Stimulating Didactic Games, e.g. simulations/decision making activities

A reflection on the value of simulations and didactic games for developing students' motivation and entrepreneurial learning, based on the experiences of a Polish vocational school.

Purpose and process

The simulation method deals with analysing problems re-enacted by students; the results are then compared with factual solutions. The main objective of such simulations - or didactic games - is 'reality'. It requires students to actively participate and is based on strict rules. Computer simulations of didactic games allow the student to acquire and check his/her knowledge in the field of micro-economy regarding, for example, how a manufacturing company works. They can also find out what influence the laws of economics have on how such companies operate.

Learning outcomes

Through simulations/didactic games, students can:

  • Develop creativity, imagination and independent thinking
  • Participate in 'learning by doing' and make decisions on how to act in response to problems presented to them
  • Practise communication, presentation, teamwork and leadership skills
  • Learn to follow the rules and accept discipline
  • Participate in competitive activities which are designed to be inclusive.

Curricular or thematic relevance

Simulations and didactic games are suitable for integrating into the national curriculum and can add value to many subjects.

How to organise:

Can take place as a standalone enterprise project or as part of a longer project integrated within timetabled lessons; could also be an activity run as an extra-curricular enterprise or as part of a suspended timetable event.

Assessment and evaluation approaches

During the simulation game the students have a chance to check their knowledge in different subjects:

IT knowledge regarding computer program usage, mathematics – knowledge concerning analysis of graphs presenting economic indicators, analysis of financial reports or analysis of makroeconomical influences on the activities of the company based on decisions and acquired results.

English- knowledge of economic vocabulary. During social studies students often imitate reality in order to gain experience close to those in real life. The simulation is used for educational purposes, such as to demonstrate typical social relations. They can concern the decision making process, solving conflicts between people, developing strategies or negotiations.

Volunteer involvement

Yes, for example by inviting local business representatives to class or school contests in order to exchange their own experiences.    

Additional comments

Decision-making computer games can provide a basis for analysing economic dillemmas in companies. 

This method is an excellent way to conduct educational activities at a time when students are getting to know each other and are learning how to be mutually responsible as well as how to express their views and share experiences. Before commencing the simulation the students have the necessary knowledge for the simulated analysis process, and are ready to actively take part in them. The lesson takes place in the following way:

  • The goal of the simulation should be described, and the subject matter presented
  • Prepare additional text which will serve as a basic source of concepts 
  • Divide the students into groups (4-6 people being part of management) 
  • Present the students with the rules of the simulation game (functionality of the company)
  • Give them sufficient time for conducting the simulation
  • The group chooses a leader (the head of the company supervises the groups, takes notes, presents the results to the group)
  • Sum everything up, i.e. present applied strategies and grade the students. This is the most important part of the simulation during which students have the opportunity to compare and analyse what took place on the basis of their acquired experience and the behaviour of others.

Working in groups improves the organisation of the lesson, and teaches independence and an entrepreneurial attitude.

Classes involving simulation games should be conducted in workshop classes equipped with computers and internet access as well as a multimedia projector for presenting team results.

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helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)

    Oldo Vaňous

Diadactic games are very good supplementary activities to teaching entrepreneurship I believe there is a lot of room in the market for more. I would welcome a more detailed description of the content of the game.

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The latest review

Diadactic games are very good supplementary activities to teaching entrepreneurship I believe there is a lot of room in the market for more. I would welcome a more detailed description of the content of the game.

Oldo Vaňous 05.03.2014

helper do TM detail right side (TM June 6th, 2nd half)

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