Joel Goldhar has been using Capsim to teach students about the real world of business for over 15 years. For Professor Goldhar, who teaches Operation and Technology Management for the Stuart Graduate School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology, the most important element of Capsim Business Simulations is how it provides real world business experience to students. “You can lecture to them all day long about the basics of accounting and finance, marketing and operations management, not to mention teamwork and time management, or you could give your students the opportunity to learn how to solve problems and make important decisions using Capstone,” observes Goldhar.
With Capstone, Goldhar notes, students get the opportunity to experience first-hand the consequences of their own decisions and analytical strategies. In particular, Goldhar appreciates how the Capstone Business Simulation emphasizes the challenge of integrating functional decisions to execute a business strategy. “Capstone teaches students about the ‘game’ nature of business, where your results depend on the actions of others as well as your own decisions,” declares Goldhar.
Capsim provides learning for the virtual age: Students are not evaluated so much on their test scores and grades as they are on their critical thinking and decision-making skills – the skills that allow them to run the best company in the simulation. “In my view, the important thing is to leave it to the students and allow them to use Capstone as a learning tool in as realistic a situation as possible; without adding any formal testing that brings it back to a classroom exercise,” explains Goldhar.
In the classroom, Goldhar uses a KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid) approach with the Capstone simulation: He divides the class into teams of anywhere from 3-8 students, depending on the size of the class and preferences, turns the difficulty settings to the highest level to challenge the students and schedules the simulation rounds on the syllabus. After that, the students take charge.
And when it comes to grading the students, Goldhar assesses the “lessons learned” in the simulation rather than success or failure in the game. “Everything students need to learn, is in Capstone,” says Goldhar.
According to Goldhar, the lessons of business are best learned in the virtual, real-life scenarios provided by Capsim Business Simulations. “The best way to stimulate learning is to allow students to learn to do it [make mistakes and thereby improve] on their own,” concludes Goldhar.
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