Business Simulation Games are a Great way to Bring Active, Applied Learning into Business and Marketing Courses
Of the many different forms of Active Learning made possible through modern instructional technologies, one of my favorites is Simulations. These can come in so many forms … Clinical Healthcare Simulations, Flight Simulations, Weather Simulations, etc. Today we feature a guest post about Business Simulations from Finland based ed-tech company Cesim that teachers have been using productively for years. – KW
At Cesim we believe that “for successful learning experiences, students need to experience a variety of instructional methods and that direct instruction needs to be accompanied by methods that further student understanding and recognize why what they are learning is useful.” – Lalley and Miller (2007)
Business simulation games belong to the realm of ‘active learning', which entails all forms of learning where the participant is behaviorally and cognitively active. They complement theoretical education by providing a dynamic, reactive, risk free learning environment for students to engage in and help to close the gap that exists between the knowledge of graduating students and the actual skills required in the workforce today.
Benefits for the Educator
It has never been more challenging to be an educator than now. The rapidly evolving landscape of educational technology is drastically changing the way students consume information, and it is imperative that you keep up with them, or risk being left behind. The modern student is increasingly looking for ways to be engaged both outside and inside the classroom, and combining that with their natural aptitude for the digital environment, makes teaching them a difficult endeavor at times.
Business Simulations can be highly effective at engaging and motivating students, providing them with an active, hands-on experience they will enjoy learning from. Instructor Giles Forbes, Marketing Course Leader at University of Huddersfield explains, “I was pleased with the way that SimBrand caught the students' imagination and kept them motivated and involved throughout the module. It got them thinking about marketing strategy in a practical and integrated manner.”
Using Business Simulation Games in your course can:
- Give you the ability to better illustrate theoretical business concepts
- Increase student engagement and enjoyment
- Improve student knowledge retention, decision making and teamwork skills
- Allow you to run all of your simulation based courses online in any format (classroom, blended, online)
- Give you a powerful tool to test the hands on skills and strategic thinking of students
In an interview with Mike Geringer of California Polytechnic we discussed the integration of the Cesim Global Challenge simulation into international business and strategy courses, the reaction of students, the role of the educator, and tips to other educators planning to use business simulations in their classes.
Benefits for the Student and Institution
High Schools, Polytechnics, and Colleges and Universities are increasingly pressured to prove that their school curriculum is improving overall student knowledge retention rates and employability. Good quality simulations games can surely help.
Incorporating Business Simulation Games into your school curriculum can:
- Improve the employability of students
- Improve cooperation between institutions (even across borders)
- Improve student-faculty interaction
- Improve student-student interaction
- Improve academic achievements (i.e. higher grades)
- Create a more enjoyable school curriculum
- Help in making the school offering more versatile
Teachers Share Successes in Teaching with Business Simulations
Educators have been sharing their appreciation of these engaging simulations in testimonials …
Dr Loïc Plé, Associate Professor in Management, Head of the New Educational Technologies division, has been responsible for the Cesim simulations at IESEG School of Management.
“Our students really enjoy CESIM’s simulations, because beyond the examples that they learn in their courses, and even beyond the case studies that they work on, it actually gives them the opportunity to practice strategy. They are enthusiastic about managing their own company and competing with others. They like the online interface that is put at their disposal. They also enjoy the animation plan that we have designed with the help of CESIM’s people. … at the end of the simulation, they must write a report that is intended for their shareholders, and where they also have to add a specific part where they reflexively analyze the teams’ dynamics during the simulation. Thanks to the simulation and this animation plan, we have noted a more pragmatic assimilation and understanding of strategic management among our students”.
Professor Madalena Abreu, Senior lecturer in Marketing and Business Economics summarizes:
“I have been using Cesim simulations since 2008. The experience has been really excellent. The two simulations we have been using are quite user-friendly, supportive of our academic content, and provide the students with an exciting and real approach to understanding the markets.”
“The students are very motivated and like to play the simulations. Moreover, the support of the company is a case study of excellent service. The support received during the simulation was great, and the response time for inquiries was fast. I can highly recommend the use of these simulations.”
Read more customer success stories here: http://www.cesim.com/customers/higher-education-success-stories/
If you are interested in learning more about Cesim business simulations, head on over to their webinars page to sign up for one of their upcoming live sessions or to watch the recordings on demand. Be sure to stop by and check out their blog as well.
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8 Research Findings Supporting the Benefits of Gamification in Education