A Tale of Two Simulations in Higher Education: Exploring the Benefits of a Board Game and an Online Simulation

Lynette Nagel
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Bernice Beukes
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Marina Kirstein
University of Pretoria, South Africa

Rolien Kunz
University of Pretoria, South Africa


While games and simulations have been around for a long time, they are increasingly being incorporated into higher education and corporate training, and are particularly popular in the business disciplines. Blended learning allows the enrichment of lecture-based courses through physical face-to-face, computer-based and web-based games and simulations that make unique contributions to the learning processes. Developing custom simulations are time consuming and expensive, and need to be evaluated and improved in several cycles before implementation.Buying off-the-shelf simulations and games are convenient, but they can be quite expensive and cannot be customised for a local context. As with many new technologies, the hype or novelty effect sometimes eclipses the real value. In this study, students in different academic years in the same B Com degree participated in two simulations of professional practice in the Accounting sciences. The research question is: what was the learning value of two different types of simulations for students with diverse learning proficiencies?

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