Using Integrative Simulation in Enhancing and Assessing Learning: The Application of a Computer Simulation Exercise

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The second year of university is often challenging time for students enrolled in the BBA Programme, as they have just completed their Foundation core courses and embark on taking the Functional core courses before the stream allocation exercise. This proposal will illustrate how a large-scale Computer Simulation Exercise (CSE) can be used to enhance and assess learning. Students will be divided into teams and participate in the CSE where they manage and operate an entrepreneurial venture for 5 years. Team-based learning is a well-established method for promoting student learning, boosting students' motivation and cooperative learning. Through the use of multiple assessment tools, attempts will be made to assess different aspects of student learning. Examples of assessment tools include: executive briefings, strategic business plan, peer evaluation, and formal boardroom reporting.

In addition, through the use of a balanced scorecard, each team's performance will be evaluated based upon achievements within each of the Business Foundation and Functional areas (Accounting, Finance, Management and Organisation, Marketing, Information System and Operations Management). The CSE provides opportunities for a different learner involvement, and with immediate and frequent feedbacks (e.g. at weekly Executive briefing sessions) to help students improve their problem-solving skills in collaborative tasks. This grant is requested for the initial setting up and the running of the CSE for 10 sections of BUS 2205 - Marketing Management during the Academic Year 2014-15, together with the tracking and analysis of multiple assessment tools for more effective learning and assurance of learning outcomes.

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The computer simulation exercise (CSE) was carried out in a required course, BUS2205 Marketing Management, in the BBA programme in the year 2014-15 where nine sections of students were enrolled, with four sections (116 students) in the first term and five sections (116 students) in the second term. It demonstrated how simulation pedagogy improved learning effectiveness.

The empirical evidence collected provide insights for using simulation games in other courses offered in the BBA programme, similar simulation pedagogy might be adopted for courses to improve student learning.