Incorporating the Flood Resilience Challenge Game into the Engineering Curriculum


Evalyna Bogdan Profile Picture
Daniel Henstra Profile Picture
Nadine Ibrahim Profile Picture









People playing Flood Resilience Game
Flood Resilience Gameboard

Grant Recipients

Daniel Henstra, Political Science

Evalyna Bogdan, Political Science

Nadine Ibrahim, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Heather Murdock (Research Associate)

Shaieree Cottar (Research Associate)

Sina Golchi (Research Associate)

(Project Timeline: May 2021 - April 2022)


  • This LITE research project will investigate the effectiveness of a Flood Resilience Challenge (FRC) game as an online teaching and learning tool in the context of a large classroom of over 100 students, including multiple disciplines, and the University of Waterloo learning environment.
    • The FRC game has been proposed for a third-year engineering course, where students will get the opportunity to explore the complexities of flooding issues, and enhance their interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Flooding is one of Canada’s costliest and most frequent disasters, however, traditional engineering approaches do not adequately address flooding problems. Engineering students lack sufficient training for understanding complex socio-environmental problems and have limited opportunities to gain skills in working collaboratively to address such problems.

Question Investigated

  • How effective is the online FRC game as a teaching and learning tool in a large versus small class and across multiple disciplines?
    • Investigate the effectiveness of the FRC in promoting experiential learning.   

    • Conduct a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of the online FRC game in a small classroom (20 students) and a large classroom (100+ students).  

    • Conduct a comparative analysis of the effectiveness of the online and face-to-face versions of the FRC game.

      • Applicants were unable to meet this research objective due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Many of the differences between the small and large classroom were related to logistics of incorporating and running the game which is discussed in the University of Waterloo Teaching & Learning Conference in May 2022. 
  • Brock students were initially more confident than UW students on several measures but then less confident post-game survey, likely because they realized the complexity of the flooding issues.
    • UW engineering students made more comments about the FRM measures than Brock water management students (e.g., would be helpful to know the effectiveness of each type of FRM measure such as how far the protection extends etc.; frustration with some of their peers not having read up on the FRM measures).
  • We conclude that the FRC game is successful in building capacity in flood risk governance by increasing understanding of flooding issues and stimulating discussion. The FRC game can be played in any course on complex socio-environmental problems because the learnings related to complexity, collaboration, conflict, and communication apply to a range of issues.
    • For more details, see Appendix 1.

Dissemination and Impact

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Appendix 1

Appendix 2


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