16 Jul A key component of our sims has nothing to do with us
A key component of our sims is the instructor.
Our simulations do not spoon feed insights to students. Instead, they present real world data, presented in a way students will encounter when they enter the work force. It gives them numerous analytic tools to understand their current position—ones they might not have in the real world, but certainly are available. But even the best data can be lost on some students. While we cover the process of analyzing their position in our resources, it’s not enough. Students need the instructor to do what they do best: guide their learning.
Simulations provide a playing field for students to practice what they’re learning, to apply business principles they encounter in class, and experience firsthand wrestling with uncertainty.
Ideally, the instructor provides a mentoring voice to them along the way. In fact, in my view, it’s vital. As a result, we provide robust instructor resources to help instructors do just that.
Any simulation company that says the instructor is not needed and that students will simply gain insights on their own is wrong. Or at least half-wrong. It’s entirely possible that students will understand some things on their own, but their understanding will be less complete without the instructor providing guidance.
We have an instructor who has used us for years who does the following things to insert himself into the student’s decision-making process. Sometimes he’s an agitator (asking questions), sometimes he cheers them on. But he always comes back to the basic question of “how are you going to deal with uncertainty?” Here’s a couple of things he does:
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In the simulation he uses, students play 10 periods of the sim. He meets with them via a web meeting every 2-3 periods for 15 minutes. He asks them questions about their results. He asks them why they think their results are what they are. He asks them what research they’re going to use to make their next decisions. And finally, sometimes shows them new ways to analyze their position.
Final Report Project
The student teams come to a “board room” meeting where they must present a final report of their experience, covering all 10 periods. They present to him as Chairman of the Board of that company. During COVID, he did this via a web meeting. He keeps notes on his previous sessions with the students and brings up the issues they confronted before. This report is what they’re graded on, not necessarily whether they did well in the sim