Preparing Students for Real-World Challenges

One of the most valuable aspects of a simulation is the opportunity for students to test out strategies, make mistakes, and learn lessons without the real-world risks.

Experience may indeed be the best teacher, but in many cases, gaining experience when it comes to running a business involves significant risks and the potential for real losses. Through our simulations, we aim to create tools that provide all of the learning opportunities of real-world business experience, but in an environment where students are free to make mistakes, try new things, and learn from the outcomes without fear of real repercussions.
We often hear from instructors that they consider this one of the most valuable aspects of incorporating a simulation into their course! According to Dr. Ginger Killian, associate professor of marketing at the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College,
Perhaps the single greatest benefit of a simulation is the ‘sandbox’ in which students can test decision-making skills and observe the impact of those decisions.

Dr. Ginger Killian

Kerri Shields, professor at Centennial College, attests to a similar experience with our BizCafe simulation:
It is experiential learning whereby students take business risks without real-life losses…BizCafe provides experiential learning in a clear, simple-to-use format which provides depth of learning and allows students to apply their theoretical knowledge to a real-life scenario.

Prof. Kerri Shields

This type of hands-on learning and engagement with real-life challenges helps prepare students to succeed beyond the classroom. Anita Sampson Binder, professor at George Brown College, uses our HRManagement simulation and notes,
As a VP and Director of HR for 20+ years, I would have so valued being able to experience and be supported by Interpretive during an HR simulation where you get to learn, understand, and shape every area of HR without ‘actual risk’—a practice career run!

Prof. Anita Sampson Binder

Through the “practice” that simulations provide, we aim for students to get a sense of the complexity and challenge of decision-making when running a real business and, when faced with similar decisions in their own future endeavors, be able to effectively apply the lessons and thought processes they’ve learned.
Our thanks to Anita Sampson Binder (LinkedIn Profile),Dr. Ginger Killian (LinkedIn Profile) and Prof. Kerri Shields (LinkedIn Profile) for their contribution to this article!
Sarah Schmitz bio:
Sarah has been with Interpretive since 2014, shortly after graduating from James Madison University with a degree in communications and writing. Her primary role is in the support department as a customer relationship specialist, where she works closely with faculty to help the simulation experience run smoothly in their courses. Additionally, she also enjoys the opportunity to apply her writing and editorial skills in different areas at Interpretive, including blog posts, marketing materials, video scripts, and more. A Virginia native turned Midwesterner, Sarah currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband.