Monthly Archives: January 2010

Podcasting and Business Simulations


Online audio or video tools can be very useful to the modern student. This research paper from the University of Leeds discusses the role and benefit of podcasts to support students using a business simulation.


Audio or video podcasts can be a useful tool to supplement practical exercises such as business simulations. In this paper, we discuss a case study in which different types of podcast were utilised to support the delivery of a course in international business. The students work in groups and run a fictional company using business simulation software, which gives them the opportunity to evaluate their decision making skills. A number of podcasts were used as reusable learning objects for different student cohorts.

Faculty members produced visually enhanced audio podcasts offered tutor discussions of podcastkey elements of the computer-assisted business simulation used by the students. The podcasts were made available via the virtual learning environment (Blackboard Vista), as well as for subscription by web browser-based RSS readers, such as Google and downloadable RSS readers, such as iTunes.

Our evaluation of this approach to using podcasts takes into account pedagogic and technical issues. Firstly, faculty members involved in this case study were interviewed to obtain their views and experiences on the process of producing podcasts as well as the suitability of podcasts to support their teaching. Secondly, students were surveyed and interviewed about the value of the podcasts and the way in which they were used.

This work is on-going and initial informal student feedback indicates that the podcasts engaged the students and supported their understanding of the international business module. This paper presents a snapshot of the current findings which generally support the value of this innovative way of using podcasting for learning and teaching.

Full Article: Podcasting to support students using a business simulation

Red Deer – Selkirk – Auckland MikesBikes Competition

In November 2009, the second annual Canadian Colleges’ MikesBikes competition took place. Only this year, the competition expanded across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand. The competing students were not only from Canada’s two prestigious colleges – Red Deer College and Selkirk College; but also from New Zealand’s leading university, the University of Auckland.

MikesBikes allowed students to formulate their own strategy and business plan, and implement decisions to operate an online manufacturing firm. Each decision year (rollover), reports were analysed and decisions made to grow the firm into a long term sustainable enterprise. It was a very successful event and the competitors enjoyed making decisions as much as the instructors and Smartsims’ team enjoyed watching the competition progress. At the end of it, the top three teams were recognised and awarded for their efforts. Such was the level of competition among the three institutions that the top three were each from a different university:

  • The Kiwiland industry was dominated by the firm Great Bug Bikes managed by University of Auckland
  • The Lotusland industry was maximised by the firm Columbia Bikes managed by Selkirk College
  • The Oilatopia industry was captured by the firm Super 5 Corp. managed by Red Deer College

Students used their knowledge, skills and business know-how, backed with prior experience using MikesBikes as a part of their courses, to be tough competition to other firms’ managers. The level of competition was commendably high. Following the recommendation of the college instructors, we hope to make this event a permanent fixture in our calendar.

“Looks to me like we each have a world with a winning team. It was a great competition this year, and my students really enjoyed playing with some out of province and out of country competition. Hopefully we can make this an annual tradition.”

Dustin Quirk
Red Deer College

“This has been a great experience, and we’ve loved it.”

Vicki Little
University of Auckland



Industry Firm SHV Share Price Total SHV Economic Value Created
Lotusland Columbia Bikes $265.19 $260.19 $451,053,438 $56,337,203
Kiwiland Great Bug Bikes $138.83 $124.13 $269,219,543 $40,041,103
Kiwiland Rascal Rides $120.23 $99.39 $192,105,556 $8,020,742
Kiwiland The Hubb $93.69 $74.99 $153,452,128 $9,791,844
Oilatopia Super 5 Corp. $81.54 $68.19 $131,907,516 $13,361,308
Oilatopia Mikes Trikes $75.90 $72.77 $125,932,275 $18,604,071
Oilatopia World Bikes $54.13 $49.93 $104,788,294 $9,778,389
Oilatopia Prestige $46.03 $44.52 $87,540,330 $1,902,938
Lotusland Triple KG Bikes $29.04 $25.39 $52,572,374 $4,582,099
Lotusland Realm Bikes $28.15 $28.15 $55,105,970 $7,255,784
Lotusland Ricky Bobby Inc. $26.40 $23.68 $52,850,008 $3,116,349
Lotusland Firm2 $6.03 $5.13 $12,062,176 -$1,930,537
Kiwiland Perpetual Motion $3.63 $2.91 $8,582,363 $1,932,957
Lotusland Team Caffeine $2.39 $1.11 $4,759,019 -$3,052,345
Kiwiland Nitro $1.92 $1.61 $3,823,019 -$4,190,269
Oilatopia L.A.M Bikes $1.51 $1.51 $3,010,140 -$723,737
Oilatopia Addictive Cycles FA $0.52 $0.01 $999,061 -$13,505,480
Kiwiland Maverick Cycles $0.01 $0.01 $20,000 -$20,289,270
Logo for Quinnipiac University

Quinnipiac Team Day


Business Simulations like MikesBikes provide an excellent environment for students to learn and practice team work. Steven Gain from Smartsims went along to help out at the Quinnipiac University School of Business Team Day event.

Video of Quinnipiac Team Day including MikesBikes presentation

Faculty, students spend Saturday on teamwork


Reproduced from the Fall 2009 Business Magazine from Quinnipiac University

The business world is not all fun and games, but it’s a different story when it comes to the activities that were part of Quinnipiac University’s School of Business Team Day event.

In what has become a school tradition, all freshmen enrolled in the Introduction to Business course gather on campus on a September Saturday morning to build bonds and foster the concept of teamwork in an atypical classroom setting. The students are guided not only by faculty members but upperclassmen involved in the student team consultants group and other student clubs.

“In this class, we prepare them for the idea that there are a lot of teams used in business,” said Patrice Luoma, associate professor of management. “They work on a significant project for the entire semester with the same people, so the teambuilding activities on Team Day are to help them get to know each other better.”

“You have to break down these barriers of formality. This is a fine way of doing that,” added Surya Chelikani, a first-year finance professor.

A question-and-answer session with Steven Gain, the senior account manager for Smartsims, highlighted the morning session. Gain’s company produces the “MikesBikes” software that students use to run a simulated bike manufacturing company.

“Every business decision that would be covered in an intro-to-business textbook has an application within the simulation,” said Sean Reid, associate professor of finance. He also serves as the coordinator of freshman business programs.

After lunch, teams of students went to various stations throughout the afternoon to engage in activities such as a trust walk in which students guided blindfolded teammates around Alumni Hall and “human checkers,” a game that taught the value of both communication and the importance of sacrifice for the good of the group.

“As a freshman, I didn’t really realize it, but (Team Day) helps because if you’re in the School of Business, you’re going to be in teams for the next four years, so it definitely gives you a good start,” said Quanita Jones, a junior accounting major who ran the checkers station.

While watching his team compete in human checkers, team leader Andrew Merrick, a junior finance major, thought back to what he learned when he––like Jones––wore the shoes of a freshman.

Merrick said, “I really didn’t realize then that it was beneficial,” he said, “but especially looking at them now, I can see the struggles I went through.”

by Stephen P. Schmidt