Since 2001, close to 500,000 students and executives have benefited from Marketplace® simulations. As a result of its widespread adoption and realistic decision environment, Marketplace is becoming a focal point of scholarly research into the simulation pedagogy and management theory and practice.
Are you interested in doing research on pedagogy or management theory and practice? Take a look at the following articles.
A Pedagogy to Enhance the Value of Simulations in the Classroom
Ernest R. Cadotte and Christelle MacGuire (2013), Journal for Advancement of Marketing Education (Fall) 33-52.
Cadotte and MacGuire describe an enhanced simulation pedagogy that has been used at the University of Tennessee for several years. There are three key factors that set this course apart from all other simulation courses. First, the instructor is no longer a teacher but a Business Coach.
Second, the Coach meets each week with each team in an Executive Briefing where the teams review their 1) performance during the prior quarter, 2) strategy going forward, 3) tactical decisions, and 4) financial projections and justification for everything.
Third, the inclusion of the executive briefings and the Business Coach created the opportunity to employ a rubric to assess the students’ critical thinking skills over time. This rubric was patterned after Bloom’s Hierarchy of Learning.
Cadotte and MacGuire examined the performance 658 students over two semesters. What is noteworthy is that the students steadily improved over the course of the exercise. They believe that the repetitive nature of the exercise coupled with regular assessment and formative feedback were key to the learning.
Using a Business Simulation to Enhance Accounting Education
Richard Riley, Ernest R. Cadotte, Leff Bonney, and Christelle MacGuire. Journal of Accounting, Issues in Accounting Education, 28 (4).
Riley et. al. describe the role that business simulations can play to enhance accounting education and in the assessment of student, course and programmatic outcomes. Business simulations help accounting students refine their numerical skills by leveraging their affinity for financial and non-financial numbers as well as their willingness to analyze problems in a structured fashion. The authors find that simulations challenge students to work in unstructured situations, developing their tolerance for and appreciation of ambiguity.
The learning strategy described in the paper illustrates how various value-added activities can be used for course-embedded assessment. Student performance is documented by the business simulation and instructor via objective measurements as well as rubrics. The compiled data provide within-course and programmatic feedback that can be used to improve teaching and learning outcomes.
Metrics for Mentors
Ernie Cadotte, BizEd, May/June 2014
Training executive mentors to evaluate student work brings an added dimension to a business school’s assessment and assurance of learning activities. In this article, Cadotte describes how executives serving as business coaches, mentor, evaluate, provide feedback, and assign grades. The business coaches evaluate students using 3 different rubrics–one for executive briefings, one for the business plans, and one for the stockholder reports. Using the rubrics, the coaches evaluate the thought process, skill sets and critical thinking that go into the students’ decisions. Based on data collected, significant improvements have been made in the curriculum, boosting student learning and confidence along the way. By the end of the class, the students exude confidence, because they have run simulated businesses and dealt with unrelenting challenges.
BizEd is a publication of Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business.
A Longitudinal, Multilevel Study of Leadership Efficacy Development
Narda R. Quigley, Academy of Management Learning and Education, December 17, 2012.
Simulations in which MBA students can practice decision-making and leadership skills in team contexts are commonplace in modern business schools. This longitudinal study explored the development of confidence in one’s ability to lead (i.e., leadership efficacy) over time in the context of 40 self-directed MBA teams (198 individuals) participating in a 4-day immersive Marketplace® business simulation.
Using random coefficient growth modeling, two manifestations of leadership efficacy were examined: the individual-level variable and team-level dispersion. Findings at the individual level indicated that extraversion and cognitive ability were predictors of the initial level of leadership efficacy, and emotional stability, agreeableness, and openness to experience were predictors of the change in leadership efficacy over time.
More positive midpoint feedback received by the team was also related to leadership efficacy. Findings at the team level indicated that dispersion increased over time within teams, but teams that began their lifespan with strong action and transition processes experienced less dispersion from the outset. Also, more positive midpoint feedback caused greater dispersion in the second half of the team’s life. Implications for leadership development are discussed.
As these papers/articles show, simulations truly enhance the learning experience and are viable venues for scholarly research.