Teaching Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) in a Supply Chain Context: A Paper Football In-Class Activity


Content Areas, Experimental Learning, Games, Simulations, Pedagogical Approaches, Supply Chain Management


We develop a single-class period learning game for the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) improvement cycle. The experiential activity walks teams through the PDSA problem- solving process as they create paper American footballs and improve their performance using each step of the cycle. The game is one of the first to focus on PDSA. Key benefits include increased student attention, engagement, and learning. Empirical tests show that participant pre- and post-test scores regarding their understanding of each phase of PDSA improved 21.2% after completing the game. Additionally, the treatment group performed 16.6% higher than the control group. In participant perception questions, 85% of participants felt the game was more effective than lecture or reading, 93% felt the game was fun, 95% felt the game improved their understanding of PDSA, and 98% felt the game was engaging.

Original Publication Citation

Brau, R. I., Gardner, J. W., Webb, G. S., & McDonald, J. K (2019). Teaching plan-do-study-act (PDSA) in a supply chain context: A paper football in-class activity. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 17(1), 6-32. https://doi.org/10.1111/dsji.12171

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education




David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor