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eBank Microworld

Assessing student performance, general guidance when using Microworlds

  1. Students, individually or in groups, can be asked to plan their response to a challenge prior to seeing how that response plays out in the simulation. The original plan can then be compared to the resulting performance outcomes delivered and students asked to report on the reasons for differences between the plan and the result.
  2. Using any of the challenges provided set an objective to be achieved (typically a target for earnings, within constraints of the your choice). Request individuals or groups to experiment with alternative policies, and report on their recommended solution, including quantitative statement of policy and time-path of results.
  3. Request individuals or groups to seek comparable situations where business growth depends on building both physical resources (in this case, sites) and service delivery capacity (here, waiting staff), and report on:
    • the time-path of the key variables,
    • other important resources, the performance challenge that management faces, and
    • suggested solutions, including scale, timing and outcomes.
    Typical examples:
    • airlines (aircraft and service-staff – plus take-off slots…)
    • banking (transaction-processing capacity and call-centre staff - plus a financial service product range, equivalent to a restaurant menu)
    • telecoms (network capacity and service support staff – plus retail outlets or other channels for supplying handsets and selling contracts).
  4. Request individuals or groups to seek comparable situations where building and maintaining investor support is critical, and report on:
    • why this support is particularly essential in their chosen case (in Beefeater’s case, to ensure continuing availability of expansion capital)
    • the mechanisms by which this support affects the management (in this case, via capital allocation and profit targets)
    • means by which the business manages this support (in this case, for example, by not delivering such high profit growth that HQ comes to hold high expectations)
    Important examples will include new venture start-ups, where:
    • the entrepreneur must sustain the confidence of direct investors
    • this confidence is manifest in their support for the next round of funding
    • management sustains this support by maintaining an expectation of a high valuation for the business on disposal or flotation.
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