Business Games in Practice: how to adapt simulations to graduate-level learning
At the heart of most graduate programs today is a 'core competency framework', which encourages the development of a set of 'proficiencies' – that is, knowledge, skills, and attitudes thought to define a field of study, and seen as requisite for employment and career development in the profession. Competency-based education aligns these proficiencies with program curricula, and monitors competency adherence as a key performance indicator for both students and faculty members.
Business simulation games can help students and faculty alike emphasize core competency learning in a real-world, low-risk environment. Most importantly, unlike traditional curricula, business simulation games show how these competencies are applied in real-world situations.
While often used as the ‘capstone’ module of an MBA program, an important feature of these games is that they can be taught in a way that emphasises specific competencies. In other words, faculty can use a game and corresponding assignments and exercises to emphasize the unique focus of a specific program, concentration, or course. A business marketing professor, for example, may choose to highlight game content that relates to product appeal, pricing and market analysis. In an business strategy class, the game may instead be used to teach strategy principles and professional leadership.
These modifications can be made without sacrificing a game’s overall generalist approach – giving faculty members the ability to highlight core competencies while maintaining a multidisciplinary learning experience for students.