Introduction to Business Simulation Archives

Teaching Intro to Business Online at DMACC

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) use our MikesBikes Introduction Simulation in their Introduction to Business course. The course is run in both face-to-face and online formats.

How do you use the MikesBikes Simulation in BUS102?

MikesBikes is used as a supplement to the material that we cover in class. The students are given approximately 45 minutes in class during the week (in face-to-face classes) to meet with their team and review their possible decisions. In an online class, the students compete individually.

How do you introduce MikesBikes to students?

MikesBikes is introduced to students in multiple announcements during the first week of the online class. These announcements direct students to folders in the online class containing Smartsims’ introductory videos and tutorials. In addition, after watching the videos, students must complete a quiz showing that they have a basic understanding of the simulation.

Do students use MikesBikes in teams or individually? If in teams, how do you facilitate teamwork in an online environment?

With the online course offering, students compete individually. If I were to offer the simulation in teams, as opposed to individually, I would encourage students to use free online meeting software such as Zoom Meetings or Microsoft Teams, and to meet at least once a week online.

Do you implement any simulation related assessments?

Primarily, the students are graded on their final shareholder value. There aren’t really many graded assessments in my online class. I have colleagues who have students present a final MikesBikes presentation at the end of the simulation.

What other applications do you use to help deliver your online course?

My college utilizes the Blackboard Learning Management System as the online platform to present classes.

What advice can you offer to others using a business simulation in their online courses?

It is critical to get students to practice with the Single-Player simulation prior to moving to the Multi-Player phase. Checking student login and online activity is important to ensure that there is a basic understanding of the simulation at the end of the Single-Player phase.

One piece of advice I would give would be to post weekly words of encouragement to students throughout the simulation as it keeps the work top of mind and keeps them focused on the work.

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COVID-19: Update from Smartsims Business Simulations

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that everyone in the Smartsims team is healthy and safe. We have been and will continue to follow all recommended government and professional guidelines to keep things that way. Our simulations, servers and networks remain unaffected.

The impact of COVD-19 will require many of you currently running a simulation to make changes to your schedules. Just let us know so we can postpone or re-schedule any upcoming events for your course.

I understand most university and college faculty around the world are now facing the challenge of transitioning their business courses to online delivery. As we already have a large number of online and hybrid courses, we are well placed to support you in any way we can. There are a range of options available to make this transition as easy as possible. Contact our team to discuss this further.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best.

Thank you for your continued support!

Kind regards,

Ian McPherson
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer