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Open Educational Resource: Making Choices in Online “Mini-Simulations”

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“What would you do if your boss asked you to fudge the numbers in a report?”
“What would you do if a colleague revealed they were lying to customers about product?”
“What would you do if asked whether your company should install new, expensive pollution-abatement technology?”

These sorts of questions are common in ethics and CSR classrooms. And students are typically happy to consider these “what ifs”. But talk is cheap in the comfort of a casual classroom discussion. What if there was a way to safely put the students “into” those situations, to make them more real?

There are ways to do that! Over the last few years, I’ve presented twice at the SBE Annual Meeting about text-based “mini-simulations” for classroom use. These brief simulations (5-10 minutes) can be played on any computer, smartphone, or tablet. They put students in the middle of the action, situating them in realistic workplace scenarios and asking them to make decisions. The decisions they make with a simple ‘click’ shape what happens next, and how the story evolves. This method produces surprising levels of student engagement – students get absorbed in these simulations, and in our experience they achieve a higher level of appreciation of the challenges such questions pose.

I’ve recently co-founded a small company – Choice Point Solutions, Inc. – aimed at making these simulations available for use in the classroom as well as in corporate training. As a “thank you” to audiences at the SBE, Choice Point is making a cluster of these simulations freely available to members of the SBE for classroom use, at (no log-in required) We welcome your feedback!

For more information, feel free to contact me at

Chris MacDonald
Ted Rogers School of Management
Ryerson University