Higher education sector in Poland is currently facing challenges related to the changes that are taking place in Poland and Europe. Universities are supposed to prepare their graduates to enter the labour market. Owning a company, which is the essence of entrepreneurship, is an important element of social and economic life as well. Therefore, universities should select those teaching methods which are adjusted to the market requirements. And these change dynamically. Nowadays, there is an increase in the demand for soft skills: creativity, the ability to analyse data or the ability to make quick decisions under time pressure. Thanks to Business Simulation Games from Revas, students shape the competences of the future by operating in a predefined virtual reality. Practical courses with a business simulator give students the opportunity to face realistic problems that entrepreneurs and managers have to deal with. It is a true honour that public universities in Poland more and more often choose Revas Business Simulation Games as a teaching tool that suits the vision of education in the 3rd decade of the 21st century.
Business simulations on entrepreneurship courses, but also…
Lecturers use Revas Business Simulation Games for various courses – most often related to entrepreneurship, business management, marketing and economic analysis. However, there were also cases of using simulations in unconventional, original projects. “Revas Business Simulation Games – we used them on the subject Open Space Workshops. Usually, we invited business practitioners to participate, but in the past year it was not possible. Simulations have therefore become a natural alternative. Thanks to the Revas software, students had the opportunity to work in a simulated work environment and their feedback about it was really positive” – says Karolina Kalińska from the Public Vocational College in Włocławek.
Practice above everything
The vast majority of lecturers claim that one of the most essential advantages of the simulation is the possibility of carrying out practical courses, which students evaluate as more interesting and engaging. Sebastian Stępień, professor at the Stanisław Staszic Public University in Piła, explains: “courses take place in the form of practical classes, during which students are divided into small groups and make decisions as a team, and then, with my assistance, they analyse the results of these decisions. This form of running a course is valued by students because it is close to actual business practice, is more interesting, requires them to think independently and motivates them to act. Supplemented with comments from the lecturer, it constitutes a comprehensive approach to the process of company management and the analysis of economic results”.
Revas Business Simulation Games in the Polish Accreditation Committee’s eye
The use of Revas Business Simulation Games during courses with students is also strongly recommended by Monika Łęska, a lecturer at National Higher School in Biała Podlaska. “I strongly recommend my fellow lecturers to use simulations in class mainly because of their practical aspect. Recently, my classes have been assessed by the Polish Accreditation Committee. The use of simulation received a very positive feedback, indicating that it is beneficial not only for students (due to its practical nature), but also for teachers/lecturers. It gives them the opportunity to develop/improve the teaching-learning process using various methods, forms and means of education. All of that is especially needed nowadays, when we face the challenges related to the need of introducing active methods, project methods, simulation learning and gamification of classes mainly with the use of modern technologies ”.
Paulina Rydwańska, a teaching assistant at State Higher Vocational School in Nowy Sacz draws attention to the aspect of competition that improves the acquisition of practical knowledge. “Students have the opportunity to test the consequences of their decisions in practice, and thanks to the element of competition, they are additionally motivated to look for the best strategies for managing a company.” Joanna Olszowy, a lecturer at the State Vocational School in Tarnobrzeg shares a similar opinion – “the courses are certainly more creative and teach logical thinking. Students are more eager to follow orders and it creates a nice way of competition between them. Every player has to be involved.”
Educational decision games significantly increase the effectiveness of learning
Marcin Krupa, a lecturer at the State University in Oświęcim emphasizes the scientific explanation of the use of the simulation method in the didactic process. According to the assumptions of Dale’s Cone of Experience – educational games “increase the effectiveness of learning from about 5-10% to 70-80%“. Another lecturer at the State University in Oświęcim, Karolina Pawlusiak, sees the advantage of the possibility of conducting classes in an off-line, on-line and mixed form – “Students do some tasks at home, independently, which is advisable in times of the pandemic.”
Business simulations help in creating the competences of the future
Paulina Rydwańska, a teaching assistant, draws attention to the fact that Business Simulation Games help in shaping competences of the future. “I definitely recommend using simulations during courses! It is a tool that young people understand very well. They have the opportunity to test themselves in different roles and get to know better the duties resulting from performing a given task. It is also worth mentioning the competences acquired as part of the teamwork. I believe that simulations equip students with specific knowledge that, due to the way it is passed on, will stay with them for longer ”. Andrzej Kuciński, a lecturer at the The Jacob of Paradies University adds: “business simulations allow students to develop teamwork skills, but also to prove themselves as a leader in a group.” Jolanta Kloc, a lecturer at the Public Vocational College in Włocławek emphasizes the possibility of shaping soft skills and simultaneously notes that Business Simulation Games “teach team responsibility for making decisions. In traditional group projects, responsibility is split and, as a consequence, people look for scapegoats. ”
Lecturer as a mentor and business tutor
Courses with implemented Business Simulation Games differ from traditional, theoretical classes. “Such classes differ mainly in the use of modern methods and tools in the process of educating students, which, of course, does not only come down to technological issues, but, what is the most important, to didactics. As a Mentor in a simulation, I act as a Tutor where I listen, ask questions and actively explain. During lessons with the use of simulations, it is also possible to use Peer tutoring, i.e. a special form of collaborative learning. Thanks to this method both me as a Mentor/Tutor and my students develop knowledge and skills. The above-mentioned methods (Tutoring/Peer Tutoring) are currently in the phase of intensive development (interest) both at the ministerial and university level, constituting the direction of didactics development “. – notes Monika Łęska.
Lecturers using Revas Business Simulation Games are more often approached by students! 😉
Lecturers who introduced business simulations to their classes often admit that the interest in gamification goes way beyond the eagerness to just pass the course. It is not an isolated case that students, when preparing business strategies, bombarded lecturers with questions after class, in the hallways or during weekends. Jolanta Kloc confirms that simulation courses generate a lot of emotions and that students always want more. “After the first class, the students were so satisfied that they kept asking me “will we be using more business simulations?”. At the end I asked them if they would like to. They replied with a firm “YES“.
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The vast majority of Revas lecturers-instructors recommend the use of Business Simulation Games. “I would fully recommend the use of business simulations in class to other lecturers, mainly because it brings a high involvement of students in the course and the possibility of learning through experience” – adds Andrzej Kuciński while Sebastian Stępień concludes: “simulations meet the expectations of students in terms of combining theoretical and practical knowledge”. More opinions and recommendations can be found here
Instead of the ending
Benjamin Frankilin wrote the famous words in 1789: “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” If he was still alive, it is possible that he would add one more thing to these two – the satisfaction of students who used Revas Business Simulation Games during lessons 😊