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The simulation was chosen for many reasons; yes, it was developed by a former faculty member out of his research at Yale, but that was not the prime reason for its selection. The main reason is that the simulation is sufficiently complex that it requires a team of people with effective 'division of labour' (aka team work) to effectively run a MikesBikes company. Some of the staff at SmartSims (whom number a few alumni of this course) have–over many years–developed deep understandings of the simulation and can effectively compete when running a company by themselves. But for most folk, to do well they need to find ways to work well together. The second reason is the complexity of the simulation goes a long way towards mirroring a real firm; more so than many business simulations. As a consequence, many of the business lessons (on top of the team lessons) are transferable to the workplace.

Peer feedback

 You will notice that peer feedback is used extensively throughout the course. For example, it is used with the Learning journals. Some students question the value of such feedback. Surely an 'expert' will give better feedback? There are three reasons why peer feedback is used here. First, when you give peer feedback, it sets you up to think critically about the work of others–it is a great opportunity for you to learn from your colleagues. How often do you  get the chance to see and think about other peoples' work? Secondly, it helps you develop skills in evaluating your own work ... how can you get better if you always need someone else to tell you how good a job you have done. Finally, all the research says that it works. Yes, sometimes a student will 'blow off' the task (and there are consequences for that), and yes, sometimes they might be wrong. But that happens far less frequently than you might think, and in practice it rarely a problem. Overall, the benefits of peer feedback far outweigh the occasional problems.