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Every semester, a few students (say, as in this semester, about half a dozen  out 120) ask the question “What happens if I don’t get a Shareholder Value of $25 when practicing with SoloMike”. I am not going to dwell on the types of reasons for not being able to get to $25, suffice to say there are many reasons from leaving the task too late, through to not having enough experience/understanding yet. When the class is small (around 40 students, it’s easy to deal with this issue on a 1-to-1 basis, as there is normally only one or two student who asks.

But as there are more students asking this semester, I’m going to explicate the thinking on the $25. It is not a secret by any means.

As noted elsewhere, it is problematical for individual students and teams when members do not have a basic level of understanding of the simulation (and in many ways, getting a $25 SHV acts as a reliable proxy measurement of that understanding). A large majority of the students can—and do—succeed in passing that benchmark. Most would not say it was easy. It takes some time/effort/determination/systematic thinking/etc. to get there.

Clearly, I think that basic understanding is important. Hence, all the paperwork saying that you should get a $25 SHV (and I’ve now tweaked the PDF of the CV form to be consistent—thank you  Reem Al-Hilali for making me aware of that discrepancy).

So, why do I not say “You must get $25”, why do I say “Should”.

Scattered throughout the course documentation (wiki), there are a number of points where it says “This may not be the course for you”. You need to make a judgement call. This is another one times. Most people can get to $25. If you cannot do that, you really need to be questioning if this is the right course for you. Do you have what it takes to do well in this course?

If a student does not get $25, and everyone else in their team does, how are the team-dynamics going to shape up. What might be the impact on the way the team distributes marks/grades at the end of the course? That student is possibly going to be ‘on the back foot’ from their first encounter with the team. I am sure you can work through many potential consequences yourself.

I’m I going to fail someone for not getting $25. No, you should be able to do it if you expect to be successful. Are there consequence of not doing. Yes. Can those consequences be overcome—by some people yes, by others no.

Now some students do not like teams. Yet, because they want to be better at working in teams they do the course anyway (even though at first glance perhaps it’s not for them). They are prepared to put in what it will take to be successful even though it does not come easily. They make that choice. It’s not me saying “You must like teams to do this course”.

So, if you cannot get $25 I will not be saying “You must get $25 to do this course”. No. You need to think the issues through—be reflective—and make a considered choice .