The International Business College Mitrovica noticed a decreased interest for the Euro business diploma. In order to detect the reasons for this downward trend, a survey was conducted among all European Network for Business Studies and Languages (SPACE) members in November-December 2014. At the Committee meeting during the SPACE AGM in Torun, Poland, in April 2015 the results from the survey were presented. As a result, a recommendation came out to change the format of the exams and use a simulation instead in order to make it more attractive for the students.
In order to test the idea, a pilot simulation was envisaged for 2015-2016, which was planned to include 4-5 SPACE members with groups of 4-6 students. StratX Simulations was contacted during the summer of 2015 in order to provide a suitable simulation. Ten SPACE members were contacted to offer them to take part in the simulation, resulting in 3 showing interest to participate in the pilot (Business School of Applied Studies Blace – Serbia, ISCAP – Portugal and IBCM – Kosovo). Instructors from each of the schools were appointed for introductory training for the instructors before the actual pilot simulation for the students started. 15 licenses were bought with the plan to include 3 groups of 5 students from each of the schools.
Instructors’ training consisted of two parts:
1) a series of webinars organized by StratX Simulations
2) instructors testing the simulation on their own and playing against a computer.
In order to use the licenses that were purchased, ISCAP participated in the pilot simulation with two groups of students (4 members each) and IBCM with one group of 6 students, or total of 14 students took part in the simulation (one license is remained and can be used by SPACE at any time). In the case of IBCM the group was consisted of 4 Albanian and 2 Serbian students, which is an achievement by itself having in consideration the specifics of Mitrovica as a divided city in Kosovo. The simulation started on 15 March and ended on 15 April. During that time students made 6 sets of decisions (passed 6 simulation periods). The role of the instructors was to provide the students with the introduction and guidance in the simulation, as well as to technically manage the simulation.
Survey with the participating students was conducted in order to evaluate their satisfaction. 12 students responded to the survey.
The results are given below, measured on a scale of 1 – 5: 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree, 5 = strongly agree.
- Students like the simulation as a teaching method
- The simulation contributes to achieving skills and competencies though practical application of theory
- It increases the awareness of the importance of the group work
- It provides an opportunity for competing in an international market (with schools from different countries as participants)