LEARNING INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS BY ROLE-PLAYING A VIRTUAL COMPANY
Learning-by-doing or action-oriented learning has demonstrated to be an efficient didactical technique, not only to acquire knowledge, but also to motivate the students to learn about the specific topic. This technique is especially useful when the docent has to deal with blocks of didactical content that are, for any reason, less attractive for the students.
In our case, we have carried out a role-playing game to deal with the implementation of Integrated Management Systems on a virtual company. The chosen company was a medium-size brewery. The students were considered to be employees of the company, and they were grouped into members of different departments, i.e.: human resources, marketing, finances, I.T., production, logistics and packaging. The students (virtual employees) were then gathered by the CEO (the docent) who is interested on implementing management systems of quality, food safety, environment, energy, safety and health, and cybersecurity; according to the ISO standards 9001, 27000, 14001, 50001, 45001, 22000. For that, working groups with members from all departments are formed, and they have the responsibility to deliver week by week small deliverables that aim to prepare the company for the external audition that would grant the ISO certification to each integrated management system.
The activity ended to be very suitable to handle the topic, that had traditionally risen low interest to the students. Students have shown deeply and more significant learning on the topic, and they have also enjoyed performing the activity