Computer Games: Potential Opportunities for Educating Master’s Students at the Iranian Universities

Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Urban planning, Art university of isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Urban planning, Art university of isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Geography and Urban Planning Department, Isfahan University,

10.22034/iepa.2020.233217.1171

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the potential power of teaching using urban simulation software such as the SimCity computer game for educating master’s students at Iranian Universities. This quasi-experimental study was conducted considering two groups: one control group and one experimental group, including a pre-test and a post-test design. The sample of the study consisted of 60 students of three public universities of Art (Tehran, Isfahan, and Yazd) in 2017-2018. Thirty master’s students in urban planning and urban design were selected from the population using a random sampling method and were randomly divided into two groups: one experimental group and one control group (30 participants in each). The pre-test and the post-test included the Torrance test in creativity with Abedi's questionnaire and the open-ended and close-ended "workshop course learning skills" questionnaires were distributed in both groups. The experimental group was trained by the SimCity computer game, while the control group received normal classroom training. The pre-test and post-test results were analyzed using the IBM SPSS, and the inferential statistics in the form of the Pearson correlation, the Analysis of Covariance, and independent samples t-test were investigated. Findings showed that the SimCity positively improved the participants’ skills of learning workshop courses in the aforesaid fields, and increased their overall scores. Regarding the components of the learning skills in this course, it improved problem-solving and the planning skills of the students. However, the status of these components did not considerably improve the creativity and systems thinking of postgraduate students.

Keywords