In the previous blog entry I started the topic of using multimedia in the BM classroom. Another interesting and engaging way to teach business topics is to use business simulations. More and more free business simulations are available online which is a huge progress from few years ago when there were almost no such resources available for free. Online simulations are another type of multimedia suitable to use for learning. Research has shown that people remember 20% of what they see, 40% of what they see and hear, but about 75% of what they see and hear and do simultaneously (Lindstrom, 1994). Online simulations provide the visual stimulus, the audio stimulus and students are engaged in doing things and developing their thinking skills while interacting with the simulation.
Simulations allow students to make decisions and see the results of their decisions in the outcomes or feedback from other players. It forces players to synthesize data and integrate what they read
Below is a list of free online simulations with a brief overview to try in the BM classroom.
Fistful of Dollars teaches students to choose the right customers, the most suitable suppliers to build up a firm quickly. It presents the players with the challenge to choose those customers who pay the highest prices, place the biggest orders and are loyal to the company. Also suppliers need to be chosen carefully and he challenge here is to decide whether to select those suppliers who offer the lowest prices or those who offer the best payment terms. The player is engaged in trying to balance the growing revenues with the growing pressure on the cash flow and to try to avoid problems for the business.
This simulation takes the player to a galaxy of planets and gives her/him the opportunity to conduct trade and start own business. It is a strategy game which challenges the player to make decisions about profit margins, overhead, account balances, growth, investing, etc. It supports up to 6 human players and 6 computer players.
MIT Sloan Simulations
This interesting business simulation below comes from the MIT Sloan:
This web-based simulation allows participants to play the role of the founder of a new startup company in the competitive clean technology industry. The participant must make decisions about prices, human resources numbers and quality- engineers and sales people, compensation, including salary, stock options and profit sharing, venture capitalist pitch to raise needed funds for running the company. The participants need to keep the company running as long as possible and try to make it a success which is not an easy task.
The simulation is suitable for teaching topics such as sustainability, human resources, finances for startups, employee ownership schemes.
(To be continued)