Students Playing a Startup Simulation Game

What Is Active Learning?

Active learning is a tried-and-true method of learning. 

This method – active learning – approaches instruction in an “active” and engaging manner, by which students learn their lessons through specific goals.

Startup simulation games, like Startup Wars, are key for creating an active learning classroom. 

Active learning classrooms include:

  • Role playing
  • Group discussions
  • Hands on problem-solving
  • Engaging case studies
  • Decision-taking

As a method of teaching, active learning places a higher level of responsibility on the actual student, unlike traditional passive teaching approaches. Startup wars help students to understand specific problems that can and will come when they run a business, also a startup simulation game can expose students to failure in a more realistic manner than traditional methods, and they’ll have access to the record of decisions to understand why they failed.

Instructors can guide their students through unique learning experiences that they can fully customize. These experiences require active processing from students. 

Various experiential activities expose students to all kinds of business realities. These unique activities can range in length from a few minutes to an entire class session. 

Some simulation lessons may involve multiple class sessions with multiple outcomes.

Passive vs Active Learning

To compare passive and active modes of teaching, we need to first define passive learning.

Passive learning is another learning approach that focuses on the student learning ideas straight from their teacher – by listening. Students listen to information, and it is hopefully absorbed by the student. 

The most common method of passive learning is the commonly known university lecture class. Students literally just sit and listen.

While there are many benefits to both methods of teaching, active learning promotes active involvement.  When a student is actively involved in the learning process, they are more engaged. Because of this, the information is retained at a much higher rate.

The active learning experience has proven benefits. Students who learn actively are engaged in a more meaningful way in hands-on activities. 

Real benefits:

  • Students tend to have more fun
  • Active learners have a higher rate of comprehension
  • Active learning students complete their studies more successfully
  • Professors have more flexibility to engage and customize

Active learning also promotes inclusivity. When a student is more involved in the learning process, they are more likely to voice their misunderstanding. The active learning environment encourages students to share their own personal thoughts and to give their feedback, interactively.  

Lectures and readings do not allow this opportunity for a student to fully embrace the professor’s lesson while also engaging critical thinking skills. Lectures can not always be customized to students’ needs. It’s a one-size-fits-all experience, and that does not work for all students. 

Active learning is more personalized and satisfying for all.

How Simulation Games Create An Active Learning Environment That Wins

Educational simulation games promote an incredible active learning environment. They afford a student the ability to truly experience life-like moments in business. 

Simulation students retain facts through experiential (hands-on) practice and active thinking. This approach helps a student to fully understand the tiny nuances of a concept. 

The simulation gaming approach to learning provides a life-life and first-hand experience, rather than just a lecture. The simulations create different scenarios and exposure to equipment and plans – it’s realism in a student’s grasp.

The active learning environment  of gaming is more effective than passive lessons involving the simple idea of just hearing about a concept or viewing lists of facts.

Learning is experienced. Simulation students learn through doing. 

Simulations Promote Active Problem Solving

Simulation games, like Startup Wars, provide active learning technology that fully engages students. 

This deep engagement in the learning process through simulations, provides an opportunity to gain problem solving skills – actively – and all entrepreneurs need strong problem solving skills. 

Active problem based learning aids the entrepreneurs of tomorrow with real-life experiences that give them the opportunity to explore choices  and ideas in a safe way. Students can safely learn from their mistakes. 

Students also learn to think quickly on their feet – another highly sought after skill – through the use of active learning tools. 

The Benefits Of Simulation Games Can’t Be Beat

The benefits of active participation in the classroom through simulations can not be outweighed. 

A classroom that utilizes simulation games is alive with fully engaged students, as well as progressive and exciting learning. 

Motivation for learning is born. Students deepen their understanding of business concepts, improve their soft and hard skills, and learn to set goals.

Professors create a world that is truly exciting, which benefits their overall teaching experience.

Bottom line: Simulations benefit professors and their students by creating a learning environment that everyone truly wants to be a part of. 

Active Learning: How A Startup Simulation Game Can Help Your Students

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Charlotte Kane
Charlotte Kane Undergraduate Student, The Ohio State University

Startup Wars allowed me to understand everything that goes into starting a business in 90 days.

Darshita Bajoria
Darshita Bajoria Undergraduate Student, The Ohio State University

Startup Wars is an interactive way to learn and hone entrepreneurial skills while being a no-risk outlet. Great tool for those pursuing entrepreneurship.