Engineering isn’t all fun and games. But thanks to a new workshop developed by Miami CEC faculty, this year’s KEEN workshop will introduce engineering educators to the power of learning through play.
KEEN is a network of colleges and universities that aims to train engineers to have an Entrepreneurial Mindset (EM). Each year, engineering educators in the KEEN network gather to learn new ways to engage engineering students with this powerful mindset.
This year, for the first time, a Miami CEC-led workshop will be part of the annual KEEN conference. The workshop, which is titled “Let's Play: Faculty Teaching Development through Board Games,” will illuminate the benefits of using board games to experientially convey the Entrepreneurial Mindset, while simultaneously allowing seasoned educators to experience what it’s like to learn something for the first time. By reintroducing educators to the experience of being a first-time learner, this workshop aims to transform educational methods for better teaching in the engineering field.
Peter Jamieson, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Eric Rapos, adjunct professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering, collaborated on the creation of the workshop, which will include time playing three separate board games and reflection on the experience.
“The workshop embodies the 3Cs of the KEEN Entrepreneurial Mindset,” explained Eric Rapos, “by promoting curiosity through non-traditional learning mediums, establishing connections between like-minded participants, and creating value for participants via the skills they will take away.”
The workshop’s approach is derived from the Let’s Play initiative spearheaded at Miami University.
What is Let’s Play?
Started in 2022 with support from Miami University’s Center for Teaching Excellence, Let’s Play is an initiative designed by Peter Jamieson and Eric Rapos to develop a deeper understanding of how board games can experience ideas related to better teaching. The initiative is centered on the idea that board games are an ideal system in which teachers can experience what it’s like to be a learner again.
Currently, Let's Play is being incorporated in Faculty Development within CEC, with Peter Jamieson, Eric Rapos, and Karen Davis (Professor of Computer Science and Software Engineering) sharing facilitator roles for the 2023-2024 academic year. Peter Jamieson and Eric Rapos, along with Nathaniel Bryan, published a paper at ASEE in summer 2023 which looked into measuring the impact of the approach.
“The Let's Play initiative is a great example of CEC faculty excellence in innovative and student-centered teaching,” said Jessica Sparks, associate dean and professor at Miami CEC. “I'm thrilled that Dr. Jamieson and Dr. Rapos have the opportunity to share this initiative with the wider KEEN community of engineering and computing educators from across the nation.”
Visit this page to learn more about Let’s Play, its funding sources, and how to get involved.