Source: UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA submitted to
DEVELOPING A WEB-BASED AGRIBUSINESS SIMULATOR FOR INTRODUCTORY LEVEL AGRICULTURAL STUDENTS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
EXTENDED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0207030
Grant No.
2006-38411-17028
Project No.
FLAE-2006-03186
Proposal No.
2006-03186
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
ER
Project Start Date
Sep 1, 2006
Project End Date
Aug 31, 2010
Grant Year
2006
Project Director
House, L.
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
BOX 100494, JHMHC
GAINESVILLE,FL 32610
Performing Department
FOOD & RESOURCE ECONOMICS
Non Technical Summary
There currently exists a deficit in instructional materials available to agribusiness faculty that offer the benefits of experiential learning. The overall objective of this proposal is to develop a web-based (and stand alone) agribusiness management simulation to be used in teaching introductory-level University students financial, marketing, management, human resource management, and decision-making skills.
Animal Health Component
100%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
(N/A)
Applied
100%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
90360993020100%
Goals / Objectives
The overall objective of this proposal is to develop a web-based (and stand alone) agribusiness management simulation to be used in teaching introductory-level University students financial, marketing, management, human resource management, and decision-making skills. Additionally, a manual will be developed that will provide support for instructors. Specific objectives are to(1)Determine the subject matter instructors of Introductory Agribusiness Management courses across the United States would like included as decision variables in the simulation; (2)Develop a web-based simulation program; (3)Develop a manual and teaching materials for instructors and students using the simulation; (4) Test the simulation in classes at the University of Florida, Purdue University, and South Carolina State University; and (5) Disseminate the simulation to potential instructors. The primary product resulting from this project is the web-based simulator, as well as the instructor and student manuals and teaching materials to accompany the simulator. The expected impact of these products will be increased interest levels in students learning about agribusiness management (fostering a desire for continued education in the field, aiding in retention of good students in the agricultural sciences), as well as better retention of material learned in introductory agribusiness management classes.
Project Methods
First, a survey of current instructors of Introductory Agribusiness Management courses will be conducted by email to determine: 1) if they are currently using any simulation programs in their course, and if so, what they like/dislike about the current program; 2) what objectives they would like to be able to teach using a simulation game in their class; and 3) what format they would prefer the simulation game in (web-based or stand alone on a single machine or both). Results from this survey will aid in the development of variables for the simulation. Second, a simulation program will be developing to include marketing variables, operations/logistics variables, human resource variables, and finance variables. The intent of the simulation is to cover all the general decision areas in a business, but to do so in a fashion which will allow students to understand the consequences of their decisions. Third, two manuals will be developed to aid in the use of the simulation and adoption of the simulation beyond the three universities involved in this proposal. One manual will be developed for students to instruct them on the procedures for the simulation, the second will be developed for instructors to aid them in not only understanding the procedures for the simulation, but to understand the teaching points embedded in the simulation. Fourth, the simulation will be tested at the University of Florida, Purdue University, and South Carolina State University. Feedback from students and instructors on ease of understanding the manual, the operation of the simulation, and success in teaching the learning points of the simulation will be used to modify the program and manuals as appropriate. Finally, the simulation will be demonstrated at professional meetings where other instructors of agribusiness management classes would attend and information about the simulation will be e-mailed to instructors so that they may request the instructors manual and learn about the simulation if they are interested.

Progress 09/01/08 to 08/31/09

Outputs
Surveys were conducted on faculty who teach agribusiness management, marketing, and/or finance classes and students who had participated in an older version of an agribusiness simulation to determine the needs for a simulation. As a result of these surveys, we have now determined the format and structure of the to-be-designed simulation. Beta-testing was conducted on two versions of the new simulation as we implement each set of updates. A draft of the manual has been written. A large scale beta-test of the simulation at all three universities is being conducted in the Fall of 2009. PRODUCTS: The final product of this project will be a simulation that can be used to teach introductory level agribusiness courses. Currently, an early version of this simulation exists, but programming to enhance the features is on-going. A presentation about this simulation was presented at the NACTA meetings where more input was obtained for dissemination of the simulation upon completion. OUTCOMES: Outcomes are pending. The expected out come is a simulation that can be used to enhance agribusiness education. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: A presentation was given at the National Association of College Teachers of Agriculture in Stillwater, Oklahoma in June 2009. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will complete the beta test of the simulation and manual in the fall 2009 semester and begin dissemination activities in late spring after modifications are completed.

Impacts
This project has already produced information about learning objectives that instructors and students expect from simulations. This will be of use in designing a simulation that can be used by the most instructors and students possible. The simulation should enhance the learning experience by students who participate.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 09/01/07 to 08/31/08

Outputs
Surveys were conducted on faculty who teach agribusiness management, marketing, and/or finance classes and students who had participated in an older version of an agribusiness simulation to determine the needs for a simulation. As a result of these surveys, we have now determined the format and structure of the to-be-designed simulation. The first version of the simulation has been created and now has similar characteristics to older versions. Beta-testing was conducted on this version successfully and now the enhancements requested from survey participants are being incorporated into the simulation. A larger scale beta-test of the simulation and the manual being created will be conducted in Spring 2009. PRODUCTS: The final product of this project will be a simulation that can be used to teach introductory level agribusiness courses. Currently, an early version of this simulation exists, but programming to enhance the features is on-going. OUTCOMES: Outcomes are pending. The expected outcome is a simulation that can be used to enhance agribusiness education. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: There have been no dissemination activities yet. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will complete the beta version of the simulation in the Spring of 2009. We expect to begin dissemination during the summer and fall of 2009.

Impacts
This project has already produced information about learning objectives that instructors and students expect from simulations. This will be of use in designing a simulation that can be used by the most instructors and students possible. The simulation should enhance the learning experience by students who participate.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period


Progress 09/01/06 to 08/31/07

Outputs
We have conducted a survey of faculty who teach agribusiness management, marketing, and/or finance classes to determine the needs for a simulation. This has indicated subject areas they would like addressed, as well as preferred formats. We have also conducted a survey of students at two universities that participated in the old simulation game over the past year to get their input on what they would like to see updated or changed, as well as what they see as valuable. As a result of these surveys, we have now determined the format and structure of the to-be-designed simulation and the computer programmer is beginning work on the new simulation. Plans are to test the simulation Spring 2008. PRODUCTS: The final product of this project will be a simulation that can be used to teach introductory level agribusiness courses. OUTCOMES: Outcomes are pending. The expected outcome is a simulation that can be used to enhance agribusiness education. DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES: There have been no dissemination activities yet. FUTURE INITIATIVES: We will complete the beta version of the simulation in the Spring of 2008, to be tested and refined during the summer of 2008. We expect to begin dissemination during late 2008.

Impacts
This project has already produced information about learning objectives that instructors and students expect from simulations. This will be of use in designing a simulation that can be used by the most instructors and students possible.

Publications

  • No publications reported this period