Methodology - How to integrate the EcoSim simulation into your course?
Let's see how you can integrate the EcoSim Edu Business Simulation into your lessons!
We give you an easy-to-use tool, online educational software, which, in our experience, makes learning more interesting and stimulating from its first use.
After reading through the description materials of the selected simulation, you can start the practical application of the simulation as a registered user with Teacher license!
To successfully apply the simulation in your classes we recommend the following steps:
- Get to know the simulation thoroughly! As a teacher, it is important to represent the simulation tool confidently to students. To get to know the simulation we recommend starting an internal test course for example with your colleagues. You can find the easy technical steps of starting a course in our teacher’s guide. We recommend to play at least 2-3 decision periods with the simulation in order to experience what the students will get and to familiarize yourself with the simulation interface.
- Creating the concept. Based on your experiences with the test course, you will have an idea about how to integrate the simulation into the curriculum of your subjects. For example, after teaching the theoretical knowledge and clarifying the professional concepts, the simulation can be used as a 1-month online homework assignment or a 2-day live event where students have to give a strategic presentation at the end. For more ideas and best practices, check out our case studies on how others use our simulations!
- Course setup. After finalizing the concept, it is time to set up the simulation course. When determining the timing, it is worth taking the student’s workload, school events and breaks into consideration. We recommend that you allow time between the two decision periods to review the results. In the simulation, you will find a number of performance indicators, which can be included in the evaluation together, and as a performance index this prompts participants to create a complex strategy (for example market share, quality and profitability also count in the evaluation).
- Describe the tasks of the students. Clear communication of expectations, method of assessment and timing is important for student motivation. We recommend showing the Start presentation to the students at the beginning of the simulation course to present the software and concept to the participants with additions related to the lesson.
- Test round for students. The most effective introduction of the simulation to students is a test round. This is useful and important due to the practical application and understanding of the materials related to the simulation and the content of the Start presentation and the simulation strategies. 2 decision periods are ideal, but 1 test round is also suitable for teaching students.
- Rounds. After the test round it is best to start the real rounds with 4-8 decision periods, during which the strategies develop and the participants have the opportunity to make significant changes of direction. For project decisions to take effect in most simulations, it is useful to plan with at least 4 decision periods. When applying the simulation as a competition platform, you can create several rounds, for example a qualification round for everyone to participate, and the most successful teams (such as market winners) can advance to the final.
- Feedback during the simulation. It is very useful to analyse the partial results of the simulation, for which the graphs of the EcoSim Edu system are excellent tools. It is important to answer students’ questions during the simulation rounds, as this affects students’ understanding and performance positively. Participants can even help each other, for which we recommend using the effective communication channels provided by the educational institution.
- Review. In addition to the scores and marks obtained on the basis of the pre-announced evaluation criteria and the solution of additional tasks, it is also useful to give students a general or personalized evaluation of the simulation performance.
Enriching the simulation program
The teacher can enrich the simulation course by adding various tasks related to the simulation. Here are some examples proven to work well:
- Preparing a business plan, strategy for the duration of the simulation. These can be evaluated on their own, but their preparation can only be expected after the test round where students get to know the simulation better.
- Analysing the test round. You can analyse the test round together with the students, explore and share good practices.
- Presentation. Students can present their strategy used in the simulation and the results they achieved to their fellow students and teacher who represent the “shareholders” of their virtual company.
- Negotiation techniques. For example, students have to negotiate with the “unions” (represented by the teacher or other students) about salaries and the number of dismissals per period before they make a decision.
- Preparation for decision making, calculating returns. Analysis of product development, investment and organizational development projects and opportunities. For example, is it worth investing in the development of new products, and if so, in which and when. The answer to this may be different depending on the length of the game (number of periods played).
- Marketing plan. Presenting the marketing strategy based on promotional expenses in the simulation. Students can also create slogans and advertising materials.
- Future plans for potential investors. At the end of the simulation, participants present their ideas, plans, and future strategy to an imaginary investor candidate (who could be the teacher and fellow students, or a businessman invited to the lecture).
The EcoSim Edu business simulation system is also suitable for conducting a playful professional competition, which can be an excellent marketing tool to promote your educational institution and attract talented students. If you want to apply the simulation to run a student competition, ask for approval and individual consultation from our colleagues on the Contact page!