More than just a game: the role of simulation in the teaching of product design and entrepreneurship to mechanical engineering students
Costello, Gabriel J.
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The purpose of this work is to contribute to the debate on the best pedagogical approach to developing undergraduate mechanical engineering skills to meet the requirements of contemporary complex working environments. The paper provides an example of using student-entrepreneur collaboration in the teaching of modules to Mechanical Engineering final year students. Problem-based learning (PBL) is one of the most significant recent innovations in the area of education for the professions. This work proposes to make an original contribution by simulating a real-life entrepreneur interaction for the students. The current literature largely confines simulation-based learning to computer applications such as games. However, this paper argues that role-playing by students interfacing with technology start-ups can also be regarded as “simulation” in a wider sense. Consequently the paper proposes the concept of simulation-action learning (SAL) as an enhancement of PBL and to distinguish it from computer simulation.
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