This paper presents our experience using the popular game FarmVille by Zynga® to teach the fundamentals of linear programming and integer programming concepts to undergraduate students in an introductory operations research course. FarmVille is a popular game within the social networking website Facebook®. A month-long contest was introduced amongst the students with the goal to be the best individual farmer by striving to reach high levels of revenue, experience, and aesthetic appeal of their own unique farm. The contest is to demonstrate the concepts of problem formulation, solution methods, multiple and competing objectives, implementation of policy, and reformulation. The students were surveyed at the beginning of the semester to gain insight into their perceptions of the course. The students were also surveyed regarding the "FarmVille Challenge," to gauge the effectiveness of the pedagogy and students' opinions of the hand on approach. The paper demonstrates through surveyed results that the students favored this instruction. The students surveyed agree that this was an engaging and thought provoking exercise and saw the true application of multiple key fundamentals of operations research.
I. Guardiola et al., "Using Social Networking Game to Teach Operations Research and Management Science Fundamental Concepts," Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada), American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), Jan 2011.
ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition (2011: Jun. 26-29; Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Engineering Management and Systems Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Facebook; Gain insight; Problem formulation; Programming concepts; Solution methods; Undergraduate students; Engineering education; Integer programming; Management science; Research; Surveys; Teaching; Students
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Article - Conference proceedings
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