The notion that enterprise education should – at its best – strive to go beyond traditional teaching methods and embrace creative forms of learning is perhaps not an entirely new one.
Indeed, there have been a number of reports in recent years that have tackled the subject. For example, in his document, The Relevance of Enterprise in Education, Lord Young lauds those teachers who are ‘already demonstrating imaginative and enterprising approaches to teaching and learning.’
The move from conventional teaching methodology to role-playing and even full-blown business games – or simulations – is therefore not a great leap: but what are the benefits of doing so? Well, we’re big fans of hands-on learning here at Crowdfund Campus – and believe that there are a plethora of reasons to introduce business games into the enterprise curriculum – but we don’t want to bombard you! With that in mind, here are our top three reasons to embrace the art of business gaming…
Multiplayer gaming has become increasingly popular over the last few years; most young gamers (a large proportion of whom are students) now tend to prefer an interactive environment in a competitive yet cooperative atmosphere. Business simulation games can foster the same sense of teamwork (with a healthy dose of friendly competition), as students form the management team for their virtual company and have to join forces to make their business succeed.
Depending on how sophisticated the platform is, the sense of universal connectivity that has become commonplace in the gaming world – with millions of players joining in from across the globe – can also be experienced in a business simulation; in-game messaging systems allow ‘players’ to connect and plan from across campus or even different countries. As businesses become more cosmopolitan and sprawling in feel, with remote working a common occurrence , this is an additional experience that e-learning can simulate – and which could prove most useful to the budding entrepreneur.
Who doesn’t love the carrot at the end of the stick? The rewards that are offered within most business games can prove a great motivator to students – even if these are nothing more than a spot at the top of the leaderboard. A sense of competition – often a powerful driver for entrepreneurs – is fostered through the interactive and communicative nature of this kind of e-learning, and the retention of information, when tempted by such a stirring incentive, is a fantastic bonus.
Ultimately, the biggest reward a student will reap will be their enhanced skillset: business games can help a student develop problem-solving skills, grow their business acumen, evolve and trial their ideas, as well as fine-tuning their social and team-building skills.
3. A safe environment in which to take risks
As Ralph Heath, entrepreneur and author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big, wrote:
Failure and defeat are life’s greatest teachers. […] Failure is the foundation upon which great companies are built. When we were at the height of youthful exuberance, we unearthed our mistakes in an experience we referred to as, “The horror story of the week.” Our mistakes were that frequent and horrific! And they were outstanding learning experiences.
Learning how to not only embrace failure, but also manage it effectively, is one of the most valuable (if not the most valuable) talents an entrepreneur can gain – but the chance to gain this skill in a non-threatening environment is not one that most will have. Business simulations give students the chance to test ideas fully and take risks without experiencing the potentially damaging consequences: all gain, no pain!
Here at Crowdfund Campus, we welcome the employment of such tactics with open arms. Though crowdfunding is not a ‘game’ (at least not in the strictest sense, though it can be a lot of fun!), our Sandpit educational tool gives students the opportunity to take risks and experience the consequences of such, whilst making a host of other decisions related to their enterprise. It is, therefore, one of the most realistic business simulations that we could imagine. Applications like ours, when used effectively, can be helpful in creating a rich – and experiential – learning environment for all budding entrepreneurs.
If you are a student or a teacher and would like to discuss how to involve Crowdfund Campus within your institution, please do not hesitate to contact us today.