“Our role is to teach students to engage in business but how do we that when many of them have never worked before, let alone run a business? This is where educational technology makes a real difference.”
These are the words of David Dufour from the International Business School Suzhou at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, who presented his solution to this challenge at an Educational Technologies Showcase event at XJTLU this month.
At the event Dufour, who is Director of the International Master of Business Administration at XJTLU, explained that he found some students struggled to understand business strategy in practice as traditional teaching styles were too theoretical.
“Our modules are not very easy for the students – most of them haven’t worked before so it can be difficult to make them understand the reality of business only by talking about concepts or theories,” he said.
“Our solution uses an online interactive business simulation, called Foundation and provided by third party company Capsim, which immerses students in a realistic business environment.
“On the Foundation simulation, students have to take charge of a business and make decisions at strategic and operational level, and see how the two connect. They also see the consequences of their decisions.
“The simulation website gives the students regular reports to see how each team is performing.”
Dufour, who is an Associate Professor at IBSS, said the students work in teams and compete with each other throughout the module.
“The added element of competition – which is reminiscent of the cut-throat nature of the business world – is further motivation for the students,” he said.
“Overall we have found the simulation has improved students’ performance and understanding in the module – and they enjoy it more too .
“You need to get your hands dirty; to be practical and get involved.”
Dufour was one nine XJTLU staff members and teams from across the University who presented ways innovative educational technologies was being used to transform student learning at the Showcase event.
The event was organised by the Educational Technologies Team at XJTLU’s Institute of Leadership and Education Advanced Development (ILEAD) with support from a number of technology companies.
Roland Sherwood, manager of the Educational Technologies Team, said XJTLU works with a number of companies from around the world to deliver the best educational experience for students.
“At the end of the day, everything teachers do, whether it involves technology or not, is for the benefit of students,” Sherwood said.
“By showcasing the fantastic educational technologies already being used at XJTLU, we hope to inspire others to think about how they can use technology to support their teaching activities.
“Technology is part of every aspect of our lives and it is proven to be an essential part of modern educational practice.”
The nine educational technology presentations delivered during the Showcase event were:
Implementing anonymous, blind marking of coursework for greater objectivity and fairness, presented by Micah Park from Language Centre.
Using lecture capture to support teaching and learning, presented by Dr Tony So from IBSS.
Gamifying vocabulary learning with level-up, presented by Ling Xia and Mark Sinnott from Language Centre.
Fostering in-class engagement and interaction with active quiz, presented by Dr Shaofeng Lu from Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Facilitating large-scale engagement and assessment using online discussion forums, presented by Kun Li and Rui Xu from Language Centre.
Using the coursework activity to streamline marking involving multiple markers, presented by Dr Qiufeng Wang from Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
Using online business simulation to encourage business students in authentic business assessment, presented by David Dufour from IBSS.
Using online quizzes to foster engagement and track student progress, presented by Xiaodan Guo and Yan Ji from Chinese Cultural Teaching Centre.
Facilitating large-scale peer assessment using the workshop activity, presented by Stewart Nield from Language Centre.
By Fangyuan Liu, edited by Rosanna Galvin