If you have never used an online learning tool like a marketing simulation game in your course before, it can seem like a daunting task to incorporate one at first. There are materials to introduce to your students, new features to learn, learning formats to consider, and you haven't even gotten to the part yet where you need to figure out how it'll all fit in your curriculum to maximize student engagement and knowledge retention. The good news is, it's not nearly as difficult as it seems, and we are here to help you hit the ground running.
So let's start with the basics! If you've never used a marketing management simulation game before, the first thing you will want to do is
1. Watch the Tutorial Video
This will give you a general overview of the decision-making areas found in Cesim SimBrand as well as the overall flow of the game.
2. Correlate the Marketing Simulation Game Concepts to Your Curriculum
Depending on the level of your students and the type of course you are running, you might need to focus on a whole different set of marketing concepts. Fortunately, Cesim SimBrand marketing simulation can be used in both undergraduate and graduate level courses, and due to the online nature of the simulation, it is suitable for any format you choose.
Once you've spent some time familiarizing yourself with the simulation content, you'll be able to correlate the marketing concepts found in the game to your curriculum, and start creating the active learning component of your course.
If you are using the Cesim Business Simulations platform, you will be able to easily create a marketing simulation course by logging into your account, navigating to the Course tab and selecting Create New Course from the bottom left panel.
During the setup process, you will need to define the course size, team setup, language, schedule, and additional learning materials amongst others. Don't stress about getting this right on the first go, it will be possible to modify it later.
4. Familiarize Yourself with the Learning Materials
In order to get the most out of your simulation based course, it is very important that you have a thorough understanding of the game content as well as the way the platform works. If you are using the Cesim marketing simulation, everything including the tutorial video, the instructor manuals, as well as the game instructions will be under Materials in your Cesim Instructor platform. Set aside some time to read through these documents and by the end you'll be ready to...
5. Define the Student Tasks
Based on the marketing simulation content and your course curriculum you'll now be able to define specific tasks for your students that they can be graded on. This might include developing a marketing strategy, analyzing interim results and taking the integrated or custom built in-game quiz. The platform's learning management system allows for the adding of your own files as well, so you can disseminate any simulation and course related information through one interface.
6. Brief Your Students & Run a Practice Round
Once you have defined the simulation specific tasks, locked down the schedule and uploaded all relevant materials through the learning management system, it's time to brief your students either online or in class. In Cesim SimBrand, students have their own accounts, and by navigating to the Tutorial page under Decisions they will get a step by step breakdown of the suggested progress of the game.
To really understand the flow of a simulation round however, it is best to run a practice one first. Practice round results are not calculated in the final results, so your students are free to play around with their decisions and learn the mechanics of the game.
7. Run the Marketing Simulation Game
Now your students are ready to start their first real round, and you can follow their progress through the Cesim Instructor interface by monitoring the Logs and Metrics under Courses. If your marketing course is run online in its entirety, you can use the integrated Forum for both course and team wide communication.
8. Prepare for Student Grading
Student grading in a simulation based course is a hotly debated topic, so we weighed in on the issue recently with a few suggestions based on our customers' experiences. The Cesim platform allows for a variety of ways to measure progress and learning, so whether the marketing simulation game component is a small or large part of your course, you will have the ability to assess the performance of your students.
Would you like to know what others think of the Cesim SimBrand marketing management simulation game?
Mr. Giles Forbes, the Marketing Course leader at the University of Huddersfield (UK) summarizes his experience:
"The course has British, European and international students so the international setting of SimBrand means that all can engage with the scenario without feeling that anyone has an advantage. The PDA product is also something which is accessible to all."
"I started the module with some team role and team building exercises. Each week a new area of marketing was highlighted for students’ consideration, using the Simbrand simulated business environment and firm results to illustrate the point. Each team also had the opportunity for an exclusive “consultancy session” with me. Assessment included a group project in which each firm had to produce a brief for a print advertisement for one of their products and then to deliver a pitch for the advertisement; and an individual assignment of a review of their firm’s strategy."
"Students were intrigued at the idea of running a virtual firm, and 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. The competitive nature of Simbrand ensures that their decisions are carefully considered as no-one wants to fall behind."
"In my experience, students often complain about having to do team-based assignments but with Simbrand the feedback from the students was very positive. Almost every student listed team work as a valuable feature of the simulation, and practical application of theory and the competitive aspect were highly appreciated, too."
Want to see more testimonials? Watch this interview with Ross Brennan, reader in marketing at Middlesex University.