Teaching online requires a change in teaching approach to effectively deliver learning outcomes and engage students. Business simulation games are the perfect teaching tool for the online learning environment. They provide students with an immediate application to theory, in a fun and engaging way. Students build confidence in business concepts and terms, and they create connection with the course, each other and their instructor.
Here are our seven best practices for using a business simulation in an online course:
1. Instructor Presence
Make your presence known to the students early and often.
“Post weekly words of encouragement to students throughout the simulation as it is keeps the work top of mind and keeps them focused on the work.”
– Des Moines Area Community College
You can regularly engage students through videos, initiating and participation in discussion boards through your learning management system (LMS). Also, make sure students are aware of how they can reach out to you when they need help.
2. Real-World Application
Business simulations give students real-world practice experience. So highlight these throughout the simulation.
“I love using a business simulation. Cases are usually obsolete, have students analyzing other people’s decisions, and don’t provide an opportunity for students to practice implementation, assessment, and adjustment of their strategic decisions. However, with a simulation, students are able to make decisions for their own firms, see the results of those decisions, and adjust accordingly, all within a dynamic (and fun) environment.”
– Scott Livengood (Arizona State University)
3. Clear Expectations
Provide students with a clear set of your expectations at the beginning of the course. This should include a detailed syllabus, outlining their assessments and deadlines.
4. Make Use of Individual and Group Projects
A healthy mix of group and individual projects is an ideal way of ensuring success with online learning. Providing students with a variety of learning styles will improve their learning abilities, and educate them on the importance of both teamwork and individual achievements.
5. Learning Objectives
Alignment is important. Ensure that your course content aligns with objectives and assessments.
6. Provide Students with Prompt Feedback
Provide timely feedback students can apply during the course and to reinforce essential concepts, materials and skills.
7. Engage Students
Engaged students is a sign of a successful class. Using tools such as business simulations provides students with an engaging, challenging and enriching learning environment, while also extending their academic abilities.
Learn from other instructors:
The instructors below have been gracious enough to share their experience teaching online with a Smartsims Business Simulation:
- Teaching Strategic Management Online at Arizona State University
- Teaching Strategic Management Online at USM
- Teaching Intro to Business Online at DMACC
Find out more about Smartsims Business Simulations below:
- MikesBikes Introduction to Business Simulation
- MikesBikes Advanced Strategic Management Simulation
- Music2Go Marketing Simulation
- AdSim Advertising Simulation
- MikesBikes Accounting Simulation
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