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5 Reasons Simulations Can Replace Textbooks in Online Classes

5 Reasons Simulations Can Replace Textbooks in Online Classes

student using a simulation

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Is online learning better than traditional words-on-a-page style learning? New advances in technology allow us to experiment with innovative teaching solutions like ebooks and digital classrooms. However, these online education trends, once utilized to their fullest potential, can be e-learning revolutions. One of the most notable new examples of e-learning technology is business simulations.

What is a business simulation?

Business simulations replicate the intricacies of real-life business environments in a virtual setting. Everything from the decisions users make to the math they use to solve financial and entrepreneurship obstacles will shape what happens in the virtual environment.

The simulations and scenarios are also highly customizable, allowing students to immerse themselves in almost any location; even a casual marketplace business simulation is possible.

This technology-based learning tool is rapidly replacing textbooks in economics, business, and financial classrooms everywhere, and there are five main reasons why.

1. Business simulations create more engaged learners

It is no secret that educators everywhere are using technology in the classroom to enhance learning and teaching. Business simulations go to great lengths to create realistic, interactive, and detailed environments that can be used to practice, learn from, and test a variety of experiences that wouldn’t be possible in traditional classrooms.

Educators can also tune and adapt the business simulation to students’ strengths and weaknesses to wade away from the cookie-cutter learning approach and actively train various skills in various contexts. You can’t do that with a textbook!

2. Simulations empower learners to think critically

Typically, in traditional classrooms, problem-solving and critical thinking are difficult to employ effectively. Textbooks and homework packets often attempt to re-create the complexities of a realistic scenario in just a few words.

Conversely, business simulations are structured to make every question, answer, decision, and calculation impact the outcome of the scenario. Based on what learners do, they can observe how their actions affect others and their effect on the result.

Allowing learners to follow the cycle of their efforts in real-time strongly encourages reflective learning, a learning style in which learners consciously challenge their thoughts and solutions to identify if they are approaching solutions intelligently. Creativity and critical thinking are cornerstones that modern business simulations implement at every turn.

3. Simulations provide context and perspective

Business simulations apply the lessons students learn in the classroom and implement them in an authentic setting. Students can then draw connections between the concepts they learn and how to use them in realistic scenarios.

For example, learners can launch a business simulation online and apply the information about change management to help plan, manage, and execute changes into a product or project. While it may sound overly complicated, many institutions even provide business simulations for high school students.

4. Analytics allow users to take learning to a new level

business plan with data

Users are able to make changes to the simulation in real-time through decision making, creativity, and problem-solving. Also, viewing their analytics after they’ve completed a scenario helps the learn from their experience. These action-oriented metrics allow both educators and students to visualize their thought process, what changes occurred due to their actions, and even measure the quality of their work in high-pressure situations.

From there, simulations can be tuned to train specific concepts and theories. This allows students and educators to teach intricate lessons and harness technology-enhanced learning to engineer multi-faceted problems. The “textbooks versus ebooks” debate becomes more and more favorable for the latter as we learn more.

5. Simulations implement technology to foster accelerated learning

Business simulations encourage teachers and students to work at the forefront of modern education. They allow students to learn and experiment both in asynchronous and synchronous learning environments.

Educators don’t have to be present at all times.

Students can take their education into their own hands, learning from themselves along the way. The business simulation, as a cutting-edge form of technology, enhances virtual classrooms in countless ways.

Integrating business simulations for college students can create powerful results. Whether the topic is economics, business, accounting, or marketing, students benefit in numerous ways by using the tools of tomorrow.


Business simulations are just one of the innovations radically changing our learning methodologies. There are far more reasons you should start using business simulations for your students and countless more why textbooks are becoming an outdated method for teaching and learning.

The best way to find out is to dive into a business simulation and try for yourself.

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