrate the feedback loops and non linearities that may be present in the system and give rise to dynamic behavior. The SUSTAIN CLD is composed by different variables, that represent areas of interestin a general modern urban system. The model, in fact, considers general aspects as GDP and population, as well as environment, transport, urban planning and waste and water management. As the CLD will be the basis for the future development of the game, the core of the model is represented by the most important parameter for deciding who will win the game, i.e. the Attractiveness of city. This variable is the synthesis of multiple variables that belong to many aspects of the urban system, defining the “wellbeing” of the population who lives in it. The most important effect due to variations in Attractiveness of city is a variation of the number of people who lives in the city; this generates many impacts on different urban levels, trigger in gas many feedback loops. In fact, the majority of feedback loops we identified passes through the “Population” variable. It’skind of natural that this happens as, in the end, urban systems exist because of its inhabitants, indeed. The most important feedback loops were identified and then divided into three main groups. The first group is composed by loops belonging to the “core” of the model, that is the relation between population, GDP and Industries and Services. The second group is composed by loops which belong to the “environmental” part of the model. The last loop describes how traffic congestion has effect on usage of public transport and, in turns, effects on pollution. The next steps of the research include the development of a quantitative model and the translation of the model’s variable to mechanisms and elements of a board game.

Keywords: systems thinking, sustainability, sustainable literacy, game-based learning.

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