Direct Use Simulations
Where the business simulation is run by the learners using their own computers and where the tutor moves between teams coaching and challenging.
This type of business simulation is used where it is not necessary for the teams to interact and compete in the markets. This means that the teams use their own computer and the trainer is not directly involved in decision entry and simulation process.
An example of how a Direct Use Simulation is used
All of my Concepts Series, Planning Series and Process Series, some of my Tactical Series and Functional Series are Direct Use because the situation modeled does not require interactions between the teams in the marketplace and where short duration is necessary.
The administrative load is placed on the team and thus a trainer may manage up to eight teams. (This is especially true if the training group is spread around a large room).
Participants expect to use computers.
Decisions can be made asynchronously. In other words, teams do not need to submit decisions at the same time. This allows some teams to start slowly while others are rushing into the simulation. This reduces the time required to run the simulation and so this approach is particularly effective for very short durations.
The trainer is peripheral to the process and so may not be fully aware of the decisions and results and so may find some difficulty in identifying coaching needs and managing the learning process.
A computer and printer is required for each team and this may not be possible in some locations.
Participants may be distracted by the computer. (There is a considerable body of research that suggests this. However, my designs take this into account and minimises this risk.)
Participants need to be computer literate and time can be wasted while they learn how to use the software. (I design my business simulations to be easy to use with comprehensive help systems and so minimise the time wasted learning how to use the software.)
Teams may become mesmerised by the simulation and so not spend enough time thinking and reflecting. (My designs take this into account and force teams to do this).
If the teams are in separate team rooms, it may be difficult for the trainer to manage learning.
Ideally, the teams should be spread around one large room rather than in separate rooms.
It helps if the large record sheets are spread around the walls or outside team rooms. These allow teams to share results and so learn from each other. Also, as these record sheets are updated after each team has made its decisions, this encourages the slower teams to catch up.
It is advisable to have a spare computer and printer.
With some versions of my business simulations it is possible for up to three teams to share a computer.
Most recent update: 29/10/12
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