“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience” – David Kolb
The Business Centre in Ontario Canada have became a part of the experiential learning movement using the MikesBikes Introduction to Business Simulation with great success. We interviewed Bob Walpole, Project Manager at The Business Centre, to learn about what they do, and why they chose MikesBikes to provide students with an experiential learning environment.
Who is The Business Centre and what do you do?
We provide support to start-up and small enterprises during their first through fifth years of operation in the districts of Nipissing and Parry Sound by offering easy access to business consulting services and information concerning market research, business planning, management, marketing, technology and financing.
We also create and deliver projects designed to give high school students experiential learning experiences in entrepreneurship which, in one of our projects, includes the use of MikesBikes.
What is the Entrepreneurship Outreach Program?
This program has been renamed ELS or Experiential Learning Stream. We have a series of projects designed to give high school students in our area some hands–on learning experiences involving some aspects of entrepreneurship. We run entrepreneurship leadership camps, hosts entrepreneurship and social innovation workshops in Toronto, Ontario, teach students how to make better business decisions using MikesBikes. We also run a special business project each year with our local “alternative” school, whose students do much better academically in a less structured educational environment.
What made you choose MikesBikes for the program?
We chose it for its ease of use, affordability, accessibility and especially because we were able to adapt/simplify its excellent complexity to fit the needs and academic background/level of high school. We also like the almost immediate financial and non-financial feedback the students get when they submit their inputs for processing.
How do you use MikesBikes in the program?
We initially spend around five hours in total teaching the students and going through the first two periods of the simulation. Students complete hundreds of “what if” scenarios to achieve the highest profits possible.
How does MikesBikes allow you to engage with the participants of the program?
We are in the classroom with the students, teaching, answering questions and providing learning exercises based on using the game.
Describe both your experience and the student’s experience with MikesBikes?
Students love the game and the competition among their peers. There are many Aha! moments. For us, it is a wonderful learning and teaching tool.
What do students take away from the simulation?
Students learn about the inter-connectedness of input variables, how to isolate variables and how to interpret financial statements. We run in class competitions and an inter-school competition near the end of the semester.
What successes have you seen with the program and MikesBikes?
The students learn very quickly that business involves many inter-connected variables required for success and how to structure decision-making to maximize results. They tell us they love playing with the software. Teachers keep asking us to return to their classes year after year.
Smartsims would like to thank Bob Walpole and The Business Centre for sharing their experiences with MikesBikes.
Want to learn more? Drexel University also use MikesBikes in their Foundations of Business course: