Success story: Masaki Matsunaga

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Professor Masaki Matsunaga, Robert T. Huang Entrepreneurship Center of Kyushu University (Japan)
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What made you choose Markstrat for your program?

We chose Markstrat because it perfectly resonates with the educational philosophy of our institute, Robert T. Huang Entrepreneurship Center of Kyushu University (aka, QREC), which is “Learning by Doing.”

That is, we wanted to create an environment that prompts students to achieve the learning objectives through their own initiative, rather than passively listening to a faculty member’s monologue lecture. We found Markstrat a great fit for this purpose.

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What is your class setting?

We have a total of 17 undergraduate and post-graduate students involved in our course; 10 from Kyushu University, and this group is of great, great diversity—we have a few 1st-year undergraduate from Tech Dept., we have a business school student, and we have a Ph.D. student in bio science—and they all are enjoying Markstrat!

And we also have seven students from Fukuoka University, which is another top-tier institute of the area. What is great about Markstrat is that it works on cloud; as a result, we can create a setting where students from different institutes that are physically apart can compete against and learn from each other on a common ground.

The course title is “Technology Marketing Game.”

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Does Markstrat solve a problem for you?

Yes; as I noted above, we were looking for a way to create a competitive environment that presents a lot of challenges so that students learn marketing “by doing” marketing. Markstrat provides a great tool to realize this vision.

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What is your approach to using Markstrat in the classroom?

I start off with quite a structured start and gradually let students play on their own. That is, during Day-1 and Day-2 classes, I give a lot of instructions and guidance, as well as tutorials, for the students so that they acquire how to navigate in the Markstrat world. But then, as they become accustomed to the way the game operates, I loosen my control and increase the area of freedom for the students.

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What effect does Markstrat have on your students?

Excitement. If I had to choose a word, that would be it. Because Markstrat is so well-structured that the students feel it is “real.” Because of this perceived reality, they find the game worth investing their efforts and commitment, and that’s the key for our course, because it is designed for the students to learn by doing. If, therefore, the students are not excited enough
to commit and learn by themselves, our course doesn’t work. Fortunately, Markstrat works for us, as students get excited just by me explaining its world setting and how they are going to
conquer it.

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Professor Matasunaga’s students in action (see more on his official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TechMarketingGame/)

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What is your favorite feature of Markstrat?

Not a specific feature, but I am very impressed by the finely tuned balance of the game between reality and “simulated” parts. It is realistic enough, as I noted above, to intrigue students, while it is controlled enough to build a course on it.

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Do you have anything else you would like to share regarding your experience using Markstrat?

Markstrat is a great tool, which enables us to turn ourpedagogical vision, “Learning By Doing,” into practice. With Markstrat, students actually learn marketing through their own experience—trials, errors, and reflections over their decisions— rather than learning “about” marketing by listening to a lecture. That makes a big difference.

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