A significant issue that most policy-makers and organisations point struggle with is the wide gap between skilled talent and market demands. The present market conditions demands students to acquire all necessary skills to play an active role as not just an innovator, leader, but also, that of a budding entrepreneur, all within the same organisation..
However, most higher education institutions fail to offer the relevant training. The knowledge they impart seldom prepares the students to transition into the high-skilled and diverse knowledge-based marketplace. It is a pressing issue for graduates, and that makes it the institution’s problem.
So, how can institutions prepare students for their careers once they graduate? How can institutes imbibe students with the skills they require to land their dream jobs in an ever-changing marketplace?
Several trainers and business schools address the employability problem of graduates by incorporating business simulations within their curriculum. This hybrid learning method acts as the bridge between theoretical knowledge and practical skills. It also enables the students to develop real-life business skills and workforce readiness.
Here are some quick ways that you can use to restructure your course modules and leverage online business simulations to boost the rate of placement of students and graduates:
1. Look for relevant learning outcomes
When you are designing a curriculum for students, you should be starting with one crucial question –
“How can this enable students to experience the real-world business scenarios and outcomes?”
Virtual business simulations can deliver real business experience by simulating real-life scenarios that cannot be replicated through traditional delivery methods. With online business simulations for corporates, creating business management games for students becomes much easier.
These games will help them understand what it is like to run a business? Virtually, the students can also make business decisions in a risk-free simulated environment and learn from the resulting outcomes. These simulations allow students to take risks, flex their innovative skills, all without worrying about any real-time consequences.
2. Choose a suitable business simulation program
You have an array of choices when it comes to choosing a particular business simulation. Some of these choices work well for long-term exploration of complex business problems. While others can help learners acquire a specific skill required for their desired role or even a project
Generally, there are four characteristics that you should be looking for in the best business simulations –
technology, realism, response & feedback, along with process & outcome.
- Technology: Unlike paper-based simulations, technology facilitates the use of visualization in learning. This makes the learning experience highly interactive and engaging for the learner.
- Realism: The more resemblance to real-life situations a simulated environment brings, the better the participants can apply the learned behaviors on the job.
- Response & feedback: The entire simulation engine works based on the cycle of input, reaction, and feedback. Participants give their inputs which could be financial decisions and interact with real or virtual participants, etc. The reaction depends on these inputs, and the feedback comes from the work done in a module or segment.
- Process & outcome: Every learning method, even virtual business simulation is about the process and the outcome. While the process involves curriculum, learning material, trainers, etc., you must evaluate the outcome in multiple ways before initiating the program. These outcomes should cater to the individual learning needs of your students.
3. Allow room for customisations in the business simulation program
Business simulations are essential tools that help students to practice running a business and further understand how their strategies would look in a realistic environment. When the simulations are customized for them, it results in better engagement and critical skill development. The participants feel more enthusiastic about it and understand their responsibilities better as they experience real-time results based on their actions.
The level of granularities and business interdependencies that customised business simulation programs offer is enough to prepare students to make efficient real-world business decisions. On the other hand, if you fail to involve the participants in customised simulations, you increase the risk of exposing them to improper assumptions and trade-offs for their business.
Ultimately, business simulations must be able to facilitate the alignment of employees towards the business strategies. That’s what transformative business simulation is, and it is impossible to achieve that without effective customisation.
4. Align simulation-based learning with the real corporate world
Online business simulation modules must equip learners with career skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, developing proposals, conflict resolution, etc. Thus, learners can be job-ready once they complete their education and simulation training.
At the end of the training module, you must develop professional presentation skills within every student to ensure their secure placements. For the program, you can recruit professionals and companies who deliver training workshops or participate as assessors on the panel.
Once the business simulation module is complete, students will feel confident about their presentation skills, awareness of work ethics, and entrepreneurial spirit even if they fail to secure a job position, immediately. The skills they have learned will gradually lead them to brighter career prospects. Students can also use their business simulation experience in their portfolio for a great head start to their careers.
5. Keep an eye open for improvements throughout
Even if your business simulation program seems to be delivering the desired results and students look happy with the learning experience, you should still strive to make it better. It is a learning curve for everyone. Therefore, working on improving your curriculum should remain a priority. You also need to keep your modules updated as per the changing market trends.
To this end, taking feedback from the students who are actively participating in the virtual business simulation program can help. As students go through the training events that could last for a day or a week, or even longer, they can present relevant and impactful ideas on how to improve the quality of the simulation experience? All of this can help make the simulation event a comprehensive and rewarding learning experience for everyone.
Business simulation games, without a doubt, are going to be an integral part of future education and training institutions. This is because they offer a safe environment for the students to implement their knowledge without any real-time consequences. They also provide them invaluable insights and experience of how business in real-time works?
Consequently, the learners get a leg up on the employability ladder. As students develop practical knowledge extending beyond their classroom teachings, they become more confident as our themselves and this contributes immensely towards them securing a job position successfully in any organisation.