Teaching with Simulations (MonsoonSim) with Christine Contessotto & Sue Davey


SEP, 2019

Teaching & Learning
Good Practice

Digital Innovation

Christine Contessoto is the Director of Teaching and Learning and Sue Davey is a Lecturer from the Department of Accounting, in the Faculty of Business and Law.

MonsoomSIM is a unique, experiential learning, pedagogical platform.  It  is a simulation game where students dive into their team roles with remarkable speed.

In our capstone unit (MAA310 – Accounting & Society), we encourage students to reflect on and apply discipline-specific learning through authentic activities so the business simulation game, MonsoonSIM, paired with the teaching of accounting transactions and theories creates a perfect active learning environment for grasping the impact of strategic decisions on financial statements, the inter-relationships between management-accounting and financial-accounting, as well as with HR, procurement and marketing.

Left: Sue Davey in the Control Room Right: Student groups participate in the simulation.

The game requires students to think carefully about decision-making and exposes them to the many balls that must be juggled in a business environment – prompting them to consider how they might best work as a team to meet these many needs. Teams quickly become organised, strategic and competitive.

This is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the simulation – the obvious student engagement. Students are able to practise their teamwork, leadership skills and theoretical business knowledge in a safe, friendly and supported learning environment. Typical sessions see an intense concentration, lively discussion and occasional recriminations which help simulate real-world operations without the heavy consequences of real-world mistakes.

Students on all campuses begin in teams of 5 to run competing businesses. Each student takes on one or more roles within their team such as ordering, manufacturing, delivery and sales as they try to balance supply and demand, control costs and manage cash flow to maximise profit. To ensure the students are developing an understanding of the requisite skills and capacities the game is suspended to allow teams to reflect not only on their own decisions but those of their competitors too. To analyse why, for example, one team has charged ahead with double the profit of the other competing teams.

Left: A student group leaps ahead Right: Monsoonsim from the student perspective

The student response has been overwhelmingly positive and student evaluations speak to the influence of the simulation throughout their time in their degrees:

“I learnt a lot from it and realised where I fit best into a team and how to communicate kindly and concisely under pressure…”

“I really enjoyed the MonsoonSIM, found it a very interesting exercise and actually think it should be used earlier in our degrees as it really shows how financial information changes and how those changes can affect business results such as ratio”

Some Useful Resources For more on MonsoonSim visit their website or read this article provided by Deakin’s Business School.
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