About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4214-4223
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

COMPETENCES AND USEFULNESS OF BUSINESS GAMES: THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR

A. Hernández, R. Cascón, T. Gorjup

Rovira i Virgili University (SPAIN)
With the appearance of new pedagogic learning models based on competences, business games are being increasingly used in business schools as a teaching method to simulate a business context through software. In the simulated context created by the game, participants make decisions in teams regarding departments or different functional areas of an enterprise and compete with classmates representing other enterprises (Carroll, 1958; Faria and Dickinson, 1994).

The literature has recognised the great value of this teaching method in enhancing the learning process of participants (Zantow et al., 2005). Some of the reasons suggested have been the interactive and competitive nature of the game which heightens participants’ motivation and active learning. Most of the studies have focused on describing the advantages of business games for management training (Curry and Moutinho, 1992; Faria and Dickinson, 1994; Doyle and Brown, 2000; Jensen, 2003). Although these studies have occasionally explored competences as part of the advantages of business games, the study of competences as learning outcomes has not been tackled explicitly. Given the current situation in which competences are widely seen as the key to new learning models, there is a need for systematic studies to explore what competences are acquired with these games.

In this regard, this study aims to respond to the dual need for more organised and clear evidence on the usefulness of business games (Feinstein and Cannon, 2002) and more systematic evidence on the competences they boost (Chang et al., 2003). Therefore, this study analyses the efficacy of the game in terms of the competences acquired by their participants. Furthermore, this study explores the usefulness of the instructor as a facilitator in the learning process.

The research was conducted with two groups at postgraduate level, one facilitated by an instructor in a face-to-face process and the other facilitated by the same instructor online. The business involved was Global Challenge which allows decisions to be taken on different functional areas. The first group was composed of 14 participants divided into 6 teams and the second group was composed of 13 participants in 6 teams, competing in the mobile phone sector. Data was collected by survey questionnaire which assessed 16 competences and 6 advantages graded in a 5-point-Likert scale.

Our results indicate that both groups positively evaluated the experience with the game and also acquired some of the competences. However, the results were more positive in the group facilitated by the instructor face-to-face. In both groups, the most acquired competences were teamwork and decision-making and the most valuable experiences were active participation and fun.

This study has allowed us to treat the acquired competences and the perceived experiences as separate outcomes from using business games, which have until now been treated indistinctly in the literature. Also, it highlights the importance of the instructor face-to face role to maximise the outcomes of these learning experiences.

@InProceedings{HERNANDEZ2009COM2,
author = {Hern{\'{a}}ndez, A. and Casc{\'{o}}n, R. and Gorjup, T.},
title = {COMPETENCES AND USEFULNESS OF BUSINESS GAMES: THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4214-4223}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Hernández AU - R. Cascón AU - T. Gorjup
TI - COMPETENCES AND USEFULNESS OF BUSINESS GAMES: THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4214
EP - 4223
ER -
A. Hernández, R. Cascón, T. Gorjup (2009) COMPETENCES AND USEFULNESS OF BUSINESS GAMES: THE ROLE OF THE INSTRUCTOR, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4214-4223.
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