Business schools are increasingly turning to simulations as a way of providing practical experience to students and preparing them for the challenges they will face in the real world. According to recent statistics, the use of simulations in business education has been on the rise in recent years.
More than 80% of the surveyed business schools use simulations in their curricula, according to a study, and most of them use them to teach subjects such as finance, management, and marketing. In addition, more than 70% of business schools reported that they plan to increase the use of simulations in the future.
Simulation games approach reality with high levels of precision, which facilitates real and complete training, and it is surprising how simulation games can be used to teach strategic management through a specific methodology that seeks to involve students in a specific business environment. Proof of this is the experience that was successfully put into practice at the University of Granada, Spain, between 2007 and 2008.
The results demonstrated high levels of satisfaction among students and coordinators. In addition, active learning motivates participants and increases managerial skills, as well as theoretical knowledge that can be put into practice even before completing their studies. Direction, teamwork, and interpersonal skills are also cross-cutting competencies developed in business simulations. However, sometimes inflexibility in the face of change, rejection of new technologies, or lack of new methodologies that support business simulations means they are applied far from business studies.
This study concluded that business schools must make a great effort to avoid the first two, while researchers can provide new methodologies that facilitate the incorporation of this challenging tool in their strategic business management subjects. A methodology that was put into practice in a new context (University of Granada) with students who had never had experience with simulators before.
For future researchers, team participation, as well as measures of how long participants remember how to succeed, can be developed to analyze the interrelation between learning topics and participants' practical skills. In addition, the rapid development of new technologies continuously increases the potential of simulators. Hence, incessant attempts at updating are required to continue using the main teaching methodologies with new versions of the simulator.
According to another study, students who participated in simulations achieved better results in exams and subjects than those who did not. In addition, students who participated in simulations better understood the material and felt better prepared for their future careers.
Simulations are also becoming more popular in companies hiring processes. A survey of companies revealed that more than 60% of them use simulations to evaluate job candidates, and most of them claimed that the use of simulations was effective in identifying the best candidates, even students who have already experienced them are likely to use them in their future professions as mentioned above or in other contexts.
It is worth noting that the use of simulations in the business world is also growing with the advancement of technology. Educational resources such as simulations are increasingly common, allowing for more realistic and immersive experiences for students.
Furthermore, ideas emerged such as the fact that in addition to experts, students can be a valuable source for evaluating educational materials by offering different but complementary perspectives for their evaluation.
The simulator created was significantly demonstrated by both subject matter experts and didactic professors as well as students. All three groups were able to conclude that the degree of acceptance of the medium was notable, and that the didactic and quality assessment of the medium was very good.
Regarding the students, a very positive assessment was appreciated, although there were aspects that were distant in terms of assessment, such as professional reality and vocabulary, as well as curriculum adequacy, which would require a more in-depth analysis to draw interesting conclusions.
In conclusion, the use of simulations in business education is increasing, with more business schools incorporating them into their curricula and plans to increase their use in the future. It has been shown that students who participate in simulations obtain better results and performance on exams, and companies increasingly use simulations as a way to evaluate job candidates. In addition, the incorporation of technology in education is expected to make simulations even more immersive and realistic over the years.