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2022 - A Cooperative and Competitive Serious Game for Operations and Supply Chain Management – Didactical Concept and Final Evaluation [Articolo su rivista]
Romagnoli, G.; Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Reverberi, D.

Abstract—In the last decades, Serious Games (SGs) have been implemented more and more in the engineering field, for both educational and professional purposes. The interest in digital SGs has increased even more in the last years of covid-19 pandemic, due to their location-independent availability and to the possibility to use SGs to apply theoretical knowledge and involve the users in a challenging way. Since the beginning of project Open Digital Laboratory For You (DigiLab4U) in October 2018, the University of Parma started to develop a brand-new SG with a strong focus on Operation and Supply Chain Management. The game has been studied as a multiplayer cooperative and competitive game which projects learners in a fictitious universe where multiple companies compete against each other in the same market. The realization of the game started from the definition of the didactical concept, underwent the user acceptance testing phases (alpha and beta tests) up until reach the release and the corresponding final evaluation feedback.

2022 - An Exploratory Research on Adaptability and Flexibility of a Serious Game in Operations and Supply Chain Management [Articolo su rivista]
Romagnoli, G.; Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Zammori, F.

Serious games (SGs) in industrial engineering education are an established topic, whose implementations are continuously growing. In particular, they are recognized as effective tools to teach and learn subjects like Operations and Supply Chain Management. The research on SGs, however, is primarily focused on displaying applications and teaching results of particular games to achieve given purposes. In this paper, we provide an exploratory research on the flexibility and adaptability of a specific SG to different target groups and students’ needs in the field of operations and supply chain management. We first provide an overview of the SG and introduce its mechanics. Next, we explain how the mechanics has been implemented, by means of a set of parameters and indicators. We report the results of two different game sessions, played by a class of bachelor’s degree students at different levels of difficulty, which were achieved by altering some specific game parameters. By comparing the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in the two sessions, we report and discuss the consequences of the modified game parameters, in terms of impact on the difficulty level of the SG measured by the indicators. Experimental results match with our hypothesis, since the increased level of difficulty of sourcing and delivery times only deteriorates the related subset of indicators in the harder game session, without altering the remaining KPIs.

2022 - Challenges and Solutions to Integrate Remote Laboratories in a Cross-University Network [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Adineh, H.; Galli, M.; Heinemann, B.; Hohner, N.; Mezzogori, D.; Ehlenz, M.; Uckelmann, D.

Location-independent networking of laboratory infrastructures is opening new possibilities for teaching and learning. In order to make full use of the possibilities it makes sense to form associations and use real, partly digitized and fully digital laboratories shared across locations. The connection of different laboratories with different equipment and different conditions confronts us with technical challenges. This article presents challenges, which are faced in an international project, as well as possible technical solutions and the way to our decision.

2022 - Including energy saving in planning and scheduling. A case study [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Bertolini, M.; Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Neroni, M.

Production processes consume more natural resources than is ecologically bearable, motivating environmental policies to emphasize the efficient consumption of renewable resources. A key issue in manufacturing is how to optimize processes to produce more with less energy, reducing overall costs and contributing to a green economy. Although most of the energy efficiency gains are achieved through more efficient machines and plants, a significant part of the energy savings can be achieved through optimized production and scheduling plans. Industrial companies plan their production considering many variables, but often neglect those related to energy availability and costs. This paper will address this issue through the design and test of an advanced planning and scheduling system for a manufacturing company. The planning and operation of energy-efficient production systems require the integration of the company's energy management systems and production scheduling, analysing the energy consumption behaviour of components and production processes, and designing optimization methods to deal with different scenarios. In particular, we will develop an optimization model for planning and scheduling operations based on the analysis of a combination of energy availability, costs and consumption patterns, and operational problems.

2022 - On the use of Serious Games in Operations Management: an investigation on connections between students' game performance and final evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Esposito, G.; Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Reverberi, D.; Romagnoli, G.

In last twenty years, interest in Serious Games has continuously raised, especially thanks to the technological improvement in computer science and virtual laboratories. A common objective of these games is to enhance practical skills of users by simulating realistic universes in which players could operate and learn. We present a study on the application of a Serious Game in an Operations Management course at the University of Parma. The game is designed as a web-based application replicating a realistic universe in which different e-bike producing companies compete, having a limited number of suppliers and customers. Each company is composed by different students, playing different roles within the company, and collaborating in order to take company strategical decisions. A KPI system has been implemented in order to best evaluate students' work during the game sessions. Also, a post-test has been submitted to students to better understand the perceptions they had towards the game. At the end of the courses, students received their final evaluation in Operations Management. The present paper has the objective to analyse (i) KPIs, (ii) game session duration, and (iii) post-test results, and look for a connection between the data analysed and the final evaluation gave to each student.

2021 - Experiencing the Role of Cooperation and Competition in Operations and Supply Chain Management with a Multiplayer Serious Game [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Reverberi, D.; Romagnoli, G.; Zammori, F.

We present an innovative, cooperative, and competitive multiplayer serious game, suited for the educational needs of supply chain and operation management post-graduate students. Hence, the objective is to satisfy the ever-increasing requirement of students to have the ability to experience and practice the theory learned in traditional ways, for active knowledge acquisition. To cope with such needs, we designed and implemented a multiplayer online serious game, that provides players with a realistic industrial experience, and teaches them how to take a whole range of day-to day and medium-term challenging decisions. Learners are divided into teams, each one representing an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), in every team the students will collaborate and will compete in the same market, and sharing a limited set of suppliers. To this aim they have to define a strategy to target the best market segmentation. Teachers have the possibility to investigate the decision patters of the learners, analyze KPIs and learning analytics, to better understand the learning process and guide the learners in their educational journey. By means of a preliminary questionnaire, the interest in using the serious game to study operation management was confirmed. In addition, the game was tested by a small group of students, who acknowledged the effectiveness of the game's dynamics as a tool to complement traditional teaching methods.

2020 - Digilab4u: General architecture for a network of labs [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Galli, M.; Mezzogori, D.; Reverberi, D.; Uckelmann, D.; Ustenko, M.; Volpi, A.

The paper presents the architecture designed to create a network of remote and virtual laboratories, to integrate and enhance them with new technologies and methods for lab-based education, within five universities inside the Open Digital Lab For You (DigiLab4U) project. Many factors lead to an increase in interest in networks of labs. The main ones aim on increasing the exploitation of laboratory equipment, together with the increasing necessity of practical experience in students’ careers. Lead by this necessity, the network developed an education environment with a strong focus on Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things. Moreover, its aim is the integration of new technologies and alternative teaching methods within the environment through an iterative approach. Compliant with these objectives and considering the standards available for such concepts, a new architecture of a network has been created based on the Industrial Reference Internet Architecture. With respect to these standards, the general architecture has been built as a client-server architecture composed of three elements: (i) Client, (ii) Web server, and (iii) Local server. We also took into consideration that the project aims to enlarge the network in the future, making it accessible from different institutions all over the world, to enable the learners to perform new experiments and enhance their skills. Besides, it enables the integration of technologies such as Serious Games and Learning Analytics, as they are becoming more and more widespread and necessary for teaching and assessing the students. To ease the understanding and the scalability of the network, three different points of view architecture has been proposed, by splitting and describing it into software, hardware, and logical perspectives.