The Business Game: An innovative teaching tool for skills development and evaluation National Conference in LIUC University

IMG-20150330-WA0005A national conference was organized in Italy by LIUC in collaboration with FPM on 13 March 2015. The main goal of the event was to actively brainstorm with a group of teachers of secondary education in order to reflect and share ideas on 2 main topics:

– Topic A: how to use the BG for learning purposes in secondary schools.

– Topic B: possible ways to promote the BG as an evaluation tool for school programs.

During the final competition of the annual Business Game, that involved 255 students, hosted by LIUC, the University decided to propose to their teachers an event based on activities related to the P4G project.

The program of the conference:

  1. Presentation of Play4Guidance – objectives, activities and expected results
  2. Division in 2 sub-groups
  3. Work in sub-groups. Each group was devided in smaller groups of 3-4 people. They carried out the following activities:
  4. Competences selection: Each group was asked to analyze the list of competences used for the survey (Output 2 – Initial Assessment) and to select 5 main competences essential to a young entrepreneur
  5. Group 1 – brainstorming on how to use the BG for teaching the selected 5 competences
  6. Group 2 – brainstorming on how to use the BG for assessing the selected 5 competences
  7. Reporting session internal to the sub-groups. Conclusion and reporting session altogether

Conclusions and resolution

IMG-20150330-WA0004During the national conference, in which 34 high school teachers participated, LIUC presented P4G and the assessment activities planned throughout the Business Game.

After the initial presentation, LIUC invited teachers to work in subgroups participating on sharing ideas and designing “The Pedagogical Framework and The Evaluation Tool” (Output 3.1). Here are some interesting excerpts from working groups:

What skills could be assessed through the Business Game and which way they were chosen?

–  Analytical thinking because it is important to know how to read reality to identify pathways and solutions;

–  Knowing how to communicate with skill and passion (emotional engagement);

–  Initiative intended as a curiosity to know each other with new and complex solutions;

–  The flexibility of being able to compete in any context;

–  Self-control: to target emotions to understand the problem.

– Thought conceptual ability to find solutions outside the classical schemes;

– Experience to understand the path to take;

– Search information to understand the starting point of the route;

– Innovation to improve performance: continuous correction and improvements;

– Evaluating the result compared to the expected value.

– Learning to understand the competitiveness and the desire to get involved;

– Flexibility to handle news, and the sensibility to change;

– Ability to select the many right information to solve a specific problem;

– Scheduling a task to achieve a specific result;

– Leadership of the group as teamwork, to divide properly roles according to the capabilities of each student.

How to train or evaluate students through the Business Game?

– It ‘a game for only a few people in the classroom, not for all;

– The business game should also be used on other occasions and not only to evaluate students;

– In a heterogeneous classroom the business games could be useful as a practical situation to choose university faculty. However, it wasverified that in other situations, those who participated were more motivated;

– It should become systematic and not only a moment of the school year.

– It is useful but lacks an important step: we should offer it to the whole classroom;

– The business games reveals more abilities than skills. The traditional methods do not make them emerge for example. Students show themselves by intelligent choices not based on knowledge.

Final discussion

– Students need to understand that being a manager implies a continuous decision-making that involves a degree of risk and an inevitable incompleteness of data. The business game helps students to choose for the future and not for the immediate.

– The game should be improved bringing out the fact that there is a process of socialization and consensus that is not visible from the game (could be done by one person and not by the team).

– It is required multidisciplinary: more teachers should be involved to develop a specialized business game.

– The business game has allowed some students to own skills they were not aware.

– The business game teaches students not to give up at the first difficulty (some groups get going, but after the second match, they give up). They have to understand that, to be an entrepreneur, you have to take continuous effort.

 

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