Maritime Spatial Planning and coastal zone management in higher education : utilizing the msp challenge serious game

T Behrendt, M Ripken, Harald Warmelink, T Klenke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2021
EventInformatik 2021 : workshop BUIS-Tage : Betriebliche Umweltinformationssysteme - Online
Duration: 27 Sep 20211 Oct 2021


ConferenceInformatik 2021 : workshop BUIS-Tage : Betriebliche Umweltinformationssysteme
Internet address


  • simulation gaming
  • serious gaming
  • maritime spatial planning
  • marine spatial planning
  • planning support systems
  • digital twins
  • complexity
  • higher education


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