Smartsim’s MikesBikes Simulation Courses Win Award

Three professors at Ithaca College (New York) have won the Middle Atlantic Association Colleges of Business Administration’s 2017 Innovation in Teaching Award for their freshman course “World of Business”. This year, saw the introduction of a new business simulation, MikesBikes, and discussion of current events.

A committee of MAACBA board members determined that the college’s submission was the most innovative, Lawrence Singleton, president of MAACBA and dean of Marist School of Management, said. Singleton said that the Innovation in Teaching award is an important recognition in alternative teaching methods within business schools. “They have helped their students learn better, they approach the subject matter in a slightly different way,” Singleton said. The World of Business course is required for all freshmen in the business school and has been taught for almost 20 years.

Although the course has utilized a simulation in its syllabus for over a decade, this year, the World of Business introduced a new simulation – MikesBikes Introduction. MikesBikes Introduction by Smartsims Business Simulations is suited to foundation-level business courses. Schlesinger said the simulation requires students to work in groups both in and out of class to “run” a small bike manufacturing company, and they must rely on the skills learned in the course to make decisions ranging from pricing to marketing.

Freshman business student Zachary Islam found the MikesBikes simulation enjoyable and engaging. “The MikesBikes game makes it really fun”.

During the summer, prior to the start of the school year, students receive emails giving them the contact information for their MikesBikes group, Schlesinger said. During the World of Business class, students must sit with their group, and are also required to work on homework pertaining to the simulation together.

Schlesinger said this early formation of groups allows students to come to the college as freshmen who have already formed connections with peers and cemented the importance of collaboration. “We really focus on teamwork because when they get out into the business world, that’s really of critical importance” Schlesinger said.

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