As students tackle business simulations, they enjoy the experience that comes with applying newly learned business concepts/theories in the safe environment of the classroom. However, the benefits of business simulations go beyond the application of hard skills. Such exercises are also conducive to the development of soft skills, also known as Emotional Intelligence.
The highest levels of the revised Bloom’s Hierarchy of Learning point to analysis, evaluation and creation. The iterative learning process of business simulations is beneficial by encouraging student experimentation via trial and error. But, it is that same experimentation that also challenges students to test theories by evaluating different scenarios and interacting with their teammates. In doing so, students create social knowledge.
Fueled by tension and uncertainty, the teamwork environment framed by business simulations is the ideal platform for students to interact, defend, challenge, and create their thoughts.
The hard skills become a means for creation and argumentation. As students interact amongst themselves and with their instructor/coach, they learn to:
- Communicate effectively by articulating arguments and listening to others
- Solve problems
- Take on a leadership role and cooperate
- Build confidence
- Form a strong work ethic and a positive attitude
- Self-develop in response to their teammates’ feedback and constructive criticism
- Manage their time
The simultaneous development of hard and soft skills constitute an opportunity that cannot be replicated in a lecture environment. Further complementing the simulation with value-added activities such as Executive Briefings and presentations can further contribute to the learning experience of students and the development of soft skills. This type of learning environment is instrumental in preparing students for their future careers.