Simulation Design Options

As you incorporate one of the Marketplace Live business simulations into your course, you may choose from several course design formats.

The best choice for your course will depend on:

  • your course's focus
  • the simulation game you wish to use
  • the amount of time available within the course for the simulation exercise
  • the size of your class
Brand design screen from the Marketplace simulation software

Semester-long course

This is the most popular course format. The business simulation becomes the dominant course activity for 6 to 12 weeks, depending on the simulation game you choose. Your students typically compete in teams against one another. Usually, one decision round is due each week, with an optional 1 to 2 weeks added for the preparation of a business plan. The class is a mixture of lectures and simulation activity. Each week, one lecture or lab period can be set aside for team decision-making or for a period of one on one interaction between the instructor and each team in a setting sometimes referred to as Executive Briefings.

The advantage of the semester-long course format over the intensive format is that your students have more time to develop their critical thinking skills. They have time to reflect on their decisions and debate the options, trade-offs, and potential outcomes with their teammates. Competing head to head against other classmates also brings out the competitive spirit which makes everyone more engaged in the learning process. All of our simulations are suited for this course format.

Self-paced exercise

The self-paced exercise is the ideal choice for large classes and for introductory courses. It requires the least amount of coordination for you as the instructor. In the self-paced exercise, your students compete against computer-generated competitors rather than each other or other student teams. Whenever each student or team completes a particular decision round, they immediately receive feedback from the market and move on to the next round.

Since each student or team competes in their own simulated business world, there is no need to wait for other students or coordinate their progress throughout the exercise. The self-paced format allows your students to work independently or in small teams, and at their own pace.

The self-paced exercise can be built around the following introductory and mid-level simulations, in which students compete against computer-generated competitors:

Intensive course

In an intensive course format, your students complete the entire business simulation exercise in a compressed time frame. Depending on the complexity of the simulation you choose, such an intensive program may take one to five full days. An intensive course is usually positioned either at the end of the program as a capstone experience, or midway through it as an integration and transition experience to the concentrations.

The intensive course is ideal for quick and deep learning. It is similar to the Berlitz method for learning languages. It requires total immersion into the learning process; participants eat, breathe and sleep integrated business management.

The intensive format also encourages cross-fertilization of ideas. The finance manager sits next to the production manager and the marketing person is looking over both their shoulders. On any important decision, there is considerable opportunity to discuss the available options, possible strategies and tactics.

Another advantage of this format is that feedback is immediate. Once all your student teams have submitted their decision round, they learn almost immediately how well they did in terms of financial performance, competitive position, and customer satisfaction. This immediate feedback is a powerful way to encourage sound business thought and discourage unsuccessful business practices. Just as important, your students learn to use the tools of management to diagnose their situation and develop strategies and tactics to improve it. All of our simulations can be used in this course format.

 

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