The difficulties of context: An exploratory study of learning transfer from a business simulation game

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Studies show that learning is situated—or that learning in one context does not easily transfer to a new context. Because business simulations are often used to provide a learning context, we wondered if this context-specific learning would transfer. To explore this issue, we used situated learning theory to ask undergraduate students in an operations management class to apply their learning in both familiar, simulation contexts, and unfamiliar, nonsimulation contexts. Using contextually based exam questions, we empirically measured learner performance on low and high cognitive effort questions. We were able to provide some support for the constructivist learning theory's hypothesis that learners can take the principles constructed in a business simulation and apply them in other contexts. Additionally, we explored the implications of confidence/self-efficacy theory and demonstrated that transfer may differ based on cognitive effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalDecision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • content areas
  • experiential learning
  • games and simulations
  • operations management
  • pedagogical approaches
  • supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Education
  • Decision Sciences (miscellaneous)

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