Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

business simulations Related Abstracts

3 Business Skills Laboratory in Action: Combining a Practice Enterprise Model and an ERP-Simulation to a Comprehensive Business Learning Environment

Authors: Karoliina Nisula, Samuli Pekkola


Business education has been criticized for being too theoretical and distant from business life. Different types of experiential learning environments ranging from manual role-play to computer simulations and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been used to introduce the realistic and practical experience into business learning. Each of these learning environments approaches business learning from a different perspective. The implementations tend to be individual exercises supplementing the traditional courses. We suggest combining them into a business skills laboratory resembling an actual workplace. In this paper, we present a concrete implementation of an ERP-supported business learning environment that is used throughout the first year undergraduate business curriculum. We validate the implementation by evaluating the learning outcomes through the different domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. We use the role-play oriented practice enterprise model as a comparison group. Our findings indicate that using the ERP simulation improves the poor and average students’ lower-level cognitive learning. On the affective domain, the ERP-simulation appears to enhance motivation to learn as well as perceived acquisition of practical hands-on skills.

Keywords: learning environments, Experiential Learning, ERP systems, business simulations

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2 Using Business Simulations and Game-Based Learning for Enterprise Resource Planning Implementation Training

Authors: Kuan-Chou Chen, Carin Chuang


An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is an integrated information system that supports the seamless integration of all the business processes of a company. Implementing an ERP system can increase efficiencies and decrease the costs while helping improve productivity. Many organizations including large, medium and small-sized companies have already adopted an ERP system for decades. Although ERP system can bring competitive advantages to organizations, the lack of proper training approach in ERP implementation is still a major concern. Organizations understand the importance of ERP training to adequately prepare managers and users. The low return on investment, however, for the ERP training makes the training difficult for knowledgeable workers to transfer what is learned in training to the jobs at workplace. Inadequate and inefficient ERP training limits the value realization and success of an ERP system. That is the need to call for a profound change and innovation for ERP training in both workplace at industry and the Information Systems (IS) education in academia. The innovated ERP training approach can improve the users’ knowledge in business processes and hands-on skills in mastering ERP system. It also can be instructed as educational material for IS students in universities. The purpose of the study is to examine the use of ERP simulation games via the ERPsim system to train the IS students in learning ERP implementation. The ERPsim is the business simulation game developed by ERPsim Lab at HEC Montréal, and the game is a real-life SAP (Systems Applications and Products) ERP system. The training uses the ERPsim system as the tool for the Internet-based simulation games and is designed as online student competitions during the class. The competitions involve student teams with the facilitation of instructor and put the students’ business skills to the test via intensive simulation games on a real-world SAP ERP system. The teams run the full business cycle of a manufacturing company while interacting with suppliers, vendors, and customers through sending and receiving orders, delivering products and completing the entire cash-to-cash cycle. To learn a range of business skills, student needs to adopt individual business role and make business decisions around the products and business processes. Based on the training experiences learned from rounds of business simulations, the findings show that learners have reduced risk in making mistakes that help learners build self-confidence in problem-solving. In addition, the learners’ reflections from their mistakes can speculate the root causes of the problems and further improve the efficiency of the training. ERP instructors teaching with the innovative approach report significant improvements in student evaluation, learner motivation, attendance, engagement as well as increased learner technology competency. The findings of the study can provide ERP instructors with guidelines to create an effective learning environment and can be transferred to a variety of other educational fields in which trainers are migrating towards a more active learning approach.

Keywords: Game-Based Learning, instructional strategy, business simulations, ERP implementation training, ERPsim, training innovation

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1 Non-Cognitive Skills Associated with Learning in a Serious Gaming Environment: A Pretest-Posttest Experimental Design

Authors: Tanja Kreitenweis


Lifelong learning is increasingly seen as essential for coping with the rapidly changing work environment. To this end, serious games can provide convenient and straightforward access to complex knowledge for all age groups. However, learning achievements depend largely on a learner’s non-cognitive skill disposition (e.g., motivation, self-belief, playfulness, and openness). With the aim of combining the fields of serious games and non-cognitive skills, this research focuses in particular on the use of a business simulation, which conveys change management insights. Business simulations are a subset of serious games and are perceived as a non-traditional learning method. The presented objectives of this work are versatile: (1) developing a scale, which measures learners’ knowledge and skills level before and after a business simulation was played, (2) investigating the influence of non-cognitive skills on learning in this business simulation environment and (3) exploring the moderating role of team preference in this type of learning setting. First, expert interviews have been conducted to develop an appropriate measure for learners’ skills and knowledge assessment. A pretest-posttest experimental design with German management students was implemented to approach the remaining objectives. By using the newly developed, reliable measure, it was found that students’ skills and knowledge state were higher after the simulation had been played, compared to before. A hierarchical regression analysis revealed two positive predictors for this outcome: motivation and self-esteem. Unexpectedly, playfulness had a negative impact. Team preference strengthened the link between grit and playfulness, respectively, and learners’ skills and knowledge state after completing the business simulation. Overall, the data underlined the potential of business simulations to improve learners’ skills and knowledge state. In addition, motivational factors were found as predictors for benefitting most from the applied business simulation. Recommendations are provided for how pedagogues can use these findings.

Keywords: Change Management, Serious Games, business simulations, (experiential) learning, non-cognitive skills

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