Over 1,000 year 1 students have participated in The Business Management Experience simulation at the University of Sheffield Management School.
Customise and embed a simulation in an enterprise course for year 1 students and:
- engage all students through the competitive nature of the simulation and the quality of the simulated company brief and decision-making processes
- give students the experience of running a business that would be demanding enough to distinguish good students from less good students
- provide supporting learning materials to drive out enterprise skills developed as a result of participation in the simulation.
- This embedded simulation module has been used by the University of Sheffield Enterprise Course over a number of years.
- Cohorts of 30-40 teams of 5 students participate each academic year for 10 course credit.
Desired learning outcomes:
Give year 1 students:
- the experience of running an established business that is complex and operates in a competitive marketplace
- potential to move the business from a mediocre performance to high performance
- an understanding of how:
- business decisions impact on financial performance
- business environment and competitor activity in a marketplace of 5 companies have a direct impact on your business performance.
Development of a range of enterprise skills including:
- Analytical skills
- Commercial awareness
- Influencing skills
- Planning and organising
- A results-driven approach
- Financial awareness
- Managing the customer relationship
Solution & Method:
- Provide access to and customise login page for The Business Management Experience simulation (BME), run on-line over five weeks with students making decisions weekly.
- Course team provided with resources on how the simulation works and key issues within the simulation.
- Course team provided with resources to introduce the simulation to students.
- All resources for the simulation downloaded from a customised Sheffield University Management School / Business Management Experience website and decisions uploaded via the simulation platform.
- Results available to students within 24 hours of submission
- individual team feedback and coaching to help understanding and improve performance.
- Helpdesk facility available to students requiring additional support.
- Team rankings provided weekly and uploaded to Sheffield University / BME website.
- Additional learning materials sent out after week 2 for students not making a profit and to all students after week 4 to get them to reflect on their learning and competency/enterprise skills development.
- 30% of marks given for the business performance of the team. Marks are given weekly (not for cumulative profits/customer satisfaction) so that even a team that is performing badly in terms of cumulative results can get top marks for performing well in the later stages of the simulation.
- 40% of final grades comes from a team presentation. All team members must participate and the focus of the presentation is the business results they have achieved and what has impacted on their performance.
- 30% is a short, individual reflective piece on the competencies they have developed as a result of participating in the BME. Students choose 5 out of the 10 specified competencies and reflect on the development of these competencies over the period of the BME simulation.
- All teams submitted decisions throughout the 5 weeks of the BME and feedback is overwhelmingly positive in terms of engagement with the simulation and recognition of skills developed.
- Certificates of participation personalised for each participant are also downloadable from the website for inclusion in the student’s personal portfolio.