Document Type : Original Article


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,


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.


Abdel-Maksoud, N.F. (2018). When virtual becomes better than real: investigating the impact of a networking simulation on learning and motivation. International Journal of Education and Practice, 6(4), 253-270.
Abili, L., Naranji Thani, F., & Mostafavi, Z. (2018). Evaluation of teaching and learning system in e-higher education: a case study of the Campus of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Tehran. Education Technology, 13(1), 293-308.
Alkan, A., & Mertol, H. (2019). Teacher candidates' state of using digital educational games. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education, 8(2), 344-350.
Amini, A. (2010). Analysis of the educational barriers to the demonstration of creativity in elementary school students from the viewpoint of the elementary school teachers of Halilal Education Department in Ilam Province (2009-2010 academic year).
Asadi, N. (2008). Creativity in making games in training. Tehran, Abed Publications.
McCarty, C. T. (2001). Playing with computer games: An exploration of computer game simulations and learning. Master’s thesis, University of London.
Doran, B. (2012). Educational games. The Iranian Curriculum Encyclopedia, 5, 7-17.
Farhoudi, H. (2008). Investigating the effect of using computer educational games on increasing the creative of third-grade primary school children. The First National Conference on Creativity, TRIZ   and Engineering and Innovation Management in Iran. Retrieved from
Epperly, T. H. (2008). An introduction to video and computer games. Kothari, M. (Ed.). Tehran, Salman Publications.
Forsyth, C.M., Graesser, A.C. Pavlik, P., CAI, Z., Butler, H., Halpern, D.F., & Millis, K. (2013). Methods, mystery and mixed models: discourse features predict affect in a serious game. Journal of Educational Data Mining: Special Issue on Motivation, Meta-cognition, and Self-regulated Learning.
Gaber, J. (2007). Simulating planning: SimCity as a pedagogical tool. Journal of Planning Education and Research,27, 113-121. Retrieved November 20, 2018 from
 Gage, N.L. (2016). Paradigms for research on teaching. In N.L. Gage (Ed.), Handbook of research of teaching (pp. 94-141). Rand McNally.
Garris, R., Ahlers, R., & Driskell, J. (2002). Games, motivation, and learning: A research and practice model. Simulation and Gaming, 33(4), 441–67.
Presco, J., & Bogg, I. (2011). Segregation in a male-dominated industry: Women working in the computer games industry. In L., Hjorth (Ed.), Games and gaming: an introduction to new media. New York,  Berg Publishers.
Hung, D. (2002). Situated cognition and problem-based learning: Implications for learning and  instruction with technology. Journal of Interactive Learning Research. 13(4), 393-415.
Jackson, L. J. (2012). The relationship between videogame playing and creativity: why videogame playing increases creativity and its potential for increasing other desirable cognitive as well as social  outcomes. In G., Green & C. James Kaufman, (Eds.),Videogames and creativity. Academic Press.
Kryzwinska, T. (2017). Hands-on horror. In G. King & T. Kryzwinska (Eds.), Screen play: cinema/videogame/ interfaces (p. 207). Wallflower Press.
Lauwaert, M. (2013). Challenge everything? Journal of Games and Culture, 2(3), 194-203. Retrieved from
Malone, T. W. (2018). Toward a theory of intrinsically motivating instruction. Cognitive Science, 5(4), 333-369.
Mallory, J. (2012). SimCity building into your personal life. Joystick.
Maxis. (2001). SimCity: The city simulator. User documentation. Walnut Creek, CA.
Momeni Mahmoui, H., Pakdaman, M., & Lari, M. (2012). The effect of software (wiki wiki) on creativity and academic achievement in mathematics. Information and Communication Technology   in Educational Sciences, 3(2), 143-127.
Ogheneakoke, C.E., Obro, S. & Benike, J. (2019). In search of a more effective strategy: using simulationgames instructional strategy for the teaching and learning of social studies in secondary school. Journal of International Social Studies, 9(1), 53-71.
Pauline-Graf, D., & Mandel, S.E. (2019). Defining preliminary research for digital game-based learning evaluation: best practices. International Journal of Educational Methodology, 5(4), 623-635.
Phillips, T. (2012). SimCity release date set in stone News Retrieved on October 24.
Pirkhaefi, A. (1997). Is creativity teachable? Hamshahri Newspaper.
Razaviyeh, A. (2011). Research methods in behavioral and educational sciences. Shiraz, Shiraz University Press.
Sa’atchi, M., Kamkari, K., & Asgaria, M. (2010). Psychological tests. Tehran, Virayesh Publications.
Salen, K., & Zimmerman, E. (2004). Rules of play: Game design fundamentals. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press.
Sarbolan, K. (1398). Evaluating the effectiveness of e-learning method in creating satisfaction among student  of the Islamic Azad University of Northwest Iran. Education Technology, 14(1), 349-360.
Sattari, S., & Mohammadi, P. (1390). Investigating the relationship between the use of information technology and success Educational for high school students. Information and Communication Technology in Educational Sciences, 1(4), 96-81.
Schon, D.A., & Argyris, C. (2003). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Addison-Wesley Reading, MA.
Seyf, A. (2004). Educational psychology. Tehran, Agah Press.
Starr, P. (1994). Seductions of Sim: Policy as simulation game. The American Prospect, 5, 17-28.
Sundre, D. L., & Wise, S. L. (2003). Motivation filtering: An exploration of the impact of low examinee motivation on the psychometric quality of tests [Paper presentation]. National Council on Measurement in Education, Chicago, IL.
Wilson, J. (1990). The SimCity planning commission handbook. McGraw-Hill, Berkeley, CA.
Zameni, F., & Kardan, S. (1389). The effect of using information and communication technology in learning mathematics. Information and Communication Technology in Educational Sciences, 1(1), 38-23.
Zeynouldini Meymand, Z. (2011). Curriculum development process. Kerman, Islamic Azad University publications.