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Award-winning course with the world’s leading Supply Chain business game, The Fresh Connection!

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How great is it when universities award educators for their outstanding achievements? The University of Vienna gives out awards every year to honor innovative and outstanding courses. This year the award went to one of Biljana Roljic’s courses called “Business Games for Production Management” which incorporated gamification with supply chain business game, The Fresh Connection! In this article, you can read more about the UNIVIE Teaching award, Biljana’s course design, and the advantages of experiential learning and an integrated learning approach.

The UNIVIE Teaching Award

Every year the University of Vienna gives out its own so-called UNIVIE Teaching Award to honor outstanding teaching achievements and innovative teaching concepts.

With almost 90.000 students and about 9.800 employees, the University of Vienna is not just the biggest university in Austria, but one of the biggest in all of Europe. Eligible for nomination for the award in 2020 were all courses held at the University of Vienna from the summer semester 2019 to the summer semester 2020. Educators can get nominated by a group of students, colleagues, (vice-)deans, or (vice-) program directors, or they can even nominate themselves. 

The decision of who gets an award has multiple steps that include asking students for their evaluation, but the final decision gets made by the internal university jury.   

It is very special, when out of so many offered courses in such a big university just a few special ones are awarded!

Biljana Roljic was one of the seven teachers that were rewarded with the UNIVIE Teaching Award 2020. She received the Award for her course “Business Games for Production Management”, in the category “Teaching & Examination: well-coordinated”. Awards in that category are for courses that have their teaching methods, study objectives, and the examination thereof very well coordinated with one another.

In her course, Biljana Roljic combined theory and practice: she gave her students theoretical lessons to understand the concepts and added the aspect of experiential learning by using the business game, The Fresh Connection. In this way, her students could apply the learned theory directly in practice. While her students went through the web-based business game as the new management team of a (virtual) fruit juice manufacturer, she took on the role of an external consultant to guide them when needed.

In the anonymous evaluation of this course, the student’s enthusiasm was clearly visible. One student, who was already in his sixth semester, said Biljana Roljic’s ‘Business Games for Production Management’ course was by far the best course of his studies so far. He also mentioned that the combination of theory and practical application in the business game was excellent.  

Our sincerest congratulations go to Biljana for this great achievement! If you want to know more about the award and course design, you can watch the full video from the award ceremony.

Why is experiential learning the way to go?

We, at Inchainge, truly believe that going through an experience will result in a better understanding. The learning effect you have from listening or seeing is relatively small compared to when you are actually experiencing something. Think back to how you learned how to ride a bike. Learning by doing, right? So why should we not use the same approach in education?

The Learning Cycle.
“How much do you retain when listening, seeing, and experiencing?”

Experience is just the beginning of the learning cycle according to The Magic Circle by Klabbers. After an experience, it is important to reflect on the decisions that have been previously made. Find out what went wrong and what worked out well. The next step is to conceptualize, to think of the different theoretical strategies you could imply and how better decisions can be made the next time around. The last step is to apply them and see how your decisions change the outcome. Afterward, the cycle starts again and with each round, you will gain a better understanding of the matter.  Therefore, it is important to have an integrated learning approach just as Biljana Roljic had in her course.

Learning cycle.
Klabbers, The Magic Circle

What is an Integrated Learning Approach?

The Integrated Learning Approach, by Ed Weenk, MSc PDEng, seeks to provide a complete and coherent, yet practical framework to support the learner’s journey. It aims to directly link theoretical knowledge to the development of skills through active participation in learning. This approach – combining theoretical lessons with a practical exercise like a business simulation game – will allow you to reach the highest learning effect.  

The world’s leading supply chain business game, The Fresh Connection

We are thrilled to see that a course using an integrated learning approach and our business game, The Fresh Connection, got awarded!

The Fresh Connection is a cross-functional business simulation game focused on Value Chain Management. The business game challenges its participants to implement an effective supply chain strategy for a (virtual) manufacturer of fruit juices faced with declining performance. In teams of 4, participants will represent the functional roles of VP Purchasing, VP Operations, VP Supply Chain, and VP Sales.   

The Fresh Connection is versatile and can be used for courses of varying complexity and at all levels of higher education so students can develop their hard- and soft skills. Additionally, it can be used for in-company training to help foster cross-functional alignment and highlight the importance of Strategic Value Chain Management.

It is also available with the textbook Mastering the Supply Chain by Ed Weenk, making it easy to implement the business simulation game into your curriculum.

Are you interested in learning more? 

As you can see, using a business simulation game helps you achieve your study objectives and is also a very positive experience for students and teachers likewise. If you are curious to learn more about The Fresh Connection, you should give it a try yourself! 

Join our free gameplay session with The Fresh Connection on November 9th, 2021. During this event, you will be put in a team with other participants. You and your team will experience the power of true alignment and a well-articulated supply chain strategy, supported by tactical skills and knowledge. Register on our event page.

If you are also interested in learning more about The Integrated Learning Approach, feel free to download our free whitepaper here.

For any questions or more specific information on how to use The Fresh Connection in your own course, please contact us at info@inchainge.com!