The education landscape has dramatically shifted over the years and continues to do so amid the pandemic crisis. With the introduction of new modalities, one thing remains the same: the need to deliver an engaging and relevant experience to our students.
At BusinessThink, we believe students learn best by doing. In this article we try to explore how to create meaningful, bite-sized learning experiences that are authentic to the professional and personal growth of the learner. We use Capstone Simulation based learning, that simulates an actual company along with issues they face both internal and external to the company.
Capstone is an advanced strategic management simulation geared toward Capstone, Strategic Management, and MBA courses. It challenges participants to apply the knowledge they’ve learned across all disciplines of business to develop a corporate strategy. Participants take over a multi-million dollar company that manufactures sensors – devices found in phones, vehicles, and much more. Issues across every department threaten their ability to retain existing or compete for additional market share. It’s up to participants to inject new life into their production strategy, marketing efforts, and finances to establish sustainable growth. Some of the benefits of this simulation are as follows –
Martial arts great Bruce Lee once said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” People who have participated in sports of any kind would agree that during practice one move is practised multiple times, so that it becomes almost a reflex during the actual game. Similar is the case with business; for example, a marketing manager knows that to increase the promotion budgets, finance department is involved. But in Capstone, he actually raises the finances and understands the hardships behind it. This would equip him for better decisions.
In Capstone, the participants learn about the various aspects of business before the simulations through the workbook we provide. During the simulation, they off course learn about coordinating the various aspects of business. But most importantly, after every round in the simulation we provide feedback to participants which points out their strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in the simulation.
Real World Consequences
As learners fail in the simulation, seeing the consequences of their actions can help them understand why their behaviour at work is important. If connecting 2 wires causes a spark, the simulation can literally show that spark if the learner connects them. This can be especially helpful to demonstrate long-term effects because a simulation doesn’t have to elapse in real-time. You could show the learner a safety report or a customer review that comes out a day or week after they perform a task.
Reduce the Forgetting Curve
Studies on how our brains transfer knowledge to long-term memory show that we forget the majority of things we learn. There are various models of the forgetting curve, but all of them show staggering statistics of how little information we retain over time. This is why training methods like printed manuals, lectures, and static eLearning modules often produce sub-par results. The kinesthetics aspect of a training simulation helps learners solidify the information by applying it in actual scenarios. This lengthens the forgetting curve so they can hold onto the knowledge longer.
As you weigh the pros and cons of a simulation against other learning platforms, it’s important to keep in mind that you’re not always choosing a simulation over another technique. You can design a training simulation with qualities of a serious game such as points, achievements, levels, and timers. Consider your resources, learning objectives, and the needs of your learners as you decide which method to use. Take a closer look at what the benefits of simulation training are compared to other methods in corporate training.