Using a board game to teach about sustainable development

Jen Che Tsai, Shiang Yao Liu*, Chun Yen Chang*, Shih Yeh Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Examining and developing courses of education for sustainable development (ESD) is the goal of this study. Building on the theory of game-based learning, this study develops teaching strate-gies that employ board games for ESD. The design context of the board game, entitled “Be Blessed Taiwan”, is situated in the dilemma between biological conservation and economic development. It incorporates four core systemic concepts: the economy, policies, society, and ecology. Students from two high schools played the game for 200 min and 400 min, respectively (100 min per week). The study collected complete pre-game and post-game data from 34 high school students, including the test of scientific concepts, interviews, and gameplay results. The research results indicate that students’ test scores significantly increased after the gameplay with a medium effect size; specifically, a large effect on the dimension of biodiversity concepts and a medium effect on the dimension of biological conservation concepts. The analysis of students’ gameplay results shows the difficulty for high-school students to achieve all four ESD goals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4942
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


  • Board game
  • Board game teaching
  • Board games for ESD
  • Education for sustainable development (ESD)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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