Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Developing a Framework to Understand Student Engagement, Team Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes Using ERPsim

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

Developing a Framework to Understand Student Engagement, Team Dynamics, and Learning Outcomes Using ERPsim

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

The value of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to business organizations is well known and is regularly integrated into educational business curricula and training. The utilization of simulation games to enhance learning has long been recognized, with many developed for this purpose. One such simulation, ERPsim, developed by HEC Montreal (Leger et al., 2007), is utilized to engage business students in collaborative, problem-based learning activities using ERP software. ERPsim games incorporate live business simulations that enable students to learn about ERP concepts firsthand by working in teams and managing their own companies using SAP ERP software (Leger, 2006). ERPsim games have been used for over 10 years in 200+ universities around the world (ERPsim Lab, 2018).

The current AACSB Standards for Business Accreditation underscore the importance of engagement, innovation, and impact to measure how effectively business schools are preparing students to enter the rapidly changing global workforce (AACSB, 2013). While these concepts are not new to business education, the current emphasis from AACSB provides an opportunity to further empirically explore relationships between teaching/learning methods and learning outcomes. Specifically, using a team-based simulation game platform, it is possible to explore factors associated with student engagement, team dynamics, and individual learning outcomes from the activity.

This research investigates the relationship between student engagement, team dynamics, and individual student learning outcomes. ERPsim, the collaborative problem-based learning simulation game, is used as the platform to test our hypotheses.

The paper begins with an introduction followed by a review of simulation games, learning outcomes, student engagement, and team dynamics. The research model and hypotheses are explained followed by the methodology of the research. Research results are presented and discussed, including limitations and recommendations for further research.

2. LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1 Computer-Based Simulation Games

The use of computer-based business simulation games to enhance learning in higher education has been recognized as a valuable learning tool that enables students to make real-world business decisions (Keys and Wolfe, 1990; Washbush and Gosen, 2001; Feinstein and Canon, 2002; Seethamraju, 2011; Whitton, 2011). In addition, simulation games have been found to promote systems learning, problem solving, and communication related to running a business, with favorable learning outcomes (Goodwin and Franklin, 1994; Jackson and Taylor, 1998). The business simulation game, ERPsim, developed by ERPsim Labs at HEC Montreal (Leger, 2006; Leger et al., 2007), has been used to engage business students in collaborative, problem-based learning activities for over 10 years in 200+ universities globally (ERPsim Lab, 2018). ERPsim is designed to be dynamic and fast-paced, allowing students to see the results of their decisions and actions immediately. Using a live version of SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, student teams manage their company in a real-time competitive environment. The games use a problem-based learning approach. According to its developers (Leger et al., 2007), the instructional strategy focuses on guiding the learning process in a situated context through a series of realistic and potentially complex open-ended problems. There are several versions of the game that include managing either a distribution or a manufacturing company that sells its products in a competitive marketplace. As students play the game in teams, they analyze live business data from the sales of their products to determine optimal strategies associated with purchasing, production, logistics, and pricing. Each member of the student team has a unique role that is vital to the success of their company. Individually and together, their decisions and actions contribute to the active management of integrated business processes in their firm. …

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