JAMK University of Applied Sciences is an international higher education institution in Finland with an expertise in 8 different fields of study. JAMK has more than 9,000 students and experts from over 70 countries.
JAMK uses several Cesim simulations in its business administration program. The Head of Business Department Mr. Pertti Pernu says:
“Educational institutions need to use tools that are engaging and also give students the opportunity to succeed and fail in a safe environment. At present, students have many options when they choose their courses. With this kind of flexibility there is a risk that they may only choose courses that are aligned with their comfort zone rather than seeking to stretch their abilities. The ultimate goal in any business program is to facilitate the development of student employability and this goal cannot be achieved by allowing them to stay within their comfort zones.
Simulations engage students by exposing them to varied business disciplines in a fun and safe learning environment. For example, marketing students experience the financial implications of their marketing decisions and number-crunchers will be faced with marketing decisions and customer preferences. In addition, an important part of the simulation experience is the social process through working in teams. Students need to negotiate and agree their way forward while pressured by competition.”
A good example of JAMK’s innovative use of business simulations is the course that they conduct for the entire freshmen class during the spring term. Over the course of one week, 150+ students consolidate their learning from their freshmen year and prepare themselves for the next academic year by running Cesim’s small business simulation game Cesim OnService.
During the small service business simulation, students operate in teams, with each team managing the complete business process of a small family hotel. Their task in the small business game is to prepare and implement a business plan for their hotel in a virtual market that allows them to compete against their fellow students. They are responsible for decisions regarding sales, marketing, HR, investments and finance. During the course of the simulation, teams are faced with various socio-economic, political, and environmental events that require careful analysis and good decision-making.
The course is conducted by a group of JAMK instructors, with each coming from a different discipline that is taught to the students during their freshman year. Senior Lecturer Mr. Timo Värre is the lead instructor on the course and has this to say: "Coordinating a large class in cooperation with multiple instructors can be a difficult and time consuming task. However, Cesim’s platform takes care of all the logistics related to the simulation and teachers can focus on teaching the students. Also, the process is easy from the administrative point of view since students can use their own iPads, other tablets, and PCs for running the simulation."