Cesim Global Challenge, our strategy and international business simulation, has been used since 2015 during the capstone course of the International Business BScBA degree program a Aalto University Mikkeli Campus. By using our simulation, students can apply the different business concepts they have learned during their studies, and practice critical business skills. In the video below, you can learn firsthand from both educators and students of the program about the experience of using a Cesim Business Simulation in this course:
Subtitles available (CC) in Chinese, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Vietnamese.
During their second year, students from the International Business BScBA degree programme at Aalto University Mikkeli.
Joan Lofgren: We considered using a regular business case but we felt that our students had already been exposed to different kinds of cases in their studies thus far, and we wanted to do something different in our programme that were really quite progressive. We experiment with different teaching methods and I felt that this was a good place to try something different and challenge the students in a new way. It is the best way to have integrative learning which is what the capstone is about.
John Kraft: I've been using simulations in general for about 7 years and simulations are a great way to teach students to make decisions with ambiguity because they've taken all kinds of courses over the years, they've been tested, sometimes with cases, sometimes using regular tests; but this basically allows them to use the full range and make decisions. Because, in the end, we're teaching students to make decisions. And there's no right answer: this is about trying to minimize risk and perform.
Kevin McIntire: I think the simulation is good because, up until now, students have had an education where we've been cutting all the different business functions into pieces. And for a lot of them this is the first time that they get a chance to see how everything fits together and see some of those interactions that are pretty difficult to capture in a Power Point slide. And I think the simulation helps do that in a way that's more intuitive than just an explanation.
Student team – Grey2:
• I think this course combined quite well general knowledge and the mindset we have gained from our previous courses here in Mikkeli. You get to see how businesses actually work in a better way here than in the courses, but you also use the knowledge you have gained.
• I also think that we're going to get a lot out of this course because it's a simulation of what we're going to have in our future jobs.
• I think it was really interesting and it covers a lot of things in building a business.
Student team – Carfection:
• I at least thought it was really fun. I think it really tied together well the things we've learned before, especially in terms of finance and accounting. And I think for many of us this course and this simulation are a good ending for our school here in Mikkeli.
• I also think dealing with uncertainty and asymmetric information was also a thing that we didn't see in other courses that came up here. Well this worked pretty well.
John Kraft: One of the key things is people think of simulations as an activity related to using an econometrics package or running regressions and that's really not it. The simulation is really another tool for assessing the students' skills. So, it's an assessment exercise and it could be used as part of a course like finance, marketing or management, or it can be standalone. And it is a game, but it is a different type of thing: it is a test in experiential learning that you can't get with any of these other assessment tools.
Kevin McIntire: I think one of the things that I emphasize is that the goal of the class is to come up with a strategy and execute it. And at the beginning of the class when they're asked to come up with a strategy they don't have perfect information, and so they might not come up with exactly the right strategy. So what I explain to them from the beginning is that the key is not to come up with the right strategy and win: the key is to come up with a strategy and see what it takes to implement it. The main criterion for winning is not just that you are actually performing in the game; it's that you're setting up a plan and you're doing the things that you want to be doing, and that you are assessing yourself and sort of managing strategically throughout. That's at least as important for me.
Joan Lofgren: What we'd like them to take away and what we've heard they do is that they need to integrate information from many different sources when they're making decisions. Regular subject-based courses are narrower, and they may focus on the textbook. But here they're trying to pull together rather uncertain information from different sources and somehow still make a decision as best as they can. And I would say also anticipating the actions of competitors is something that will help them later in the workplace. So I think that's a really important takeaway
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