Published: 22nd May 2021
This IIM Lucknow prof is using board games like Monopoly to simulate real-life business problems for his students
The course had to face its share of hindrances and criticisms before it could be launched. But the professor feels that things have changed a lot since he was in college
An average college lecture lasts for about an hour and a half. But Dr Mrityunjay Tiwary's Business Simulation course at IIM Lucknow is four hours long and the students come out happy. The secret — Dr Tiwary plays board games with them. No. He is not slacking off but rather uses board games from across the world to teach real-life business strategies in realtime.
Dr Tiwary, a Delhi School of Economics and IIM Bengaluru graduate, who is well known for his Accounting course has just started a brand new course in January 2021 — Business Simulation — where he uses board games to put his students in real-life situations and gives them hands-on experience. "The first one and half hours of the lecture is spent on discussing the game and introducing them to the concept and the objective of the game. Then I make them play a trial round to familiarise them with the game and then they are divided into teams and start the game. I monitor and analyse their strategies in realtime and at the end of the game we discuss the theories and how they laid a part in the game," Dr Tiwary put his elaborate class in a nutshell very skillfully.
While Monopoly is an obvious choice, Dr Tiwary is reluctant to share the other board games that he has sourced from across the world. "There is a novelty factor that works here. I am sure eventually it will get out though," he said. "We get the crème de la crème of students. They are intelligent, they are interested and hard-working but they are also bored. This does not only break the monotony but also gives them hands-on experience. Otherwise, they do learn the theories but don't get an option to apply them. This course simulates the real world for them. If a team is not being able to survive half an hour n the game, their strategies won't work for more than a couple of years in the real world," said the professor.
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The course that is now a hit among students had to face its share of hindrances and criticisms before it could be launched. But the young professor feels that things have changed a lot since he was in college. "We would consider it a big deal if the professor gave us a relatable example to illustrate his point," he said. And he has been to some of the top institutes of the country. But things have changed. "I think things have matured over time and we are competing globally. Once your completion is improving, I think you start being wary of what is putting your competition ahead of you. As a system, we become a little more flexible. The smartness and the ingenuity of the teachers would have always been there but now the system is much more accepting. Even this project faced obstacles but the kind of feedback I got made it completely worth the time and effort," he added.
But Dr Tiwary has been tweaking and improving the games and has been inviting faculty from across the country to visit. "One of them helped me get rid of the problem of chance that is involved in all these games," he added.