Wharton’s Oil Negotiations and Startup Simulations Now Globally Available
PHILADELPHIA, Pa., March 31, 2014 — The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has just released two world-class web based simulations on the Harvard Business Publishing for Educators web site. Both simulations were, until now, only available to Wharton students. Designed by top faculty members and developed in partnership with Wharton’s acclaimed Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab, Negotiation Simulation: OPEQ and Entrepreneurship Simulation: The Startup Game are deeply immersive simulations meant to be used in a wide variety of educational settings. Each simulation includes extensive teaching tutorials, expert commentary from respected industry voices and other multimedia resources that ensure the Wharton experience can be replicated in any classroom. They are available for purchase online now.
The joint release of Negotiation Simulation: OPEQ and Entrepreneurship Simulation: The Startup Game marks the Learning Lab’s first entry into packaging these exclusive teaching tools for a worldwide audience. Both were specially designed so instructors are able to delve right into gameplay without having to deal with onerous setup tasks, letting the cutting-edge technology driving each simulation recede into the background as their core concepts and lessons take center stage in students’ minds.
Prof. Maurice Schweitzer, who teaches negotiations at Wharton, created Negotiation Simulation: OPEQ based on the feedback he has received teaching hundreds of Wharton MBAs over the years. Rich in real-world analytics, it plunges students into the global oil market, allowing them to explore the dynamics of cartels and competition with a focus on the challenges posed by shared resources. Acting as oil ministers, players set the production level for their respective countries and compete for profits within an oligopoly. Negotiation Simulation: OPEQ can be used as a learning tool in a variety of courses including negotiations, microeconomics, and game theory.
“Negotiation Simulation: OPEQ brings to life the tension between competition and cooperation,” Schweitzer said. “However, the fundamental concepts taught over the course of the simulation can be tailored to teach a variety of economic and negotiation principles – that’s what has made it such a success at Wharton.” According to Schweitzer, students immersed in the game are able to directly experience how accountability, communication, trust, and even deception impact cooperation within interdependent markets. “One of the most enduring managerial challenges in business is getting others to cooperate when they stand to benefit in the short-run by acting competitively,” he explained. “This simulation teaches students how to work more effectively with others.”
In that same vein of realism, Entrepreneurship Simulation: The Startup Game combines the research and experience of Wharton startup expert Prof. Ethan Mollick, a former entrepreneur himself. An elaborately crafted, highly dynamic simulation of entrepreneurial business, students role-play as company founders, investors, and early employees – putting into practice the very theories the game is designed to teach. All-star insight into Entrepreneurship Simulation: The Startup Game’s underlying business theories is provided by a number of high-profile Wharton alumni, including Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO; Josh Kopelman, founder of Half.com and founding partner of First Round Capital; and Bruce Brownstein, one of eBay’s first managers.
“With Entrepreneurship Simulation: The Startup Game, we have created a new kind of simulation,” Mollick noted. “It’s designed to help students embrace uncertainty, and to introduce fundamental concepts and cutting-edge research on startup success while having fun doing it. ”
While both simulations were conceived in Wharton’s classrooms, they were incubated in the Learning Lab, Wharton Computing’s unique development group established more than a decade ago by alumnus Alfred West, Jr. “to reach a deeper understanding of how people learn and to push that process to a higher level using advancements in technology and learning science.” A veritable hub of innovation, the Learning Lab harnesses Wharton’s most valuable assets, combining deep pools of knowledge with state-of-the-art computing technology to develop an ever-growing stable of interactive classroom simulations.
“Our focus is on designing simulations that heighten student engagement, and also greatly simplify the entire gaming process – from setup through managing play and, ultimately, into the debrief,” said Sarah Toms, IT Director for Wharton¹s Alfred West Jr. Learning Lab. “Each game leverages modern Web languages and frameworks, meaning the simulations can be played in nearly any venue, on a variety of devices,” she added, noting that instructors have the freedom to run the games on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets alike – ideal for the ever-evolving modern classrooms.
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