What do a video game and a MBA Professor have in common?
An MBA professor with over 30 years of teaching experience designed a business strategy video game. Students playing it for 9 hours scored almost the same performance results as students who underwent 9 hours of classroom activities.
The online environment is spreading its influence further and further into areas which were previously believed to be unsuitable for the virtual sector. In education, for example, a computer can replace many elements and tools, but can it also successfully replace the wise guidance of a teacher? However, time and performance requirements turn such environments into fertile grounds for the assimilation of internet-based teaching tools with conventional educational processes.
And so it got to the point that the question is no longer that of switching to the online, but of how to do it in the proper manner?
By adding knowledge, skills and a bucketful of creativity, John Beck, Ph. D. Professor at the Hult International Business School with over 30 year of teaching experience behind him, designed a video game entitled “One Day” that teaches the same business strategies as a real, flesh and blood professor.
The game has been tested on a group of 41 students and, surprisingly enough, the scores received by students following traditional teaching methods were the same, more or less, with the results obtained by students who played the video game.
More specifically, the test was fitted with 3 sections: a multiple choice exercise, an interview and a written case study. Traditional students failed to score better at the multiple choice exercise, as gamers took the lead and held their position throughout the interview section too, when both groups averaged the same results. However, upon reaching the case study, traditional students took the lead again.
In numbers, Beck reported that “average test scores rose from 47% to 77%” and “not only did the game teach students as effectively as a real-life professor, it also engaged them.” Thus, students (67%) admitted that they would definitely attend a school which offered this type of learning, while another 76% would love working for a company which provided training based on the same technology.
Overall, it’s quite surprising how the first version of a strategy game can prove to be as useful and thorough as a complete MBA course, taught in one of the highest ranking business schools in the world.
Another way of employing video games in order to increase performance, in the Healthcare industry this time, is by using mobile applications to track Type II Diabetes and other similar diseases.
So what does the game do?
The project is entitled “One Day” and it represents Hult School’s first shot ever at online education. Needless to say that for a first go, this project proved not only innovative and creative, but also very fruitful.
The reason why this method turned such good results is, as Stephen Hodges, Hult President, disclosed, “Online programs seem to be either outdated or trying to replicate a classroom experience. No one is really developing a new pedagogy that wouldn’t be possible in the classroom.”
The structure followed by the game is roughly based on the course that Joh Beck, as an active professor, taught at Hult Business School.
Primarily, the game imagines a business scenario in an airport where strategic decisions have to be taken according to the given reports, data and interactions with different characters. As a side note, one must know that all these factors are liable to change as the player’s strategy alters.
Consequences and future actions
Teachers will not be replaced by technology, or not in the immediate future, at least. But, as Beck also underlines, just because nowadays technology can be programmed to achieve in 6 months what a human learns to do in, let’s say, 30 years, is no reason to be apprehensive.
These types of resources must be exploited to our own benefit. In this case, teachers can rely on technological advances to teach students the basics, while they can focus more and more on truly significant and useful aspects of education, such as real life situations, demonstrations etc.
In conclusion, what made this online educational experience better than others alike is that it didn’t try to mimic a classroom environment or anything else that can be done within. It’s among the few official tools which actually leverage on their uniqueness and overcome any conventional teaching techniques and mechanisms.
But overall, what truly sets the One Day game apart is its end-user result: almost the same as the results of an MBA teacher with 30 years of teaching experience.