Design and evaluation of the project and program crashing games

David Rumeser (Program Management Office (PMO), PT. Pelabuhan Indonesia II, Jakarta, Indonesia)
Margaret Emsley (School of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 14 June 2018



The purpose of this paper is to help project management (PM) game designers and educators in simulating complexity in PM games and in assessing the effect of simulated project complexity levels on students’ learning experience. To achieve this aim, the authors attempt to design and evaluate two computer-based project crashing games (PCGs) with different complexity levels, namely project crashing game (PCG) and program crashing game (PgCG).


A literature review is conducted to identify serious games design principles. These principles are then manifested in the design of PCG and PgCG. The latter is a more complex version of the first. Students’ reaction after playing both games are then analyzed quantitatively.


The authors discover that students’ learning experience is affected by how complex the simulated project is. The more complex the project is (i.e. as in the PgCG), the more realistic the game is perceived. Nevertheless, the authors also discover that the less complex game (PCG) offers significant value to students, particularly to teach basic PM principles to those with minimum or no practical experience. This game is perceived as better in increasing students’ learning confidence as its content is perceived as more relevant to their existing knowledge.


The authors adopt a project complexity perspective when designing and evaluating the games.



Rumeser, D. and Emsley, M. (2018), "Design and evaluation of the project and program crashing games", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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