Online courses in higher education are on the rise. But how do you use a simulation in an online course? We interviewed a couple of professors using Marketplace® simulations to shed some light on this popular topic.
Dr. Robert Heinzman has been teaching at Western Govenors’ University for two and a half years. He explains how he administers the simulation to his students, “I require all students who are ready to begin to attend a webinar. Those who attend and are ready to start are added to the list to begin each month. I run the simulation in cohorts each month,” he says. After they are signed up, he communicates with the students via videos, webinars, and the telephone.
The sign-up process that Dr. Heizman has set up is very user friendly for the students. “The simulation is linked into the learning resources of the course of study and allows students to sign up when they enter the course,” he says.
During the simulation play, the 100-150 students per month that participate are required to answer questions analyzing the actions and outcomes within the simulation. “The student is provided a safe environment to learn how different strategies and concepts affect business,” Dr. Heinzman explains.
He says that the simulation helps students learn how to apply the concepts they are learning in the text.
“As a strictly online only University the simulation is a valuable resource to provide concept learning to our students,” Dr. Heinzman states.
He spends around 10 hours a week on the simulation and uses Advanced Strategic Corporate Management.
Another user of Marketplace® in an online setting is Dr. LC Thomas who has taught at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for 10 years. He says he likes using a simulation in his online course, “the simulation is well suited for online programs because it gives the students an opportunity to think for themselves and be proactive in building their organization.”
After he sets the simulation up online, students are able to register for the class and to use the simulation. “I administer the simulation game by setting it up and let each of my students register for the class. Then they choose their company name and follow my online instructions and submit their results each week once completed,” describes Dr. Thomas.
Dr. Thomas says that the set up process was simple. “It was not difficult for me to organize my class with the support I got from Marketplace® Live Simulations Tech Support and Dr. George Gannage,” he explains.
Dr. Thomas uses discussion questions in order to further his students’ learning with the simulation. “My discussion questions enhance the simulation game tremendously. They work hand in hand,” he says.
“My students really enjoy the game because it gives them an opportunity to build their own company and compete against each other. They say it’s fun and rewarding,” Dr. Thomas explains.
He goes on to describe the teacher’s perspective in the simulation. “I like both the teacher’s perspective as well as the student’s perspective because we have that interaction on a weekly basis.”
He says that after using the simulation for years, he finds great value in it and that it is beneficial to both him and his students.
Dr. Thomas spends 3-4 hours a week on the simulation and uses Introduction to Marketing.
A special thank you to Dr. Heinzman and Dr. Thomas for taking the time to answer these questions about their courses and their simulation use.