Startup Playbook

6 Reasons Why Business Simulation Games Benefit Students

 
Business simulation games for students are one powerful teaching method, yet they are not as widely adopted for the learning process as they should. We’ve listed 6 reasons why learners should start using them right now.

To better understand why they’re so great, let’s recap on an impactful theory.

Super-level Learning

After Dale’s famous learning theory “The Cone of Learning”, students remember 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read, and 50% of what they see and hear, didn’t get validated by modern scientists, let’s see what Bloom’s Taxonomy holds:

●      Bloom’s initial taxonomy was revised to reflect how learning is an active process and not a passive one.

●      Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical model that categorizes learning objectives into varying levels of complexity, from recalling facts and comprehension to advanced critical thinking and producing new and original work.

●      Learning can take place at a number of levels ranging from simple to complex.

●      The higher-level learning activity we reach on the pyramid, the higher level our understanding will be of the topic.

●      For each level, we need to utilize the learning stages from the levels below. For example, to apply a theory (stage 3), we need to remember (stage 1) and understand (stage 2) it.

We shouldn’t stop at the application level as a learning objective. Students should be prepared to take their knowledge beyond their classrooms. To reach the tip of the pyramid, where they are able to analyze, evaluate and design, based on their understanding. How to achieve this? By engaging learners in more complex learning activities.

This is where simulation games come in.

Simulation games give participants a risk-free setting where they can consume, interact and design freely, and also have room for making plenty of startup mistakes. In startup simulation games, the control over a virtual company is handed over to the learner who can lead it through exciting life-like scenarios. A rare opportunity to apply knowledge in a much more complex case than the traditional way: a kind of mixed activity that Bloom’s taxonomy says learners need, to develop a deep understanding of the subject.


The 6 benefits of business simulation games

1. Practice without risk

Making mistakes is an essential part of learning something new, and evolving your business management skills is no exception. Business simulators let learners experiment with strategies, set a new business approach, observe the results, analyze market fluctuations, then pivot the direction – without any real-world drawbacks.

2. Make valuable connections
 
Connections are extra valuable when it comes to business. Also, we prefer an environment where we get to interact with each other while learning. Business simulation games make it more fun and engaging by providing high levels of interactions to meet like-minded individuals from across the globe.

3. Humans are like dogs

Both of us like treats. We get excited from them and they boost our motivation. Just like in life these gamified environments reward players with rankings and different financial indicators, new business tools, or even a fancier office view.

4. Snap out decisions

As time is one of our limited resources in the real business world; as CEOs we don’t have much time to allocate to a business decision – it is the same in the simulation. Gamers don’t have a lot of time to make a decision. Short turnaround time is beneficial, it forces us to react under pressure, and stimulates creative thinking and independent but quick decision-making, all while gaining startup experience. 

5. Get real-time feedback

Another great trait of these business simulation games is the real-time feedback on the decision we make. Quick reactions allow you to practice a large scale of strategies in a short period of time to discover what works the best. This not only makes the simulation more engaging but helps students to put the theories they learn in class into practice and learn from them in a blink of an eye.

6. Explore cross-disciplines

Most business courses are hermetically sealed disciplines, like finance, marketing, or operations. In contrast, a simulation game provides learners with a rare chance to see how different fields of study interact with each other. Not only does this add complexity and meaningful learning to their experience, but it also gives the learners new perspectives. This allows them to see the relationship between departments, and how decisions within, affect bottom-line performances. 

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Sources

Bloom’s Taxonomy. What is Bloom’s Taxonomy? 
 
Cesim. 6 Reasons Why Students Like Business Simulations. 
 
Hubro Education. Why are business simulation games valuable for learning? 
 
Jon Jackson. Myths of Active Learning: Edgar Dale and the Cone of Experience.
 
Ken Masters. Edgar Dale's Pyramid of Learning in medical education: A literature review. 
 
Virtonomics. The Business Simulation Game. 

By Zita Garamvölgyi
 

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