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Doctoral defence of Veruschka Pelser-Carstens, MA, 17.6.2022: Developing a serious game design framework for educational tabletop games with digital components

The doctoral dissertation in the field of Computer Science will be examined at the Faculty of Science and forestry, Joensuu Campus.

What is the topic of your doctoral research? Why is it important to study the topic?

I teach at the School of Accounting Sciences at the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North West University, South Africa. Program and curriculum outcomes are prescribed by our Professional Governing Bodies: The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and The South African Institute of Professional Accountants. These professional bodies argue that students are not equipped with the necessary skills as required in a professional workplace. The professional bodies request that lecturers have to instill the necessary skills in students as part of their teaching practices. They are however not prescriptive on how to implement same.

Through my readings and research, it became clear to me that serious games for educational use can fill the gap between the classroom and the boardroom. Thus, I have developed a framework for serious game design, for educational purposes, that can be utilized by novice lecturers who want to venture down the path of serious game design and use. The framework can be applied in different fields of study.

What are the key findings or observations of your doctoral research?

Key findings hold that the framework, as developed during my PhD journey, can be successfully utilized. I have drown upon the framework to design a serious game for accountancy education, at the School of Accounting, North West University. The serious game is known as LIIKE. No other serious game, like the Liike game, exists in South Africa for the teaching of Accountancy education.

How can the results of your doctoral research be utilised in practice?

Novice lecturers from different schools can use and adapt the framework for their own unique teaching needs and purposes. A group of lecturers (not from my School) at the North West University are already in the process to design a serious game which can simulate the workplace - this is done with my assistance. The serious game development falls under a newly developed area known as FEMS Inc. (FEMS = Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences).

What are the key research methods and materials used in your doctoral research?

(1) Literature review; (2) 6 Papers either published and or presented at conference; (3) Design Science Research and (4)  Different iterations and steps (processes of design) as brainstormed during different workshops

Is there something else about your doctoral dissertation you would like to share in the press release?

The School of computing at the University of Eastern Finland provided me with an opportunity to further my studies. They also provided me with the necessary guidance and assistance-help which was not available in South Africa.

The doctoral dissertation of Veruschka Pelser-Carstens, MA, entitled Developing a serious game design framework for educational tabletop games with digital components, will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The Opponent will be Associate Professor Teemu Leinonen, Aalto University, and the Custos will be Professor Markku Tukiainen, University of Eastern Finland. Language of the public defence is English.

For more information, please contact:

Veruschka Pelser-Carstens,, tel. +27 823472372