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Why Business Simulations Are Perfect For A Flipped Classroom

Posted by Zsuzsa Jakab on Thursday, March 06, 2014 | Reading time: 2 min.

Business Simulations In A Flipped Classroom

The flipped classroom is a term used to describe a reversed format in which students engage with pre-recorded video or audio materials in their own time prior to meeting face to face in more hands-on, workshop type lectures. Because of their independently playable nature, business simulations integrate really well with this increasingly popular classroom structure. 

In this article, we are going to examine just how exactly do flipped classrooms work in conjunction with business simulation games, what are their educational benefits, and how can you implement the concept in your own courses.

How Do Business Simulations Work In A Flipped Classroom

Many business strategy games are built to facilitate both individual decision-making as well as teamwork, which makes them an excellent fit for the structure of a flipped classroom. Because students have their own accounts to the business games, they can familiarize themselves with the tool and the course material beforehand, make preliminary decisions on their own, and then come together to discuss their strategies in the classroom. In this format, you will take on a more collaborative coaching role, facilitating a workshop-like environment rather than a traditional information disseminating lecture.

What Are The Educational Benefits Of A Flipped Classroom

Allowing students to consume information at their own pace leads to a lot less confusion on accord of being left behind. It gives students the ability to re-watch or re-read any part of the theory, or in the case of business management games, the decision-making guide, and come to class armed with the knowledge needed to do the hands-on exercises. One of the ways in which this might be beneficial for students is that you will be able to spot erroneous applications of theoretical concepts easier, and apply corrective action. In addition to this, such a collaborative setting fosters social interaction between students, preparing them for a real world work environment where they can learn from and help each other.

How To Turn Your Course Into A Hands-On Experience

So now that you have understood some of the benefits of the flipped classroom concept, you might be wondering how can you implement it, or at least aspects of it, into your own course?

One of the most important thing to remember is that this structure not only flips the modus operandi of your lectures, but also the roles & responsibilities of both you and your students. You are not only going to have to make sure that all of the lecture materials are recorded and uploaded beforehand, but also have to prepare for taking the back-seat during classroom interaction, acting as a facilitator of the discussion rather than the leader. Consequently, students are tasked with taking on a more active role in these face to face workshops, while also being responsible for preparing for them in their own time. 

In order to successfully run a flipped classroom using a business simulation, get started by informing the students of the independent prep work that is required of them prior to coming to class. Depending on your preferences, you might ask them to read or watch any accompanying materials that you have uploaded via the integrated learning management system, develop a written strategy for the first round of the business management simulation game, and input their decisions. 

In the classroom, the first thing you should do is to analyze the results of the previous simulation round as a group; asking the students to examine their performance, while you provide insight into improvement possibilities. You can then let the student teams discuss the strategies amongst themselves first, and make their team decisions together. You might want to hear each team's strategy first, in order to answer any questions they may have, and to guide them in case you spot a significant problem in their application of the lecture materials.

It is clear that a flipped classroom format requires a mindset shift from both students and yourself, but the rewards are plentiful when implemented correctly. Your students will have a much higher engagement in the class and will be working on real life mastery of complex theoretical concepts. 

 

Are you going to implement a flipped classroom, or have you already done so? Let us know about your experiences!

 

Wondering how active learning tools like business strategy games can be used to augment business theory for maximum effect?

 

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Tags: Educator 2.0, Why use business simulations

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