Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Meaningful learning in business through serious games

Ana Cristina Urquidi Martín, Carmen Tamarit Aznar


Purpose: The requirements of a business executive include the talent and creativity to solve
problems and adapt to continuous changes presented by the economic and social environment.
However, the university does not often prepare students in these skills. Businesses simulations
are didactic tools in which participants assume a role and make decisions which affect the
results of the company. This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the effectiveness of
business simulations in university teaching.
Design/methodology: We have implemented business simulations in a course in the College
of Economics at the University of Valencia, during the 2015-2016 academic year.
Questionnaires were used to collect the students’ opinions about this educational tool.
Findings: Students are motivated and concentrated during all activities, which has promoted
cooperation and/or competition. They therefore perceive these simulations as a useful tool to
acquire skills, especially those linked to decision making, problem solving, and the analysis of
business information.
Research limitations/implications: No common theoretical framework exists in the
literature for measuring the results of the learning. This study investigated the influence of
three subjective variables. In this sense, future research could expand on the number of
variables and include objective data. Practical implications: Improvement of the educational process.
Social implications: Students receive a comprehensive education, including a set of social
behaviors and cognitive, psychological and sensory skills, which enable them to respond
successfully to new demands in the labor market.
Originality/value: Much has been written about the usefulness of simulations in education,
but there is little empirical evidence on the learning outcomes that result from their use.

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