In today's fast-paced and dynamic business environment, experiential learning has become increasingly valuable for students. Business simulations offer a unique opportunity to immerse learners in real-world scenarios, allowing them to implement theoretical knowledge in practice as well as to develop critical thinking, decision-making, and problem-solving skills.
However, selecting the right business simulation for your course can be a challenging task. This guide will help you navigate the selection process and choose the perfect business simulation to enhance your students' learning experience.
What Are the Things to Consider When Choosing a Business Simulation?
We will next introduce the main factors to consider when choosing a business simulation that will advance your teaching and engage students in collaborative learning.
Define Your Learning Objectives
Before diving into the world of business simulations, it's essential to identify and define your course-specific learning objectives. Consider the key skills and concepts you want your students to acquire. Do you want your students to learn to understand how business functions are connected and impact each other? Or you would want your students to focus on analysing data that was generated by their game actions and calculations? A clear definition of your learning objectives will help you narrow down your options and find a simulation that aligns with your goals.
Check if the simulation offers robust data analytics and reporting based on students’ activities in the simulation. These features can provide valuable insights into students' performance, allowing you to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and customise feedback. The ability to generate reports and analytics can facilitate assessment and grading processes. Students also learn how to analyse data and generate executive reports based on these data.
Assess Simulation Features and Flexibility
Different business simulations offer varying features and levels of flexibility. Factors to consider when evaluating the simulation:
Realism: Look for simulations that illustrate real-world business scenarios. Realistic simulations will engage students and enhance their decision-making skills.
Transparency of internal processes: Some business simulations offer students no insight into how results are generated, thus making it impossible to analyse and improve their performance based on transparent data. Look for simulations that allow students to see the impact of their decisions in real time.
Adjustability: Assess the level of customization available within the simulation. Can you adjust the parameters to match your specific course requirements? Adjustability enables you to create a more personalised learning experience.
Difficulty level: Consider the complexity of the simulation. Is it suitable for beginner, intermediate, or advanced learners? Choose a simulation that challenges students without overwhelming them.
Multiplayer capabilities: Collaborative learning is essential in business education and work. Look for simulations that allow multiplayer functionality, enabling students to synchronously work together in teams and enhance their teamwork and communication skills.
Evaluate Learning Support and Resources:
Both the educator and the students will need to get acquainted with the business simulation. Therefore, comprehensive learning support and resources are crucial. When choosing a business simulation consider the following aspects:
Instructor resources: Check if the simulation provides instructor manuals, guides, or tutorials. These resources can help you effectively integrate the simulation into your course and provide guidance to your students. Some simulation providers use individual training courses for educators to help them acquire confidence in using the simulation and to optimally support students in their learning process.
Student resources: Assess the availability of student guides, self-learning videos, and assignments. These resources will help students navigate the simulation, understand concepts, and apply knowledge in practice to make informed decisions in the simulation game.
Technical support: Ensure that the simulation provider offers reliable technical support. Quick and responsive assistance can prevent potential disruptions to the learning process.
Consider Compatibility and Accessibility
It's vital to choose a business simulation that is compatible with your institution's digital strategy, pedagogic aims, infrastructure, and accessible to your students. Evaluate the following factors:
Technology requirements: Check the system requirements of the simulation. Will it work on your institution's computers or require additional resources? Some business simulations require installing apps on all computers that will be used in gaming, others are cloud-based and can be accessed from any computer connected to the internet.
Online accessibility: Determine if the simulation can be accessed online, allowing students to participate remotely. This flexibility can be particularly useful for distance learning or hybrid courses.
Pedagogic Aims: Central to your decision should be how well the simulation aligns with your pedagogic objectives. Is the simulation based on researched pedagogy and proven learning results? Does the simulation encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, decision-making, collaboration, and other relevant skills? The simulation should complement your teaching objectives and offer a pedagogically sound learning platform that helps to connect theoretical concepts with practical experiences.
Check Scalability and Class Size
Scalability of the simulation and its suitability for different class sizes varies between business simulation providers. Some simulations may be designed for smaller groups, while others can accommodate larger cohorts. Remember to request guidance on choosing simulations that can effectively scale to meet the needs of your specific course enrollment.
Selecting the ideal business simulation for your course is a critical decision that can significantly impact your students' learning experience. By understanding your learning objectives, assessing simulation features, evaluating learning support, considering compatibility, and researching user reviews, you can make an informed choice. Remember, the right business simulation will provide an immersive and engaging experience, allowing your students to develop essential business skills that will benefit them in their future careers.
This text was created by the RealGame Business Simulation team.
RealGame is a Finnish business simulation provider. RealGame creates simulations based on decades of experience and latest academic research. Business simulations by RealGame are created by educators for educators with a purpose of providing hands-on experiences and an understanding of how supply chain operations evolve continuously, hour by hour. RealGame is unique in that it has a clock-driven operational mode, which allows for generating transaction-specific data for business analysis and strategic planning.
Please cite this as:
RealGame (2023). A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Perfect Business Simulation for Your Course, Realgame.fi. Retrieved [Date], from https://www.realgame.fi/