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Lessons Learned from Implementing Web-Based Simulations to Teach Operations Management Concepts


  • Brent Snider

    () (Operations Management, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, T2N 1N4 Alberta, Canada)

  • Jaydeep Balakrishnan

    () (Operations Management, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, T2N 1N4 Alberta, Canada)


The usage of Web-based computer simulations to facilitate experiential learning of operations management concepts continues to increase; however, successfully administering and incorporating them into a curriculum can be challenging. Littlefield Technologies is a popular simulation used in operations management education; however, there is limited literature providing guidance on how to successfully implement the simulation into a postsecondary course. Based on years of experience employing Littlefield and other computer-based simulations to over 2,500 students, we provide five keys specifically for implementing Littlefield and guidance on administering computer-based simulations in general. Student survey results reveal that over 86% recommend the continued usage of Littlefield, and that over two-thirds of students report increased interest in operations management because of the simulation. A comparison of results by course type indicates that MBA students outperformed undergraduate students, and that performance appears to improve when results-based marks are incorporated into their final grade rather than bonus marks. Finally, we discuss some forthcoming improvements to the Littlefield simulation and provide some additional improvement recommendations.

Suggested Citation

  • Brent Snider & Jaydeep Balakrishnan, 2013. "Lessons Learned from Implementing Web-Based Simulations to Teach Operations Management Concepts," INFORMS Transactions on Education, INFORMS, vol. 13(3), pages 152-161, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:orited:v:13:y:2013:i:3:p:152-161

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