Collaborating in a Virtual Engineering Internship

August 22, 2011

Teamwork and collaboration are vital skills for students to master. Specially designed computer games, called ‘epistemic games,’ are modeled after professional practica. These epistemic games can help students build and practice the skills of professionals. A new paper by Cynthia D’Angelo and colleagues presents preliminary results from a virtual engineering internship, an epistemic game for introductory engineering undergraduates. The game helps build students’ skills in teamwork and collaboration while providing experiences relevant to engineering and design. After the internship, students reported a better understanding of what engineers do and about the practice of engineering. Students also made content learning gains.