Learning Management Grid

This explores the key skills, knowledge and experience for people using business simulations for management development and business training











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The Learning Management Grid described here has two axes - the Business Wisdom Axis and the Teaching Skills Axis. It's purpose is to provide an insight into what skills, knowledge and experience is required for someone to run a business simulation that delivers learning successfully.

The Business Wisdom Axis extends from no business knowledge through general business experience to deep wisdom about the learners' industry and it's issues.

The Teaching Skills Axis extends from no presentation skills through (traditional) instructional skills to the ability to facilitate, coach and challenge in an active, participant led environment.


Learning Management Grid

Industry Wisdom

7 8 9

Business Experience

4 5 6

Business Knowledge

1 2 3
  Presentation Skills Traditional Instruction Coach & Challenge

The Business Wisdom Axis

The Business Knowledge band defines the extent to which the trainer understands basic management theory. It ranges from no knowledge (at the bottom of the band) to in depth theoretical knowledge at the top of the band. So the focus is on theory unmitigated by practical experience.

The Business Experience band defines the extent to which the trainer has experience working in business. It extends from experience of a single function to where the trainer has cross functional experience. In other words it shows the extent to which the trainer is able to use his or her knowledge of business and understands real-world practicalities.

The Industry Wisdom band defines the extent to which the trainer can link to the learners and their day-to-day jobs.

The Teaching Skills Axis

Presentation Skills are seen by many to be the only prerequisite to teach. An assumption that is based on the premise that learning is about a knowledge dump from the trainer's brain into the learners' brains with out passing though any form of consciousness.

Traditional Teachers concentrate on ensuring that knowledge is transferred but see themselves as central to and controlling the learning process.

Coaching and Challenging the learners is appropriate to business simulations where the process is learner centred and the tutor's role is to support the learning process rather than control it.

The Ideal Position and getting there

The ideal position for the person managing the learning process when using business simulations is either in block number 9 or at the top of block 6 as this is where the person can discuss simulation outcomes in the context of business and the learners' jobs. And if the trainer is not positioned here there is a need to move from where he or she is to here.

For people indoctrinated in Traditional Instruction (lecturing) it can be difficult to change their style to that required by the Coach and Challenge as this involved relinquishing control to the participants. This means that probably the worst position to be in is towards the top of block number 2. Here the "teacher" sees himself or herself as a Business Knowledge expert but is used to telling students what business is all about.

A good position to start from is towards the left of block number 7. Here the person has significant Industry Wisdom and some Presentation Skills but has not picked up any of the bad habits of Traditional Instruction. Provide they understand the difference between Traditional Instruction and Coaching & Challenging, it should be reasonably easy to jump to block number 9 and the page Tutor Managed Learning provides insights in to this.

However, for Total Enterprise Simulations (such as The Challenge Series, The Strategy Series and The Tactics Series) any position in blocks 7 or 8 or towards the top of blocks 4 or 5 are suitable starting points For Functional Simulations this extends to the rest of blocks 4 and 5.

Finally, I see the role of learning manager (tutor) as an ideal one for "Baby Boomers" about to retire or who have just retired as this is a way of "harvesting their wisdom" and not losing it to the organisation.

2006 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 10/11/10
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