Simulations are the future of business education

October 1, 2021 | Article by Alastair Giffin

Simulations are the future of business education

Hail to the “real” innovators

Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT Sloan, Wharton, Cambridge, Cranfield, Oxford, ESADE, IE, IESE, Bocconi, INSEAD and HEC Paris: they have more than one thing in common: not only are they all in the top 25 ranked business schools in the world (according to a recent FT Global MBA ranking), but these schools also all have faculty members that are willing to innovate the teaching process: all of these schools use at least one of Prendo’s advanced leadership simulations in their MBA (and other) programs.

In addition to the faculty’s more comfortable territory of presenting and explaining management theory and also leading case study discussions, these truly innovative teachers are willing to go further, by giving their students a chance to apply the theory and test their knowledge via the intense experiences provided by the Prendo simulations. Prendo’s software-based simulations compress the experience of, for example, leading an organisational change program, or planning a complex natural resource extraction project: scenarios that pose difficult strategic management decisions and ambiguous ethical questions that students actually have to make, as opposed to just talk about.

Many of the top Universities have invested large sums of money in new buildings and classrooms, and much has also been invested in the “pseudo innovations” of MOOCs and e-learning materials which apply the same old flawed “dumping content” pedagogy. What the truly innovative faculty members understand is that students are demanding and needing much more effective and engaging teaching methods, especially in an era when information is so abundant and mostly free and where the complex skills they need are increasingly tacit or hard to teach (i.e. VUCA).

If MBA students are investing a considerable sum of time and money to get their qualification, the time they spend in the classroom needs to be much more than something they could get by watching YouTube.

Author: Alastair Giffin

Alastair is the architect of Prendo’s simulation authoring and deployment system and is responsible for the development of new simulations. Alastair has an MBA (with Distinction) from INSEAD and an MA in Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

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