Pennsylvania High School Teacher Augments His High School Business Classes With Knowledge Matters’ Online Business Simulations

by Jeff Rutherford

After a 25-year career as an accountant with several manufacturing companies, Edward Herbert became a teacher. Herbert has been teaching high school business for the past 12 years at Manheim Central High School in Manheim, Pennsylvania. Herbert teaches juniors and seniors, and his classes include: Accounting I, Accounting II, Sports Marketing, Stock Market Investing and Entrepreneurship.

Herbert has integrated Knowledge Matters’ online business simulations into his high school business classes.

“I take students through the simulation tutorial as they follow along on their laptops,” Herbert said. “I use PowerPoint presentations to introduce each lesson, and students complete the lesson and submit once the goal is attained. The mogul project is weighted heaviest of all aspects for grading the sim since it demonstrates mastery.”

The Knowledge Matters’ business sims are self-paced, so Herbert does have some students who finish a sim earlier than other students.

“I group those students who finish early and run in-class competitions between them for extra credit. These students take it extremely serious and it fills the time void productively,” Herbert said.

With his extensive business experience prior to teaching, Herbert intended to bring as much real-world experiences into his high school business classes. “It’s not always practical so the SIMs are the next best alternative,” Herbert said.

Knowledge Matters’ online business simulations are built to give students control over a business, and the ability to see the actual impact of their decisions. If a student raises room rates in the Virtual Business - Hotel sim, for example, how will those new room rates impact the hotel’s revenue and profitability? But, there are always multiple impacts of a decision. Will the increased room rates ultimately drive down occupancy? This interactive experience piques the interest of students.

For some of Herbert’s students who are disinterested in school, the interactivity of the business sims can capture their attention.

“The sims seem to bring out the best in them. The lessons may not totally pique their interest but once they get to the mogul project there is no stopping them,” Herbert said. “It’s nice to see students who tend to score lower than most rise to the top and experience the glow!”

With his 25 year business career informing his experience as a high school teacher, Herbert has learned what it takes to effectively teach and reach the students in his classes.

“Even a teacher’s worst day could be better than what some students face every day,” Herbert said. “Therefore, treat all students with respect and help each student become the best he/she can be.”