Effectiveness of Supply Chain Games in Problem-Based Learning Environment

  • Linda WilliamEmail author
  • Za’ Aba Bin Abdul Rahim
  • Liping Wu
  • Robert de Souza
Part of the Advances in Game-Based Learning book series (AGBL)


Serious game has been introduced as an interactive tool to support learning and training, including conducting a formative assessment. It aims to help the students to understand specific and complex concepts, such as Supply Chain Management (SCM) concepts. Although many recent studies have identified the benefits of using games in a variety of contexts, there are very limited works on the effectiveness of games as a formative assessment tool in Problem-Based Learning (PBL) environment. Hence, this chapter aims to evaluate this type of game for the PBL environment. The research model to evaluate the game’s effectiveness as a formative assessment tool in PBL environment is designed to consider two main criteria, namely: learning objective and game experience. Learning objective criterion aims to measure the impacts of games to initiate learning and formative assessment processes by (1) motivating the students to explore and expose themselves to new knowledge and skill independently and (2) enabling the students to conduct a self-assessment. While game experience criterion focuses on creating an enjoyable learning environment for voluntary learning. We use this research model to evaluate three digital Supply Chain games, namely: Beer Distribution game, ACE E-Commerce game and Disaster Relief game in PBL classrooms. The results show that these games improve students’ perceived learning by providing motivation and a positive learning experience.


Game-based assessment Problem-based learning Formative assessment Digital game Supply chain management 


  1. Abdul Jabbar, A., & Felicia, P. (2015). Gameplay engagement and learning in game-based learning: A systematic review. Review of Educational Research, 85(4), 740–779.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bell, B., & Cowie, B. (2001). The characteristics of formative assessment in science education. Science Education, 85, 536–553.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 5(1), 7–74.Google Scholar
  4. Bloom, B., Hastings, J., & Madaus, G. (1971). Handbook on the formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  5. Burguillo, J. (2010). Using game theory and competition-based learning to stimulate student motivation and performance. Computers & Education, 55(2), 566–575.Google Scholar
  6. Chen, F. A. (2000). The stationary beer game. Production and Operations Management, 9(1), 19–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. de Freitas, S. (2006). Learning in immersive worlds: A review of game-based learning. London: Joint Information Systems Committee.Google Scholar
  8. de Freitas, S., & Liarokapis, F. (2011). Serious Games: A New Paradigm for Education? In Serious Games and Edutainment Applications (pp. 9–21). London: Springer.Google Scholar
  9. de Souza, R., Lau, H., Goh, M., Lindawati, Ng, W., & Tan, P. (2016). Retail precinct management: A case of commercial decentralization in Singapore. Transportation Research Procedia, 12, 765–776.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. de Souza, R., William, L., Timperio, G., & Rahim, Z. B. (2018). Simulation-based serious gaming in humanitarian logistics. In Winter Simulation Conference 2018. Sweden.Google Scholar
  11. Delacruz, G. C. (2011). Games as formative assessment environments: Examining the impact of explanations of scoring and incentives on math learning, game performance, and help seeking. Los Angeles: CRESST Report 796. National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).Google Scholar
  12. Dolmans, D., De Grave, W., Wolfhagen, I., & van der Vleuten, C. (2005). Problem-based learning: Future challenges for educational practice and research. Medical Education, 39(7), 732–741.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hamari, J., Shernoff, D., Rowe, E., Coller, B., Asbell-Clarke, J., & Edwards, T. (2016). Challenging games help students learn: An empirical study on engagement, flow and immersion in game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 170–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Handfield-Jones, R., Nasmith, L., Steinert, Y., & Lawn, N. (1993). Creativity in medical education: The use of innovative techniques in clinical teaching. Medical Teacher, 15(1), 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heritage, M. (2007). Formative assessment: What do teachers need to know and do? Phi Delta Kappan, 89(2), 140–145.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hmelo-Silver, C. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Holweg, M., & Bicheno, J. (2002). Supply chain simulation - A tool for education, enhancement and endeavour. International Journal of Production Economics, 78(2), 163–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hooshyar, D., Ahmad, R., Yousefi, M., Fathi, M., Horng, S., & Lim, H. (2016). Applying an online game-based formative assessment in a flowchart-based intelligent tutoring system for improving problem-solving skills. Computers & Education, 94, 18–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hou, H. (2015). Integrating cluster and sequential analysis to explore learners’ flow and behavioral patterns in a simulation game with situated-learning context for science courses: A video-based process exploration. Computers in Human Behavior, 48, 424–435.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Howarth-Hockey, G., & Stride, P. (2002). Can medical education be fun as well as educational? British Medical Journal, 325, 1453–1454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. IJsselsteijn, W., de Kort, Y., & Poels, K. (2013). The game experience questionnaire. Eindhoven, Netherlands: Technische Universiteit Eindhoven.Google Scholar
  22. Jacobs, F. (2000). Playing the beer distribution game over the internet. Production and Operations Management, 9(1), 31–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kaminsky, P., & Simchi-Levi, D. (1998). A new computerized beer game: A tool for teaching the value of integrated supply chain management. Global Supply Chain and Technology Management, 1(1), 216–225.Google Scholar
  24. Keeley, P. (2015). Science formative assessment: 75 practical strategies for linking assessment, instruction and learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kelly, H. (2010). How games and simulations can help meet America’s challenges in science mathematics and technology education. In Serious game design and development: Technologies for training and learning (pp. 117–133). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kiili, K. (2005). Digital game-based learning: Towards an experiential gaming model. The Internet and higher education, 8(1), 13–24.Google Scholar
  27. Kiili, K. (2006). Evaluations of an experiential gaming model. Human Technology, 2(2), 187–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kim, B., Park, H., & Baek, Y. (2009). Not just fun, but serious strategies: Using meta-cognitive strategies in game-based learning. Computers & Education, 52(4), 800–810.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Knight, J., Carly, S., Tregunna, B., Jarvis, S., Smithies, R., de Freitas, S., … Dunwell, I. (2010). Serious gaming technology in major incident triage training: A pragmatic controlled trial. Resuscitation, 81(9), 1174–1179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kumar, D. (2000). Pedagogical dimensions of game playing. ACM Intelligence Magazine, 10(10), 9–10.Google Scholar
  31. Lindawati, Nugroho, E., Fredericco, R., Rahim, Z. B., & de Souza, R. (2017). ThinkLog: Interactive learning for supply chain management. In IEEE 6th International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (TALE). Hong Kong.Google Scholar
  32. Lindawati, Rahim, Z. B., & de Souza, R. (2018). Using Interactive Digital Gaming to Facilitate Learning in e-Commerce Logistics. Conference on The Fourteenth International Conference on eLearning for Knowledge-Based Society. Bangkok, Thailand.Google Scholar
  33. Liu, Y., Alexandrova, T., & Nakajima, T. (2011). Gamifying intelligent environments. In Proceedings of the 2011 International ACM Workshop on Ubiquitous Meta User Interfaces. Scottsdale, AZ.Google Scholar
  34. Ma, M., Oikonomou, A., & Jain, L. (2011). Innovations in serious games for future learning. In Serious games and edutainment applications (pp. 3–7). London, UK: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Muller, T., Müller, R., Zedel, K., Zomer, G., & Engler, M. (2015). Enhancing awareness on the benefits of supply chain visibility through serious gaming. In Conference on e-Business, e-Services and e-Society (pp. 503–512). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Orsmond, P., Merry, S., & Callaghan, A. (2004). Implementation of a formative assessment model incorporating peer and self‐assessment. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 41(3), 273–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Peat, M., & Franklin, S. (2002). Supporting student learning: The use of computer–based formative assessment modules. British Journal of Educational Technology, 33(5), 515–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Republic Polytechnic. (2019a). Author. Retrieved January 03, 2019, from
  39. Republic Polytechnic. (2019b). The RP experience. Author. Retrieved January 03, 2019, from
  40. Rieber, L. (1996). Seriously considering play: Designing interactive learning environments based on the blending of microworlds, simulations, and games. Educational Technology Research and Development, 44(2), 43–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Riedel, J., & Hauge, J. (2011). State of the art of serious games for business and industry. In 2011 17th International Conference on Concurrent Enterprising (ICE).Google Scholar
  42. Sadler, D. R. (1989). Formative assessment and the design of instructional systems. Instructional Science, 18(2), 119–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schmidt, H., Rotgans, J., & Yew, E. (2011). The process of problem-based learning: What works and why. Medical Education, 45(8), 792–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Shepard, L. A. (2005). Linking formative assessment to scaffolding. Educational Leadership, 63(3), 66–70.Google Scholar
  45. Shutte, V. (2008). Focus on formative feedback. Review of Educational Research, 78(1), 153–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Simchi-Levi, D., Simchi-Levi, E., & Kaminsky, P. (1999). Designing and managing the supply chain: Concepts, strategies, and cases. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  47. Sterman, J. (1989). Modeling managerial behavior: Misperceptions of feedback in a dynamic decision making experiment. Management Science, 35(3), 321–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Surgrue, B. (1995). A theory-based framework for assessing domain-specific problem solving ability. Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice, 14(3), 29–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2013). Emergency preparedness and performance measurement in humanitarian organizations in Asia. Singapore, Singapore: Author.Google Scholar
  50. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2014). Typhoon Yolanda relief response report. Singapore, Singapore: Author.Google Scholar
  51. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2015). Disaster relief supply chains: Addressing challenges in robustness and resilience to enable efficiency and effectiveness in humanitarian response. Singapore, Singapore: Author.Google Scholar
  52. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2016). E-commerce trends and challenges: A logistics and supply chain perspective. Singapore, Singapore: Author and National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
  53. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2017a, 11). Resource allocation and management in disaster relief - Innovative learning through serious games series. Singapore, Singapore: Author and National University of Singapore. Retrieved 12 26, 2018, from
  54. The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific. (2017b). Serious game video trailer. Retrieved December 26, 2018, from
  55. The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific. (2014). Challenges and opportunities in clustered urban logistics: The Jurong Gateway precinct. Singapore, Singapore: Author and National University of Singapore.Google Scholar
  56. Tsai, F. H., Tsai, C. C., & Lin, K. Y. (2015). The evaluation of different gaming modes and feedback types on game-based formative assessment in an online learning environment. Computers & Education, 81, 259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Van Staalduinen, J., & de Freitas, S. (2011). A game-based learning framework: Linking game design and learning. In M. Khine (Ed.), Learning to play: Exploring the future of education with video games (pp. 29–54). New York, NY: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  58. Wang, T. H. (2008). Web-based quiz-game-like formative assessment: Development and evaluation. Computers & Education, 51(3), 1247–1263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. William, L., Rahim, Z., Souza, R., Nugroho, E., & Fredericco, R. (2018). Extendable board game to facilitate learning in supply chain management. Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal, 3(4), 99–111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. William, L., Rahim, Z. B., Boo, I., & de Souza, R. (2018). Embedding mixed reality in humanitarian logistics gaming. In IEEE International Conference on Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering (IEEE TALE). Wollongong, NSW.Google Scholar
  61. Wisner, J., Tan, K., & Leong, G. (2014). Principles of supply chain management: A balanced approach. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  62. Yew, E., & Goh, K. (2016). Problem-Based Learning: An Overview of its Process and Impact on Learning. Health Professions Education, 2(2), 75–79.Google Scholar
  63. Yew, E., & O’Grady, G. (2012). One-day, one-problem at Republic Polytechnic. In One-day, one problem: An approach to problem-based learning (pp. 1–16). Singapore: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda William
    • 1
    Email author
  • Za’ Aba Bin Abdul Rahim
    • 2
  • Liping Wu
    • 3
  • Robert de Souza
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Informatics and IT, Temasek PolytechnicSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.The Logistics Institute – Asia Pacific, National University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.School of Engineering, Republic PolytechnicSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations