Cocoa-Chocolate Supply Chain Educational Board Game Design

Ye Zhao, Purdue University


This research provided educators a systematic review of the gaming elements that needed to be utilized while designing an educational board game. This thesis provided an example of implementing the design methodology, developing an educational game designed to address the Hockey-stick phenomena demand pattern within a cocoa-chocolate supply chain. The Cocoa-Chocolate Supply Chain Educational game design was validated through a retrospective survey to support the methodology. Furthermore, recommendations were listed at the end of this thesis to support future research. By playing the cocoa-chocolate supply chain game, the students learned more about the hockey-stick phenomena which has been absent from much of the discussion of demand variability. This game provided students with a deeper understanding of the real-world problems of the cocoa-chocolate supply chain, and prepare them for responding to such problems by simulating the risks and frustrations caused by the hockey-stick demand variability phenomena (Sparling, 2015). By using an educational game to deliver the knowledge outcomes, the students were actively involved in the learning process and gained deeper knowledge (Balasubramanian& Wilson, 2005). This research not only filled the knowledge gap of hockey-stick phenomena in supply chain education, but also provided the researchers and educators with a more systematic and comprehensive way to design an educational board game. This research combined and modified some of the existing design methods, and provided a new perspective of how to design educational board game.




Schmidt, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

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