“The one lesson I wanted to share with the audience is that simulations are a powerful tool, but they only work if all parties, both students and instructors, are fully engaged. This requires a combination of vigilance and enthusiasm on all sides.”
Dr. Carolan McLarney
Dr. Carolan McLarney was the keynote speaker at the 7th Teaching & Education Conference organized by the International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences
Dr. Carolan McLarney:
On May 21st I was honoured to give the keynote address at the annual International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences Conference held at the University of London in London, England. The speech was entitled Home and Away: The Effective Use of Simulations in Graduate Blended Learning Programs.
It was centred on the concept that simulations can be effective tools in creating deeper learning. “It is a technique to replace and amplify real experiences with guided ones, often “immersive” in nature, that evoke or replicate substantial aspects of the real world in a fully interactive fashion.” (Lateef, 2010).
The first part of the talk explored the impact of three factors (individual, group and organization) on the overall efficacy of the simulation. Each of the factors can singularly effect simulation outcomes, but often they work in tandem. For instance, systematic biases at the individual level can exacerbate issues of team effectiveness. Similarly, an ineffective team would have difficulty overcoming organizational complexity. This means that instructors must be cognizant of the possible deleterious effects of the three factors on the simulation and on the desired outcomes for the course.
In the second half of the presentation I walked through the four different simulations I have used in the MBA(FS/L) program beginning in 1999. They vary in delivery mode (paper to on-line) and in timelines (an afternoon to full semester).
The Kalimantan Paper Project is a paper-based, three-hour negotiation simulation where groups of students work to create a “sellable” deal. The Global Shoe Company is an on-line competitive simulation that we have run over the course of a four-day intensive. We have used the Everest: Leadership & Team Simulation in the Capstone Strategy Class for the past number of years. It is an on-line interactive simulation where teams attempt to climb Everest. Finally, GLO-BUS is a full semester on-line competitive simulation where teams try to win global market dominance in the Drone and Wearable Camera industry. Interestingly the first year we ran the simulation our winning team went on to eventually becoming the 2018 GLO-BUS BSI “Grand Champions”.
The one lesson I wanted to share with the audience is that simulations are a powerful tool, but they only work if all parties, both students and instructors, are fully engaged. This requires a combination of vigilance and enthusiasm on all sides.
Dr. C. McLarney
Faculty of Management
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Editor’s Note: The Centre for Executive and Graduate Education (CEGE) provides opportunities for deeper learning by delivering robust course content in ways that engage students to study, integrate and apply what they have learned. Deeper learning fosters competencies required to participate within our social milieu: critical thinking, collaborative and communication skills. CEGE’s commitment to their students was dramatically evidenced in the GLO-BUS Simulation introduced by Dr. Carolan McLarney in the 2018 winter semester of International Business.
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