Interconnecting theory and practice is a hard nut to crack. Educators worry their heads about it at more than one tertiary institution of higher learning. What is the right way to approach this issue? What instructional methods can be applied? There is a whole row of answers to these questions, however, here at MVŠO, we try to live by the words of Jan Amos Comenius: “School by Playing Games”!
Perhaps the argument has occurred to you, that playing games does not belong to the college educational experience, but that is because you apparently have not yet heard of the simulation game called JA TITAN (Read more about the English version of this game here: http://titan.ja.org/.). Let us, therefore, introduce you to this game, at least briefly:
Ja Titan is also about managerial and/or marketing skills
JA TITAN is a team simulation game focused on economic thinking. Individual groups of students play the roles of various firms and apply their basic decision-making skills to a variety of tasks. In this way, they must consider the price of their fictive product, which they are offering, think over the quantity of its production or concern themselves with choices regarding their approach to marketing activities. They also come into contact with the subject matter of financial research and development, capital investment or, for example, the setting of the amount of financial means donated to charity.
“The game gives students the chance to analyse how they can, by means of the decisions they make, contribute to the success of their firm in the marketplace, (which itself is also generally influenced by such activity). Their decision-making is reflected in the overall performance of their company (competitive subject), which is measured by a so-called Performance Index (PI), in other words, an index of the performance of the given firm. Students must analyse the effects their decisions have on the growth or decline of their PI index. This simulation thusly enables them, in the form of a game, to apply knowledge gained in other school subjects, such as Business Economics, Managerial Accounting, Marketing, Management and the like.” Adds Associate Professor Petr Novák of the Business Economics Department.
So, what is the main aim of the game then? If we were to be short-sighted, we would say that the goal to be achieved is to win the simulation game. In reality, however, JA TITAN should prepare you for the “real world“ beyond the gates of your college campus. It should give you the opportunity to try out the functioning of the marketplace and verify for yourself that your knowledge of the above-mentioned processes could allow you to, in the future, be the winners when it comes to really doing business.
So, what do you say now? Do you agree with us that playing games can and should be found in the lecture halls of universities?