Unlocking student success

Harnessing the power of simulation-based learning in business education


  • Sandy Barker University of South Australia
  • Audrea Warner University of Auckland




business simulation, relationships, teamwork, employability skills


This paper draws upon the authors' extensive experience in designing and delivering simulation-based courses in both Australia and New Zealand. Through their first-hand experience, they have found that simulation-based courses offer distinct advantages compared to traditional pedagogical approaches. Participants in these courses exhibit enhanced learning and retention due to their active engagement and sense of ownership in the learning process. By adopting a "hands-on" approach, the majority of course time is dedicated to experiential learning and discovery rather than passive listening (Garris, Ahlers & Driskell, 2002).

The purpose of this article is to present and elaborate on how simulations can be used in business education along with insights the authors have gained over the years. In most business simulations, learners are immersed in the role of managing a firm within a competitive environment(s), engage in competition with other firms operating in the same industry, and strive to effectively produce, market goods, and optimize resource management for sustainable growth. Throughout the process of completing the simulation students have noted that they not only expand their business knowledge but also improve their employability skills, particularly teamwork, problem solving, communication and critical analysis. This paper also reflects on the relationships built throughout the simulation course.

Author Biography

Sandy Barker, University of South Australia

Senior Lecturer