The Influence of Simulation Performance on Student Interest

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Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research

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Previous studies examine the potential benefits of using classroom games and simulations, finding that their use generally increases knowledge and interest level. However, few (if any) of these studies examine whether performance in such simulations is relevant to these outcomes. Particularly in investments, where trading simulations are common, the performance relative to peers and the market can be objectively determined based on portfolio return. Thus, we extend the existing literature by studying the impact of portfolio performance on knowledge level and interest in the profession. We find that simulation performance has no significant influence on the students' feelings with regard to their knowledge attainment or their level of interest in the discipline. This "non-result" is actually particularly meaningful, as some professors have either not used simulations or have avoided in-class performance comparisons for fear that a poor performance will persuade students to avoid a career in the field. Our results suggest that such fear is unwarranted.


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