ASD Business Simulations - Internet based simulations for effective education.
Our simulations enhance learning and contribute to develop analytical and decision making skills in students.
ASD Business Simulations administrates business simulations through the Web. This service consists in setting up the simulation, receiving student decisions, processing them, and generating reports for the students and for the instructor. When needed, technical support is offered to students and instructors through e-mail.
Business simulations, also known as business games, are exercises in which participants in business courses are in charge of managing a firm in a simulated environment through decision making in one or more functional areas of the firm. The number and type of decisions depend on the objective for which the simulation was developed for. These decisions are later processed by a computerized program that generates reports for participants and the instructor. These reports include financial statements and supplementary information.Participants may work in teams.
In addition to making periodic decisions, they may be required to make forecasts. The environment in which the firms develop their operations is competitive. They may compete for market share, profits, firm value or forecast accuracy.It can be said that a simulation is a dynamic case in which the participant, in addition to performing the analysis of a particular business situation, has to make a decision, not just recommend a course of action. They get to know the results of his/her decisions through a report that includes financial statements. Furthermore, participants have to live with the results of their decisions since the simulation, and the decision-making, continues for a number of periods.After each simulated period, feedback is provided to the participants. This process is repeated many times and usually lasts from six to eight periods. Each simulated period can represent a month, a quarter, or a year depending on the simulation.In a simulation, participants confront problems and opportunities that are present in real life. Having this in mind, only relevant aspects of a business are included in a simulation. The aspects included depend on the purpose of the simulation, which in turn depends on the type of knowledge we want to transfer and the analytical and decision making skills we want to develop in the participants. With this respect the market offers total enterprise business simulators in which the objective is to make decisions in all functional areas of the firm.
There are also business simulations, like ours, in which the decisions pertain to certain functional areas, i.e. marketing, operations, finance, etc.Decisions are made under an uncertain environment comprised of economic conditions and the competition represented by the other teams in class. At the beginning of the simulation all firms have the same characteristics and financial conditions. With the objective of avoiding initial complexity, the number of decisions at the beginning of the simulation can be restricted. As time passes and different topics in the course are covered, the number of decisions may be increased.The use of simulations in business education can be considered a type of experiential learning given the fact that the student applies through decision-making models and techniques learned in class and then has to live with the results. Recent studies indicate that more than 90% of business schools in the US include business simulations in their programs.Benefits of Business SimulationsThe following is a list of benefits of business simulations:
- They require the use of concept and application of models and techniques presented in class.
- Participants get to know the results of their decisions and with feedback can identify the reasons for the good or bad performance of their firm.
- The fact that the decisions are repeated reinforces the learning process.
- When working in teams, the analysis and decision-making process helps develop team work, communication, leadership, and negotiation skills.
- The fact that students have to live with the results of their decisions throughout the simulation (and get a grade) makes them consider the consequences of their decisions.
- The generation of a competitive environment in pursued of the best results and/or the best team, is an important motivation factor that favors learning.