LEARNING THROUGH BUSINESS SIMULATIONS – VOICES OF THE FOREST
University of Ottawa (CANADA)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN15 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 7446 (abstract only)
Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The session will focus on providing a learning experience for participants through the use of a structured business simulation. Participants will be challenged to pursue the successful completion of a search for a formula to cure a mythical virus outbreak. Their group efforts (small groups of 5 – maximum 7 groups) will result in intensive small group dynamics and deep learning concerning systems thinking, individual and group problem solving, the development – and loss – of trust, and a practical understanding of the deeper meaning of the concept of strategy.
The simulation involves a 20-minute strategy-building session followed by a one-hour strategy implementation sessions as teams travel across a detailed topographical map of a strategic region on Canada. Multiple stops along the way challenge their ability to interpret data and adapt strategy accordingly. The final solution to the simulation requires deeper understanding of the dynamics of strategy and human elements of trust. The simulation has been used actively in both North American, Chinese, and European contexts to drive hope important learning related to organizational behaviour. Debrief iof the experience will highlight effective uses of simulation in an educational environment
The simulation teaches participants:
• The significance of full and rapid communication of information
• The importance of trust – and the causes of mistrust
• The power of working as a system rather than as a “part”
• The importance of creating and communicating strategy as an underlying element in any action plan
Time Requirements - Two hours
Maximum / Minimum Participants - Maximum: 35 Minimum: 15
Participants should be graduate students or professors interesting in exploring simulations as an alternative method of pedagogy or individuals interested in exploring the learning objectives of the session itself.
The simulation will require a large room with tables capable of seating 5 participants per table (maximum 7 tables). There must be a distance of 1 meter between each table. Across the back of the room there will need to be 3 rectangular tables.
The simulation is a LOT of fun and teaches deep lessons about how real organizations struggle with issues of integration and trust. Well worth the time.
Keywords: Simulation, experiential learning, systems thinking, trust.