If you are wondering whether business simulations are the right tool to educate your students with, then take a few minutes of your day and read on.Many people think that business learning software programs are nothing more than video games wrapped in a slightly more serious attire, and few actually dig deeper to uncover the tremendous benefits they offer. Students however, know otherwise, and one only needs to ask to get a first hand understanding of the improvements in skills they experience after partaking in simulation based courses.
During a typical business simulation game, participants have to form teams, create an elaborate winning strategy for their virtual companies, and utilize nearly all aspects of business theory they have learned so far to make sound product, marketing, R&D and financial decisions.
In addition to this, student teams have to constantly re-evaluate their initial business game strategies and analyze the round-to-round results of the simulation. Since they are competing against other teams and not against an AI, even the most well thought out plan can crumble over time as the competitive landscape changes. This need for adaptation, is one of the cornerstones of the business simulation learning experience.
The other is holistic thinking, which is triggered by the cross-functional setup of business management simulation games consisting of decision-making areas from all major departments in a company. What students must learn is that no decision is made in a silo, and that the effects of one misstep in pricing or R&D investments can have serious consequences on the bottom line of the organization. When teams understand the importance of cross-functional communication and decision-making, they will typically see a rapid improvement in their results.
Clearly, there are many benefits to simulation based learning, so we've collected a list of skills that we think these tools have a positive effect on in particular.
Improvement of 13 Skills as business simulation learning outcomes:
- Advertising skills
- Basic financial skills
- Economic concepts
- Interpersonal skills
- Communication skills
- Problem solving skills
- Conflict resolution
- Group behavior skills
- Goal setting
- Report preparation
- Teamwork skills
- Overall employability