Games in Entrepreneurial Teaching and Learning
A 'game' is a tried-and-tested strategy for teaching students about a particular topic and/or helping them to develop and practice skills in a 'fun' situation. It helps to build an element of competition into their learning experience, often promoting engagement, motivation and ultimately a sense of achievement. Based on the experiences of practitioners in a Polish secondary school, some practical advice is offered regarding the use of 'games' in teaching and learning situations.
Purpose and process
Using games can help students understand how to make decisions and how to deal with the consequences - both vital attributes for effective entrepreneurs. In a typical 'game' situation: students either play alone, in groups or as a whole class, with or without their teacher's participation. In some games, 2 players/2 teams take part and the rest of the students observe or take part in the following rounds. In a well constructed game, players who make the most obvious decisions are likely to end up losing the game to their opponent; a deeper analysis is needed and, in particular, the player needs to come up with a better strategy. In following rounds, students must independently (or with some help from their teacher) discover a winning strategy. Once the game has been completed, the winning strategy needs to be discussed in order for the theory which stands behind it to become apparent to the players - and the learning to be reinforced. (pic: Jaroslaw Neneman )
- Build enterprising skills, attitudes and behaviours, especially: team work; decision-making and problem-solving; risk taking; dealing with unforeseen consequences, including defeat; making choices; leadership
- Develop the ability to listen to different opinions, especially when playing as part of a team, in order to focus on gaining a consensus and/or make an informed judgement
- Improve their observational skills, e.g. when watching how another team is playing; in order to form conclusions on what should be their next move
Curricular or thematic relevance
This game method matches well to the reality of the school. Most of all it is interesting for the student – it is something different than standard lessons. Moreover, theoretical knowledge is passed on by demonstrating how theories can be applied to answer questions in the real world.
How to organise:
Can be used in timetabled lessons, suspended timetable time or as an extra-curricular activity - but there must be sufficient time available for briefing and debriefing the players
Assessment and evaluation approaches
The outcome of a game and the way each player operates needs to be assessed both during and after the activity
Games providing an insight into the world of work or aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills are particularly effective when employees participate alongside students or act as observers and/or advisors. Companies sometimes also develop games for schools based on their operating systems
Games can help to foster students' competitive spirit in a positive way
Profile of the tool and method
I like this concept and have found it useful (using games such as Young Entrepeneur)when teaching Business Studies at A level.
Although the skills which the students develop by playing these games are generic, it may be easier to embed into curriculum delivery if the games which are being used have a subject specific theme.
It would be very interesting to develop such games.
Excellent tool. How to deal with the issues, say the time spent and the organisation qith the other teatchers?
How to evaluate the pupils during those activities?
Perfect tool. This method is good for sharing creativity of students where they can became with new ideas, improve their team work...
This game method activates all students, even those reluctant to work in pairs or groups.
Me and my students like Learning by Playing.
Solving problems and taking decisions in a fun context seems a good method to stimulate creative-thinking in students. I’m curious to know more about how evaluation works when using this method.