Edited by Michael H. Morris
Chapter 14: The use of simulations in entrepreneurship education: opportunities, challenges and outcomes
How do we develop entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, and competence? Certainly, the traditional methods of lectures and textbooks are important in laying down the foundation of entrepreneurship theory and practice. But, to achieve higher levels of critical thinking, it is necessary to ponder, test, reflect and adjust one’s knowledge. To achieve skills, we need to practice our trade. And, to achieve competence, we need lots of knowledge and skills. But, we do not need to do it alone. An entrepreneurial training coach can channel our energies, thought processes, practice routines, and feedback mechanisms to advance the level and the speed with which we attain competence. We would like to share a process that we have developed at the University of Tennessee to advance the knowledge, skills, and competence of our students. It is based upon an entrepreneurial simulation that has been greatly enhanced with a series of value-added activities and assessments. We will start by reviewing the literature on the value of simulation-based training. Next, we will describe the theory of experiential learning and how it helps to explain the learning process that underlies the use of business simulations. Then, we will introduce the simulation that is used as our learning platform. Our attention will then shift to describing the entire pedagogy with all of its enhancements, including our findings regarding the development of critical thinking skills and adaptive learning. We will conclude the chapter with a discussion of how the pedagogy contributes to entrepreneurial learning.
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