There are over 300 universities in North America with a dedicated trading floor or financial literacy lab. What was once a unique drawing and educational resource for universities has lost it value with the proliferation of these facilities. In our 2013 survey of these universities, 84% of them offer no simulation platforms for their students to use. The 16% who do offer some type of simulation platform, 72% of them limit to only a few courses. Only a hand full of universities have integrated the use of simulation into their curriculum.
The value of live-data platforms is the student engagement with today’s market. The drawback is that you are stuck with whatever the market is doing that day. If it is flat or uneventful, then that is what you get.
Simulation platforms need to be Flexible, Scalable, Reliable, Accountable and Repeatable. The last point is often lost… REPEATABLE. If you are unable to repeat a simulation, how do you know if your students have become better?
A reported 59% of these universities have a Bloomberg terminal, with a much smaller number of them offering Morningstar, CapitalIQ, Factset or Telemet Orion data feeds. The value of these data feeds is without question a valuable resource, but educating students about the markets is more than just a data feed. Too many of these universities use these expensive facilities primarily as an extension of their library resources. It is a lost opportunity.
For a select few universities, 59% of them have a ‘student managed fund’, but participation in managing those funds is less than 20 students per university. What value is having a ‘student managed fund’ if you have only a tiny percentage of their students participating?
Millennial’s currently represent less than 14% of the work force (2012). It has been estimated that by the end of 2015 their numbers will grow to 47%. The competition for Top students/graduates is already intense. The learning challenges that they represent to both universities and corporations are daunting. The question of how to weave appropriate learning into the current curriculum and to accelerate that learning for the next phase learning is a huge experiment. Already they (the Millennial’s) have spent more time playing video games than they have spent in classrooms. Much of their learning has been via technology and engaging games simulations. They have a high comfort level with this learning style and the technology that facilities their learning.
The needs and demands for the future of learning will be a mix of existing program delivery, interlaced with social networking tools in conjunction with experiential simulations. We already know that simulations allow for participants to be involved in a highly collaborative and social experience; while learning a range of complex skills in a controlled and repeatable environment.
Simulations allow for learners to manage and experience: problem solving, risk management, critical thinking, team dynamics, and conflict resolution as well as knowledge relevancy. The environment of gaming and social engagement only amplifies the learning for these individuals, accelerating and cementing knowledge retention in fast moving markets.