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Texas Instruments: Creating a Simulated Supply Chain
Keys to Meeting Learning Objectives: Feedback and Reinforcement
At the end of each of the four simulated production years, students had to justify their actions in front of the company’s virtual board of directors—embedded in the simulation itself. This virtual board had recorded the users’ choices in the background and now critiqued performance, questioned actions and forced students to defend the choices they made.
The feedback embedded in the simulation through the board members proved crucial in reinforcing the learning objectives. Team members were able to see their mistakes and try again the next year. Throughout the run, the simulation provided realistic scenarios in which the students had to interact with grumpy production team members, pushy marketing managers urgently requesting larger budgets and irate board members.
Analyzing Simulation Effectiveness
Several features of the simulation contributed to its success. First of all, the simulation had a clear learning objective—each objective was associated with a board member who gave the participant targeted feedback. Also, key learning concepts were embedded in feedback cycles throughout, ensuring that participants had to learn essential concepts in order to advance in the simulation.
Second, the simulation had an appropriate difficulty level for the audience—its complexity was appropriate to adult learners who were well on their way toward basic mastery of the concept. Finally, the simulation was made relevant to the user’s work experience by allowing the user to interact in realistic (but generic) corporate scenarios. This engaged participants in an active, highly memorable learning process.
Students responded enthusiastically to the simulation. When asked to rate whether they would like to see the simulation continued as part of the executive education experience, the response was a resounding endorsement: an average of 5.4 on a 1-to-6 scale.
Leveraging the Latest in Brain Science to Deliver the Next Generation of E-Learning
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