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Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Higher Education: Utilizing the MSP Challenge Serious Game

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Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn


Digitalization is gaining increasing attention in Higher Education (HE). The integration of digital tools into instructional settings is particularly challenging, However, it offers many opportunities to improve the learning process of students, especially in interdisciplinary teaching scenarios such as teaching sustainable usage of space and resources i.e. for the coastal zones and the marine areas. Worldwide, Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) are much needed approaches to manage and organize the increasing use of the sea and coastal areas. Both are complex fields that are attracting more and more attention in interdisciplinary HE. Correspondingly designed, the module ‘Planning and Management of Coastal Zones and Sea Basins’ at the University of Oldenburg, Germany, provides a case for integrating digital tools into HE. In 2020, the digital serious game ‘MSP Challenge´ was used in an online learning format. This interactive and collaborative tool supports informed decision making based on real and simulated data, comparable to business (decision) processes based on environmental information systems (EIS). Therefore, the MSP Challenge game fosters not only the understanding of the complex topic but additionally methodological skills which can be transferred to the usage EIS. While playing, students become able to (1) evaluate and simulate impacts of uses on coastal and marine environments, (2) describe the main interactions in ecosystems, (3) conceptualize information for sectoral or integrated MSP and (4) reflect on the role and use of data. In the presented case master students studying “Water and Coastal Management” participated in the module. Moreover, the digital serious game and the interdisciplinary topics of MSP and ICZM provides additional opportunities to explore subtopics (e.g. IT-related) from other disciplinary perspectives.


Behrendt, Tanja; Ripken, Malena; Warmelink, Harald; Klenke; Thomas (2021): Maritime Spatial Planning and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Higher Education: Utilizing the MSP Challenge Serious Game. INFORMATIK 2021. DOI: 10.18420/informatik2021-004. Gesellschaft für Informatik, Bonn. PISSN: 1617-5468. ISBN: 978-3-88579-708-1. pp. 67-77. Workshop: Betriebliche Umweltinformationssysteme (BUIS). Berlin. 27. September - 1. Oktober 2021