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Socio-Technical System

This page explores the business simulation's socio-technical system and the design and use implications.

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Business Simulation consists of a socio-technical system of individual learners, teams of learners, a tutor and the simulation software that interact with each other and have implications when it comes to business simulation design.

 

System Elements

Individual Learners
Ultimately we are concerned with providing effective, efficient and engaging learning to individuals. With my simulations are for individual business people (rather than university students) and this has implications in terms of using existing knowledge and experience and learner motivation.

Learn More about Adult Learners

Learning Team
The nature of business simulation and building business wisdom means that it is unlikely that an individual learner will have the knowledge and skills necessary.

Learn More about Team Learning

The Tutor
I believe that it is necessary for a tutor to manage learning and through this enhance learning and help transfer especially where he or she can link the simulation to the real world and manage learning.

Learn More about Tutor Managed Learning

The Simulation
This is the technical component and consists of the simulation model, the data that drives it and the software that manages the simulation process, facilitates decision entry and report generation.

Interactions

Individual Learners will be building on their prior learning, reflecting on actions and outcomes and though this reform and extend mental schema. The active and competitive nature of simulations means is likely to lead to deep cognition and engagement.

Learn More

 

Individual Learner – Team Interaction builds on the individuals' knowledge and skills and enriches learning as the team discusses their actions, promote and argue viewpoints – discussion and argument that is likely to cause and ensure deep cognition. Learners “teach” each other and this ensures memorability.

 

 

Team - Simulation Software Interaction happens as the learners progress the simulation submitting or entering decisions.

 

 

Individuals & Teams with the Tutor
I believe that it is necessary for a tutor to manage learning and through this enhance learning and help transfer especially where he or she can link the simulation to the real world and manage learning.

 

 

Design Implications

Individual Learners
Matching the simulation to the prior knowledge and experience of learners is crucial so as not to overwhelm (or underwhelm ) them. Further, as business people must see that the simulation is relevant in terms of the industry modelled, its issues, the decisions made and the results produced. Note, I am talking about perceived relevance rather than actual relevance. For example I am currently scoping a business acumen simulation for owners of and self-employed creative people. Here defining needs is relatively straight forward but designing a business simulation that is seen as relevant and, because of this, is engaging is a major design challenge.

The Learning Team
As it is unlikely that an individual learner will have the necessary the knowledge and skills, the make up of the learning team is a vital design consideration. If the mix of participants is such that there is a sufficiently wide spectrum of knowledge and experience then spreading this diversity in each learning team means that the learners can learn from each other. However, where this diversity does not exist the design must account for this by providing prior learning sessions and/or a phased introduction as the simulation progresses coupled with mini-lectures, discussions and coaching.

Team - Simulation
There are several design aspects associated with the decision-making process where teams submit decisions that are simulated and generate outcomes that are returned as results.

Learn More about the learning process

The Tutor
The design of the business simulation should help the tutor with administration, facilitation and learning management. Besides being easy and quick to use, it should incorporate a Tutor Support System that provides the information necessary to answer questions, identify learning needs and opportunities and detail these.

Learn More about my Tutor Support System

© 2013 Jeremy J. S. B. Hall

Most recent update: 03/05/13
Hall Marketing, Studio 11, Colman's Wharf, 45 Morris Road, London E14 6PA, ENGLAND
Phone  +44 (0)20 7537 2982 E-mail
jeremyhall@simulations.co.uk