Featured Professor: Al Fillenwarth

Post by Capsim
March 9, 2020

Capsim Business Simulations are usually seen as a great way to emphasize competition in the classroom, but one professor has found a more laid-back approach much more effective.

Professor Al Fillenwarth (also known as Big Al) of St. Louis Community College – Wildwood began teaching an Introduction to Business Course with Foundation Business Simulation after years of teaching undergraduate and MBA students with Capstone Business Simulation. “Although I was enthusiastic about this challenge, the students were intimidated by having to run their own business,” he explained.

Fillenwarth discovered students were boggled by the Foundation Team Member Guide. “I guess I never really thought about how much business knowledge I take for granted,” he said. “Proforma statements, annual reports, customer survey scores and everything to do with running a company were foreign to them!”

Although Professor Fillenwarth says he “survived” the first semester, he came back in the second semester armed with a new strategy. “I decided I needed to be much more hands-on in my approach to teaching the simulation,” he says.

In his second semester, Fillenwarth stripped the simulation down to its core and used Foundation Business Simulation to teach the basics of business. “One of the best decisions I made was to deemphasize the competitive aspect of the game and use the simulation as a vehicle to teach business concepts,” he said.

The changes kept coming for Professor Fillenwarth. First it was structured practice rounds with the Professor and in-class team question time. Next was a new user guide that introduced business to new business students.

While he’ll never be quite done tweaking the simulation experience for his students, his students (and Department Chair, for that matter) love the results. It just goes to show that Capsim Business Simulations can be used in a wide variety of ways.

If you’d like to share your story on how Capsim’s business simulations have helped your class, contact us at welcome@capsim.com.

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