CELebrate workshop – From comfort zone to scary zone – enhancing employability skills through business simulation

Dr Roger Atkinson and myself delivered a workshop during the CELebrate event to share some of the innovative approaches we use in our teaching and learning to help prepare Level 6 Business Studies students for the world of work.

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The growing importance of graduate employability provided the basis of the presentation and was supported by some theoretical underpinning and practical considerations. We explored the concept of problem-based learning (PBL) – a pedagogy specifically created for the integration of content knowledge and skill development – and Roger and I shared our experiences of a variety of Business Simulation case studies with the audience.

We explained how our approach challenges the students as it is structured around ambiguous and complex real-world problems, taking them right out of their comfort zone into a risky/scary zone. We highlighted that despite the initial discomfort such an approach causes, the feedback from students tends to be very positive with comments such as ‘this is the best unit of the programme by far’. 

The workshop invited the audience to consider ways they could adopt and adapt simulation techniques into different academic disciplines and to consider possible barriers and benefits that might be included. A fruitful discussion followed and one participant sent me an email after the event saying,

‘the talk  about employability and business simulation was really interesting and informative. It was great to hear all about your work as I previously only knew very little about it’

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