Total Enterprise Simulations and Optimizing the Decision Set: Assessing Student Learning Across Decision Periods


  • E. Brian Peach
  • Richard G. Platt


The paper reviews the claim that the marginal value of learning ends after four to six decisions in a complex simulation by evaluating the level of student learning as a function of the number of decisions accomplished. Concern has been expressed over the lack of a relationship between learning and simulation performance, and a proxy for learning assessment is proposed and used to test learning. It was found that the first four to six decisions were used to learn how to play the game, and that desired conceptual learning occurred after this period. It was concluded that a minimum of 10 decisions was necessary to allow the student to apply concepts learned in class and to reinforce to the student the value of learning achieved through the simulation.