ECON MUNI students learn how to be good project managers using an online game

18 Sep 2023 Jana Sosnová

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ECON MUNI students learn how to plan, manage, and successfully complete a project with the help of an online simulation game Promis. Players not only learn the skills and abilities needed to work in management, but they can also collaborate in international teams. Students can now play new and updated scenarios that have been developed thanks to the EDUCating for Positive Management (EDUC+M) project.

At the start, players choose one of the scenarios on offer. They then have to plan in the right sequence all project activities including reserves and costs. "During planning, students learn to work with the Gantt chart, which is used to graphically represent the sequence of activities over time, learn the importance of the critical path, resource limits and work with other elements of the project planning phase," explains Jan Žák, a co-author of the application and updated game scenarios.

Once the plan is complete, the player moves to the beginning of the project and has the ability to move time. External factors, such as weather, as well as accidents and other unexpected events can affect the progress of the project. "Depending on the type of event, sometimes the player will only be told what has happened, but other times they may have multiple options for dealing with the situation. Their choice will later be reflected in what the next event will be and what impact it will have on the project," describes Žák.

The individual scenarios are realistic both in terms of the project management process and the assignment. For example, the ECON MUNI team created a brand-new game scenario in which students are tasked with managing the development of a moisturiser and its launch into the market. "In addition to time, budget and image, which are parameters used in all scenarios, we added two more – social and environmental scores. Thanks to this, the impact of the player's – the project manager's – decisions on society and the environment is also taken into account," says the scenario author Radmila Štangová.

Thanks to the EDUC+M project, dozens of students from the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Hungary have played the game. However, it is also a great help for teachers themselves, who can create scenarios linked to the objectives of specific courses. "The game brings elements of gamification into the teaching process. Students typically work on solutions on their own, but they can also work in groups. Moreover, the online version of the game allows them to work on assignments in international teams," summarises Ondřej Částek, the principal investigator of the EDUC+M project from ECON MUNI.

The project "EDUCating for Positive Management (EDUC+M)", registration number 0286/2020, is funded by Erasmus+ Key Action 2: Collaboration on innovation and exchange of best practices.

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