Simulation-based Learning in Engineering Education:  Performance and Transfer in Learning Project Management

Parush, A., L. Davidovitz and A. Shtub, Journal of Engineering Education, October 2006, 289–299


         This paper reports empirical findings on the impact of keeping and reviewing learning history in a dynamic and interactive simulation environment of engineering education. The simulator for engineering project management had two learning history keeping modes: automatic (simulator-controlled) and manual (student controlled), and a version with no history keeping. A group of

industrial engineering students performed four simulation-runs divided into three identical simple scenarios (single project) and one complicated scenario (multi-project). The performances of participants running the simulation with the manual history mode were significantly better than users running the simulation

with the automatic history mode. Moreover, the effects of using the history mechanism with the ability to undo further enhanced the learning process. The findings imply that students’ decision when to record the history during their engineering training

process can have a particularly strong enhancing effect on learning. In addition, the simulator as educational innovation improves students learning and performance. The practical implications of using simulators in the field of engineering learning are discussed.

Keywords: learning history, project management, simulation-based learning