The annual conference organized by the Academy of Management has once again been a tremendous success. Educators from all over the world came to share ideas, sit in on sessions, and come by the exhibitor hall to meet publishers and educational tool providers. This time around, the location was the prestigious city of Boston, MA — home to both Harvard and MIT. We would like to thank the AOM team, our visitors, and our clients for coming by our desk and sharing their opinion with us on the business simulations industry.
To summarize this fantastic experience to those who have not been able to make it this year, we have collected 5 key takeaways that we have learned from the event, when it comes to business strategy games and the active learning movement in general:
1. Compatibility is king
Increasingly, educators like yourself are facing the pressure to keep their course modern, accessible and user friendly. This is the reason why you have told us that solutions that require software download, plug-ins or any other workarounds are seriously detrimental to the proliferation of business simulators in educational institutions.
The future will see business simulator games moving completely online and becoming accessible through all platforms. Cesim business simulation games are already there.
2. Asynchronous online learning is gaining ground
Many of you are facing the challenges of teaching courses completely online, where students often don't get to meet face to face. One of the cornerstones of such an experience is that even though students are geographically dispersed, they never feel out of touch with the class. With business games that support online course formats, debriefing is a breeze, educators can upload their own learning materials, and important metrics keep track of individual student engagement.
3. Simulations for all disciplines
On a conference like AOM with visitors over 8,000 in number, it is easy to meet with educators from all management disciplines. It also gave us a unique look into the desire for business games in a variety of subjects, and the realization that institutions will see a lot more of them in the classrooms of the future.
Cesim simulations currently cater to classes taught in international business & strategy, operations management, marketing management, hotel and restaurant management, business skills needed for entrepreneurship, introduction to business, revenue management, and energy company management (with risk management and sustainability).
4. Business simulations complement theory
The previously recurring fear of educators about becoming redundant when using business strategy games seem to have subsided to give way to the understanding of what the role of the instructor truly is in such environments. Facilitation, guidance and coaching is at the core of what makes business simulators a valuable learning experience for students by providing the right focus necessary to help the class connect theory to practice.
Another aspect of this is that many of you are starting to see business games as a truly equal yin to business theory's yang.
5. Multilanguage simulators win the global crowd
Although the Academy of Management conference is organized in the US, many of its visitors come from around the world speaking a multitude of languages. And so do the students. While English is widely spoken globally, it is often better to be able to deliver your classes in the local language.
Cesim business simulations support 14 languages including English, French, Spanish, and Chinese, with more being added all the time.
Conferences like this are an invaluable tool for us to discuss with educators around the world and understand how to serve them better. We hope to meet you next year in Orlando, FL for another round of conversation around business simulation games and active learning in education.