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The Business Simulations Blog

How to Teach Practical Business Skills with Cesim Simulations

Posted by Cesim Finland

Professor Li from Shenzhen University
At the annual Cesim Business Simulation Nordic-Chinese Institutions Teaching Experience Sharing 2016, we invited instructors and MBA students from Shenzhen University and Beijing Normal University in China over to Finland. This sharing aims to accelerate the teaching experience exchange among Nordic and Chinese educators, particularly how simulation games are used to enhance the practical business skills and employability of students. We interviewed Professor Li, Dean of College of Management at Shenzhen University, about her business simulations teaching and competition experience from a leadership perspective.
 
 
Professor Li is the Dean of College of Management at Shenzhen University. She is responsible for over 30 educational projects on city, provincial, and national levels. Her publications include 50 journal articles and 9 books. She aspires to be a business educator with a focus on practical skills and explorative learning, so as to provide interactive opportunities for students to put theories into practice.
 
Shenzhen University is the co-organizer and the host university for Cesim China Student Competition 2016.

Practical Skills Teaching at Shenzhen University

Since Shenzhen University has more than 8 years of simulations teaching experience with Cesim business games and over 6 years of experience in joining Cesim China Student Competition, we asked Professor Li about the reasons behind their persisting interest for business strategy games. "First of all, I think a platform like this (Cesim) is very good," she continued her explanation from a leadership perspective, "Because in our opinion, students can apply the knowledge they learn in classes in business simulation games in a practical manner, so they understand that what they learn are actually useful. Especially on this platform, we don't only get to see how students benefit from knowledge application, but also how Cesim simulations greatly contribute to the all-round development of students."

Professor Li from Shenzhen University with students

Professor Li became interested in Cesim business simulation games because of how Cesim simulations match Shenzhen University's values and mission. "At Shenzhen University, we value practical skills teaching. We launched our first practical teaching project back in 2008. Although we have many ongoing practical teaching projects now, we put a lot of importance on this project with Cesim since the very beginning."

Role of Dean in Simulations Teaching Support

When asked about the role of a dean in business simulators teaching and student competitions, Professor Li said, "From the faculty's point of view, in order to contribute to the success of a practical teaching project, the project should receive all-round support from labor, talent, and resources. For launching a project like Cesim, a team of teaching staff is the prerequisite. We put a great emphasis on the teaching staff training in our faculty. Since we have excellent instructors, we decided to put in some efforts, so our educators can incorporate Cesim business management simulation games into our courses very well. Lastly, we involve the educators and the practical training project in a strategy management course."

Cesim China Student Competition

Professor Li also commented on the development of the Cesim practical teaching project. "Over the past years, our teaching staff have participated in Cesim's training workshops, worked very hard to select candidates for student competitions, and to understand the course design. The Cesim simulations project has been developing very well mainly because of the support received from our instructors."

Student Encouragement and Training Support

"It is also very important to pay attention to the student encouragement." pointed out by Professor Li on the success of a practical teaching project. "Because when students are pursuing their degrees, actually they only need to attend the lectures, but when they get involved in this kind of practical teaching projects, they need to invest a lot of efforts and energy using their extracurricular time in the rounds and rounds of student competitions."

She went on to describe how the faculty can show their support for student's extra hard work, "We will, for example, if the students achieve a great result, the university will compensate them with credits as an encouragement. Apart from the credits encouragement, we also arrange our teaching staff to provide training support to students. We have specialized training support in English skills, student etiquette and presentation skills. This Cesim project has become very reputable among teaching staff and students in our university."

Cesim China Student Competition

Most Anticipated Student Competition

When asked about why students are fascinated about the annual Cesim China Student Competition, Professor Li accounts for her observation, "Having participated in the Competition for years, this competition, is in fact the most anticipated competition among the students. It is because in the competition, students are able to show off their abilities, which is to a great extent, very helpful for their future employment and career."

Professor Li is also very glad to see how joining the Competition has contributed to the development in academic networking opportunities and student engagement, "Our practical teaching project team has grown drastically and we have built an amazing network of students and professors because of this Cesim China Student Competition. Everybody is very active and engaged in the Chinese social media groups during the competition season, basically there are always students and teaching staff working around the clock and helping each other out there."

Academic Networking Opportunities

Having seen the development in academic networking opportunities in her College, Professor Li wishes the development will expand even further to maximize the learning outcomes, "In addition to what we have achieved, we also hope to have more opportunities to be in touch with other universities and institutions. We hope to be able to exchange and learn from other institutions' experience. I believe that the growth of students expand the most in the reform of practical teaching and all kinds of student competitions, instead of only offering them lectures and tutorials."

When asked about the experience of managing Cesim business games project, Professor Li is very positive, "As the Dean of the College of Management, I would say we are very willing to co-organize a competition like Cesim China Student Competition based on the values we place on teaching and education at our University. In fact, this competition has a fundamental reform effect on the practical teaching approach of our College. Also, this is a golden opportunity for students to come together and learn from each other. Therefore, we receive a lot of support and resources from the University."

Professor Li

Finally, Professor Li welcomes everyone to visit Shenzhen University and connect with her for learning and exchange opportunities among institutions. She wishes students and teachers good luck and break some records on the Cesim simulations platform.

 

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Tags: Educator 2.0, Case study, Acquire practical business skills, How to use business simulations, Assessment, Why use business simulations