COFFE project proposes the transferring and modernizing an on-line tool "Simulation enterprise", dedicated to vocational school students which enables users to run virtual enterprise producing mobile phones and manage it in an environment reflecting real economic conditions.
The game is concentrated on developing entrepreneurial skills and encouraging users to run in the future own business. The main aims and objectives are:
o increasing knowledge on enterprise functioning and enterprise management,
o raising awareness in the field of contemporary economic conditions in Poland and other partner countries,
o helping game users to develop entrepreneurship and use this knowledge for learning and developing competences from areas: entrepreneurship, mathematics, ICT and foreign languages,
o raising awareness among key stakeholders in the field of key competences which are necessary to possess to get employed.
The COFFE PROJECT
COFFE project is a partnership of six organizations and institutions, which are: educational institution (University of Economics and Innovation, Poland and GEA College, Slovenia), non-governmental organization (OIC Poland), counseling services and career guidance (CPIP Romania), chambers of commerce (Cambra Tarrasa from Spain) and research centres (RCI, Cyprus). The consortium partners are familiar with issues connected with developing entrepreneurial attitudes as well as experienced in multilateral projects within LLP Programme as all of them participated previously in LLP, either as leading partner or as a partner organization/institution.
The project will cause an increase of entrepreneurial attitudes amongst young people (mainly vocational school students) and other interested in development their entrepreneurial skills, increase their knowledge from macro-economy as well as popularize using modern training methods (e-learning and simulation games) which are recently becoming more attractive and effective.
Learning by games
"Business Simulation" game system is the Internet application simulating realities of the contemporary market within the business realm. Games take place in the virtual world and reflect the basic rules and dependencies existing in the business world.
Players play a role of owners of companies producing mobile phones. Their task is to start and develop their companies in the reality of competition with other enterprises of similar profile and run by other players. Competing on this difficult market requires a skillful management of the company's potential and resorting to cooperation with trade partners.
The object of the game's simulated market are mobile phones. Each one is characterized by two features: quality level and functionality level.
In the game, time runs in a constant manner. Its flow is measured in units called steps. The bigger unit applied is a period, which is a multiple of steps of the game. Notions of periods and steps may be respectively identified with months and days in the real world. In the game there is no equivalent of a year.
The world in which the game takes place has its geographical properties. It is all divided into locations, each of which is situated in a given country and has its geographical coordinates. At the start of the game, all the business entities which require their headquarters are automatically located on the map. These are players' companies, clients, suppliers, warehouses and transport companies. It means that each company receives an investment plot on some country's territory and therefore the access to trade partners existing in a particular country. In order to enter into partnership with foreign companies, a player's company will have to establish a branch in a neighboring country.
The screen describing a given branch of a player's company, presents a kind of magnification of a singular part of the world map. It also includes a list of organizational units which have their headquarters in this location together with providing their basic parameters. Below, there is also a component showing values of factors describing a given branch, such as being assigned to a given country, its parameters on the world map, a quantity of building plots and its value.
An empty, newly bought investment plot includes several free building plots. A player decides on ways of its exploitation. Particular building plots in this location will be taken over by buildings belonging to organizational units. With the moment of its purchase, one of building plots is automatically taken over by an administration building which represents a workplace on managerial staff and administration.
Furthermore, a company branch screen has an option of changing its name.
The paper presents the study case of the implementation of the COFFE project in Romania. We present aspects about:
o the developing of the on-line simulation game, designed for specific purpose and target group
o the impact of this tool which will reflect economical conditions to the students
o the use of modern technologies to make the training process as attractive as possible
o the promotion of the entrepreneurship, innovativeness and self-employment