MonsoonSIM has collaborated with Deakin to include the effective dual modes of business simulation and gamification as part of their undergraduate capstone units. The [Ascillite 2021 paper] suggests the inclusion of MonsoonSIM's dual modes of teaching, gamification and simulation improved students' perceived competencies.
Deakin University ranks 15th in Accounting and Finance and has won countless awards. One of them is the AAUT, which stands for the Australian Awards for University Teaching. This is awarded by the Australian government to celebrate and reward excellence in university teaching. In 2021 Deakin won this award for a very successful capstone experience that links learning to practical application with a special focus on employability.
The award Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, which is part of the AAUT program, was then awarded to the Accounting Capstone for Employability Team, which consists of Deakin University Professors—Dr. Christine Contessotto (team leader), Dr. Edwin Lim, and Associate Professor Luckmika Perera.
The outcome of Deakin's capstone Unit
Source: Contessotto, C., KiaYang Lim, E. and Suri, H., 2022. ASCILITE 2021 Back to the future.
This table is the Attribute scale from Deakin’s Graduate Outcome survey. As seen from the table above, there is a significant improvement in the perception of graduates regarding their capabilities to work in teams and solve problems after taking part in the undergraduate capstone unit. More graduates found improvements in 2020 compared to 2017 following the redesign of the capstone unit.
With a focus on professional and technical skills as well as employability, research conducted by the Accounting Capstone for Employability Team reveals that the program has contributed to the job readiness of their accounting graduates.
Over 2,500 students have completed the capstone units, student evaluations have revealed high levels of satisfaction and engagement with how the capstone had replicated authentic real-world experiences and given students the chance to work together, collaborate and experience the dynamics of a distributed team.
With the positive perception of graduates towards these capstone units, let us now explore what exactly the curriculum entails and how MonsoonSIM plays a role within it in the subsequent section.
How MonsoonSIM is Implemented into the Curriculum
The undergraduate capstone units at Deakin University combine together knowledge of individual units that are holistic and comprehensive into one body of knowledge to facilitate higher-order learning.
Leveraging digital technologies provide an authentic learning and assessment experience. Students can integrate their learning process from individual units by solving authentic and complex real-world problems as well as developing professional skills in line with the expectations and requirements of the work environment.
Deakin University’s undergraduate capstone units exercise an innovative approach that scaffolds employability skills through authentic activities over the course of an 11-week unit. Balancing an array of educational activities and assessments that acts as the foundation of the over-arching focus on professional skills, these capstone units have four main components:
- Linking Theory to Practice (Week 1-3)
- Simulation Experience (Week 4-6)
- Career Preparedness and Employment Skills (Week 7)
- Case Studies (Week 8-11).
MonsoonSIM’s business simulation and gamification education platform is integrated into the Simulation Experience component in Weeks 4-6.
Assessments with MonsoonSIM
MonsoonSIM’s business simulation and gamification education platform is integrated into the Simulation Experience component in Weeks 4-6. The MonsoonSIM Simulation Experience accounts for 30% of the total marks. Three assessments are provided for this part of the unit.
The first assessment involves assessing students’ professionalism in managing their businesses during the time they interact with the simulation. The second assessment is an oral presentation to evaluate their strategies and decisions. The third is a business report analyzing the effects of their strategy and the prevailing economic conditions on their business’ financial reports. As each team adopts different strategies and generates distinct business outcomes, the assessment maximizes authenticity.
Working in a simulated environment enables the students to develop crucial professional skills, among them communication, problem-solving, adaptability, and teamwork. Additionally, students practice the experiential learning cycle of continuous feedback, practice, and self-reflection.
MonsoonSIM’s platform had been tailored to suit the activities according to Deakin University’s vision, allowing the configuration of the number of business decisions, its complexity, and the business environment itself.
Each different scenario, constraint, and module in each learning week constantly challenged students. The curriculum itself is designed to engage the students into being critical thinkers and quick decision-makers across 13 interdependent business departments.
Furthermore, through MonsoonSIM, students can progress their professional skills in great strides, whether it be in managing a variety of accounting decisions based on financial, operational, and market information.
Valuable Lessons through MonsoonSIM: The Experiential Learning Process with MonsoonSIM
Providing a learning journey that fosters experiential learning, the activities and processes that MonsoonSIM facilitates are aligned with the different stages of the experiential learning process:
- In Concrete Experiences, this starts from experiencing both successes and failures in running their “virtual” company in a simulated environment
- In Reflective Observation, the simulation triggers a deeper understanding of the role accounting information and integrated thinking
- In Abstract Concepts, this is where students can formulate their business and advisory approach to take
- Lastly, in Active Experimentation, students can apply this in their future roles and careers (active experimentation).
“We encourage teams to run the ‘best’ business by setting different key performance targets each week, including a range of financial and non-financial performance measures, which motivates students to make comprehensive, balanced, and adaptive decisions.” Deakin University adds.
“One great advantage of this simulation is that the student businesses sell the same products and therefore compete against each other in the class for customers and employees. This provides an interesting intersection between collaboration and competition. Students learn to collaborate and negotiate in a team for internal allocations of resources and cross-functional spending whilst setting a congruent goal for team success.” States the ‘Designing hybrid and online capstone experiences for accounting students’ research paper by Christine Contessotto, Edwin KiaYang Lim, and Harsh Suri of Deakin University.
Deakin University’s undergraduate capstone units and the remarkable professors that help run the course have certainly focused their attention on learning activities and found the perfect intersection between education and technology that can enhance it by leaps and bounds.
Through the use of MonsoonSIM and its cloud-based simulation software, the setup, support and delivery are made smoother, simpler, and much more efficient. As with the MonsoonSIM way of “More to teach, Easier to teach, More to learn, Easier to learn”!