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Instructor Guide — GoVenture CEO

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👈1. Start Here!

Create your Instructor Account at — you only need to do this once. Going forward you may log in at any time with your username and password.
Watch this 10-minute video by the founder & CEO of MediaSpark and designer of GoVenture CEO.

2. Five-Step Summary

Follow these steps to get started:
Become familiar with GoVenture CEO as a student and instructor
Determine the number of hours of student play and your Assessment methodology
Create your Simulations — or ask us to help by scheduling a Personal Onboarding Webinar
Onboard students with our ready-to-use resources — see 📋
As students play the simulation, consider if and when you want to provide facilitation along the way

The steps above are detailed below.

3. Learn How to Play

For Instructors (Simulation Managers)

As an instructor (Simulation Manager), the best way to learn GoVenture CEO is to play it as a student (player), as follows:
Watch the Tutorial Video below
Create a new Simulation Competition and choose a QuickStart. Consider choosing one of the more advanced options with all the business modules turned on so that you can try the various business modules and decide which ones should be used with your students.
Turn ON the Computer Players so that you have competition.
For TIME ADVANCE, choose PLAYER ADVANCE, which allows you to advance the simulation by clicking the GO button in the simulation.
For BUSINESSES & TEAMS, choose 1 Player-Run Business
Click CREATE to generate a Simulation Number.
Click PLAY to join the Simulation Number.
Play the Simulation Competition for a few periods. While playing, you can switch to your Simulation Manager dashboard to review the various reports and features that are available to instructors.

For Students (Players)

Use this document to onboard students — 📋
The best way for students (players) to learn GoVenture CEO is to watch the Tutorial Videos and read the User Guide. These resources are available in the yellow Tutorials and Guides tile when students log in to GoVenture CEO.
The Winning Strategies information is particularly useful.
Encourage players to use the in-game Help (?) and to call their Virtual Advisors while they play.
Students also have access to a 160-page 📙 that helps them learn the fundamental concepts of business as they are applied in the GoVenture CEO simulation.

Tutorial Video— How To Play

VIDEO — GoVenture CEO Tutorial

4. Create and Manage Simulations

You must create a Simulation Competition before you or any players can join to play. This should be the first thing that you do. Once a Simulation Competition has been created, you can manage it using the options provided.
VIDEO— How to Create and Customize Simulations

4.1 Schedule and Duration of Play

The Simulation Manager controls how quickly a Simulation Competition will progress.
Automatic Advance
The Simulation Competition can advance as often as once per day, automatically (at approximately 3AM ET) without any intervention, based on the dates chosen. This is the best option for a Simulation Competition that will span days and weeks. Note that the simulation displays , not your local time zone.
Manual Advance
The Simulation Competition can be advanced at any time with the click of a button by the Simulation Manager. This is the best option for a Simulation Competition that will span a few hours, or one that requires more customized advancing than is provided by the automatic advance option.
Player Advance
Players can advance the simulation to the next period by clicking a button. With this option, players compete on their own against computer competitors, but not against human competitors because each player's simulation is independent from the others. This option is useful when you want to allow players to progress through the simulation at their own pace.
NOTE: A Simulation Competition that is set to Automatic Advance can also be advanced manually at any time.
It is up to the Simulation Manager to decide how much time will be provided to players between advances in order to make and save their business decisions. The actual amount of time required to navigate the software to make and save business decisions is very short – generally only a few minutes. However, it is the thinking required that is the most time-consuming, such as reviewing reports and contemplating strategy.
On average, it may take 15-40 minutes each period for a player acting alone to make thoughtful decisions (or one hour or more for thorough analysis). With team play, at least one hour or more per period is often needed to allow for communication and consensus. It is up to the Simulation Manager to determine how much time pressure will be applied.

4.2 Depth of the Experience

When creating a Simulation Competition, there are a number of business modules and features that can be turned ON or OFF to increase or decrease the depth of the experience. The more business modules and features that are turned on, the more difficult the simulation becomes for players because they will be faced with more decisions to make and more factors to consider.
Consider the following:
To determine which modules should be turned on or off, consider playing a QuickStart simulation to give them a try before creating a Simulation Competition for students to play (see Getting Started).
It is usually better to start with a simpler Simulation Competition and advance to a more comprehensive Simulation Competition later, if it makes sense to do so. Have students play a basic practice simulation and determine their comfort with a more advanced simulation.
Having students play in teams may help students learn from each other. Or, consider allowing students to choose whether to play on their own or in teams of mixed sizes (GoVenture CEO allows teams of any size within the same Simulation Competition).
If you have students with varied experience, consider putting them in teams that balance their experience levels.
Consider running two different Simulation Competitions simultaneously, one more advanced than the other, and assigning students to each one based on their experience levels, or allow students to choose one on their own.
When running a practice Simulation Competition, consider making it identical, or very similar, to the actual non-practice Simulation Competition that will follow. Unlike using a very basic practice Simulation Competition, this approach allows students to experience the same business decisions during and after practice, making it easier for them to transition from one to the other.

4.3 Play Several Simulations Instead of Just One

Hosting several short Simulation Competitions often provides a more thorough learning experience than does hosting one long Simulation Competition. Knowing there are multiple Simulation Competitions provides players the confidence and opportunity to experiment with different strategies.
An approach to consider is to have the first Simulation Competition only last 4 periods. This provides players the opportunity to get to know the simulation and the decisions that need to be made, in preparation for subsequent Simulation Competitions. Subsequent competitions can then run for 5 to 24 periods.
A useful approach when running multiple Simulation Competitions is to assign different objectives to each. For example, one Simulation Competition may have the objective of maximizing Equity/Profit, whereas another might be to maximize Market Share. Having different objectives enables players to better experience the various decisions and compromises that must be made to realize different business objectives.

NOTE: If desired, it is possible to host multiple Simulation Competitions that run at the same time, as opposed to waiting for one Simulation Competition to end before beginning another.

4.4 Advanced Features and Activities

The following advanced features and activities can be enabled from the ACTIONS tile:
TRIGGER EVENT feature allows you to affect a live simulation by modeling weather events that reduce market demand, labor strikes that increase shipping costs, or anything you can think of.
EDIT BUSINESS CASH feature allows you to increase or decrease the money in a business. Use this feature to reward or penalize players based on results from a separate activity, such as a packaging design competition, investment pitch, sales demonstration, or other business activity.
MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS feature allows you to combine the results of individual businesses, similar to how businesses might be combined in the real world of business.
CONGLOMERATES feature allows you to combine the results of two more businesses managed by the same Player in different Simulation Competitions. Players can manage separate businesses in different industries (Simulation Competitions) to model multiple product lines, subsidiaries, or lines of business.

4.5 Simulation Customization

The person who creates and manages a Simulation Competition is called the Simulation Manager. This is often an instructor or trainer.
For the Simulation Manager, GoVenture CEO can be set up within minutes, and it will run automatically with no intervention required (unless desired). Every detail is available to the Simulation Manager from a single interface. Simulation Manager account privileges are required to access these features features.
A high degree of customization is available for the Simulation Manager, allowing the creation of any product in any industry in any market:
Name of Simulation Competition allows players to find the Simulation Competition among others that they may be playing.
Currency Name and Symbol.
Product Type is the category of the product or industry, such as Electronics, Automotive, Shoes, Cosmetics, etc.
Product Features define and differentiate a product. Businesses can optionally invest in Research and Development to improve the features of their respective products. Up to four features can be defined. For example, with a car, these may be styling, safety, reliability, and gas mileage. Features are completely defined by the Simulation Manager and can be turned off if desired.
Product Cost is the base production cost of the product.
Transportation Cost is the expense incurred to ship the product.
Production Cost is the amount of money needed to create the product.
Product Selling Price is the amount of money the consumer will pay for the product. Maximum and minimum product selling prices can be set to limit player pricing options. The wider the range, the greater the price competition possible.
Revenue Fee can represent a reseller discount, licensing fee, royalty, commission, duty, tax, or other payment that is associated with the sale of a product.
Period and Duration of the simulation: The Simulation Competition advances in periods. Any period can be defined (hour, day, week, month, period, year, etc.) and up to 24 periods can be played in one Simulation Competition.
Multiple Simulation Competitions can be played and managed simultaneously.
Business Starting Cash and Budgets for each period can be set.
Production Management can be turned OFF to simplify the simulation by always matching company product supply to market demand, or turned ON to require players to forecast expected sales and attempt to produce just enough product to match.
Product Expiration can be set to encourage players to minimize inventory levels.
Inventory Carrying Cost is the money lost when a product in inventory remains unsold.
Sales and Marketing can be turned ON to enable businesses to invest in Product Line and Brand Advertising, Price Discount Advertising, and Sales Promotion.
Advertising Mix can be turned ON to require businesses to choose specific types of advertising, such as television, radio, Internet, and more.
Market Territories can be turned OFF to simplify the simulation, or turned ON to enable businesses to enter into new territories with varied market profiles.
Market Size is the total amount of money consumers will spend to purchase a product in each territory in each period.
Consumer Profiles can be set to create any type of market demographic/psychographic desired, including any combination of price, brand, and feature desirability. Each of the three territories has 10 consumer profiles that can be defined.
Human Resources can be turned ON to require businesses to manage employee numbers, wages, benefits, turnover, morale, and more.
Loans and Stocks can be turned ON to allow businesses to access additional financing through acquisition of debt or sale of equity.
Ethics feature can be turned ON to require businesses to choose their level of operating ethics.
Custom Events can be created and triggered at any time. Events can affect one or more businesses in terms of cash, market demand, costs, and more. Any type of event can be created, such as labor strikes, weather, natural disasters, international incidents, trade disputes, and more.
Messages: Players can post messages for each other (similar to Twitter tweets or Facebook status updates). The Simulation Manager can also send messages to communicate with players.
Scoring is built-in and can be chosen from a number of metrics, including Net Profit, Revenue, Units Sold, Share Price, Market Share, Brand Equity, Employee Morale, and more.
Individuals, Teams, and Competitions can be set up in any combination desired.
Simulation Time Advance can be set to any desired interval by identifying specific dates or using a manual approach. Once set up, the simulation runs automatically. Periods can also be repeated if needed.
Businesses, Teams, and Players can be removed from a simulation at any time.
Detailed reports on all aspects of the competition and company performance can be reviewed and printed at any time. Individual reports can be turned on or off.
Player Quiz can be enabled to require players to take a simple quiz to makes sure they have reviewed the User Guide and are ready to play.
And much more!

4.6 Team Play

Simulation Competitions can be created to allow for more than one player to run the same business together as a team.
To set this up, choose the team option when creating a Simulation Competition.
The instructor decides who will play on which team. Teams can be of any size and they all do not have to be the same size.
You will be provided with multiple Simulation Numbers, one for each team. Players on the same team should all join the same Simulation Number. The last two digits of the Simulation Number identify the team number (1234567-01 means team 01). This process will automatically connect students to their teams — the instructor does not have to input anything into GoVenture about whose on what team.
If a student joins the wrong team, the instructor should use the Troubleshooting > Remove Player option on your dashboard.
There are two approaches to team play that instructors can apply with GoVenture CEO:
Casual Team Play
Useful when you want students to play in teams but are not necessarily focused on heavy assessment of team collaboration and evidence-based decision making.
Serious Team Play
Useful when team collaboration and evidence-based decision making are the primary instructional objectives. The experience is similar to being part of a real executive team. Find out more here —
It is best to have students play an individual simulation before playing a team simulation. This provides students the opportunity and responsibility to learn how to play on their own without relying on others. The benefit of doing so is that when the team simulation begins, all students will have a common baseline knowledge and confidence that enables them to better contribute to team collaboration and dynamics.
Additional information on how teams work (included in the User Guide for students):
Players in teams can log in to the same business at any time and from different locations. All players have access to all decisions in their business, so teammates must work together.
SAVING DECISIONS: Players on the same team should designate one person to make and save decisions. WARNING: Be careful not to overwrite decisions made by a teammate. If one teammate makes and saves decisions and then another teammate makes and saves decisions, whoever saved last will overwrite the previous decisions. This is why it is important to designate one teammate to make and save decisions.
Business decisions can be changed (and Saved) any number of times, up until the decision deadline.
Players on the same team can communicate asynchronously (not real time) using the built-in Strategy Journal Notes (similar to a Blog). For real-time collaboration, players should consider using their preferred text messaging service or other app.

5. Subscription Keys & Simulation Numbers

A Subscription Key is a 32-digit number that allows you to create a personal account on the GoVenture system. Your students may or may not need Subscription Keys, depending on the type of instructor account that you have — see 6. Student Accounts
A Simulation Number is one or more numbers generated by GoVenture when you create a Simulation Competition. The Simulation Number enables players to join the specific Simulation Competition that you are managing.

6. Student Accounts & Onboarding

There are two types of instructor accounts:
Learner Managed
Instructor Managed
The type of instructor account that you have determines how student accounts are created and managed. See the blue tile with your profile information to determine what type of account you have.

Learner Managed

Learner Managed subscriptions are normally assigned to Colleges, Nonprofits, and Businesses.
Each students must be given a unique Subscription Key to create their personal account. Students create and manage their own logins.
Use this document to onboard students — 📋

Instructor Managed

Instructor Managed subscriptions are normally assigned to K-12 schools, where student anonymity is important for maintaining full privacy.
Student accounts are managed by the instructor.
Students are not required to create full accounts on GoVenture. This means they do not have to disclose their personal information. Students only need to use their names (or student IDs or other pseudonym) and passwords to play GoVenture.
Students will be prompted to enter a Simulation Number and their name (or student ID or other pseudonym) and password. When you create a new Simulation Competition, you will be given a unique Simulation Number to distribute to each student. Each Simulation Number will be similar but with a few digits added to the end (such as -01, -02, -03, etc).
If a student forgets their personal Simulation Number, you can retrieve it from ALL REPORTS > BUSINESSES.
If a student forgets their password, you can reset it using the RESET PASSWORD option in the ACTIONS tile.
Be sure to direct students to the correct URL to play GoVenture CEO because it is different than the one that instructors use. To find the URL, view DIRECTIONS FOR PLAYERS in the ACTIONS tile.
Review this document to better understand how student accounts work
Use this document to onboard students
— 📋

7. Assessing & Monitoring Students


Playing a business simulation is one of the most memorable and meaningful educational experiences you can give to students. Complement this experience with an assessment and grading methodology that best aligns with your curriculum.
The following document identifies a number of common methods so that you can choose one or a combination of options that best match your desired approach:


VIDEO — Reports for Monitoring Player Activity & Results

Access for Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants (TAs) can be given access to an instructor’s simulation to help with student guidance and assessment. There are three ways to do this:
You can share your login info (username/password) — this gives the TA full access as if they are you.
The TA can be set up with their own instructor account using their own login. You can then use the SHARE REPORTS feature on your instructor dashboard (in the Actions Tile) to give them VIEW access to all of your simulation reports. The TA does not have any access to your account, they can only view all of the simulation reports.
The TA can be set up with a student account. This allows them to play the simulation as a student just like the other students. This also means they will affect the market, which could be problematic.
Contact us to request access for your TA — there is no cost.

Viewing a Simulation as a Student

The Monitor Simulation feature can be used to view the simulation interface as a student. This mode is safe and has no effect on the simulation.
The View Settings feature can be used to review the detailed settings of a simulation.
An instructor can join and play the same simulation as students. But this is not normally recommended because it affects the market demand and results of the simulation, and students will see the instructor’s business.
An instructor can join and play a copy of the same simulation students are playing. Once a copy is created, the instructor can join the simulation to play. Note that this is a copy of the simulation settings but not the actual simulation students are playing — the copied simulation will not have any results or any other students in it. To create a copy, click the Create button then Copy and follow the prompts— be sure to turn on Computer-Run businesses.

How to Copy Data Tables to a Spreadsheet

The Rubric Report and some financial statements include a CSV Export option. All other report data can be copied from GoVenture and pasted into a spreadsheet — watch the video below for directions.

8. Coaching Students

A Simulation Competition provides many opportunities for discussion, reflection, and coaching. To help with these efforts, use the 📃Student Reflection Slides found in the yellow Tutorials & Guides tile.
Consider showing the DEBRIEF Performance Report (found in the white Manage tile) on a big screen in front of the class or on a shared screen in an online meeting. Identify businesses that appear to be improving and ask them to share their thoughts with everyone.

Discussion Examples

Understanding consumer behavior. If you do not understand how customers make purchase decisions, you will not know how to best position your business to serve their needs.
Generally, a business will not have enough cash to be the best at everything: in the case of a soft-drink business: price, taste, health, packaging, and brand. Choose a limited number of features to be the best at.
Knowing the market demographics/psychographics. Consumer Profile groups vary in size by territory. Make sure you are targeting a large enough segment of the market to be profitable. For example, if you are running a soft-drink business and you are targeting taste-conscious consumers because your product is the taste leader, make sure this consumer profile group is large enough to make you profitable.
Pricing products carefully. There is no preset price consumers are expecting to pay for your product. Price expectation is based on supply and demand, including how attractive your products are compared to your competition. Make sure to price your products high enough to cover all of your costs (production, distribution, reseller, research and development, sales and marketing), and add an amount of profit that is achievable based on your competitors' prices and product features.
Knowing your competition. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors enables you to better position your business. For example, if you are running a soft-drink business and you notice that a large Consumer Profile group is health-conscious but your competitors' products are weak in health benefits, then you may want to consider investing heavily in becoming the health leader.
If you are losing money, it could be for one or more of these reasons: Price is too low; Did not produce enough units to sell; Your product is not as attractive as your competitors'; Too many companies are targeting the same Consumer Profile group; Insufficient Sales and Marketing efforts.
Consider being contrarian. If most competitors are pursuing the largest Consumer Profile groups, the market may become too competitive for profitability (i.e., a big pie that is divided into too many small pieces). Consider pursuing smaller Consumer Profile groups where you may have minimal competition (i.e., a bigger piece of a small pie).
Keep in mind that decisions and strategies by competing businesses will directly affect the market conditions and your specific results. Constant review and adjustment of your strategy is necessary to properly adapt to changing market conditions.
Timing and luck matter. A great strategy may still fail due to bad timing and luck. You never know when an unexpected event may happen, or a competitor may drastically drop price or pursue some other market-changing strategy.

Helping Students with Strategy

VIDEO— Helping Students with Strategy

9. Competition and Awards

Awarding prizes to the winning team(s) of a competition is always a great motivator and adds to the multiplayer dynamic of the experience.
Prizes should be announced at the beginning of the Simulation Competition, and could be simple inexpensive gifts or even extra marks.

10. Troubleshooting

GoVenture CEO is a well refined and tested simulation. It is rare for problems to arise, but if they do, instructors should direct students to click the HELP button to contact the MediaSpark-GoVenture team.
Here is a list of select issues and how to respond:

Student Subscription Key does not work

A Subscription KEY is used to create an account.
The KEY is 32 numbers formatted like this: 12345678-12345678-12345678-12345678
A Subscription KEY can only be used one time to create a new login account. Once a KEY has been used to create a login account, students should log in to GoVenture using their username and password. The KEY is no longer needed and it expires so it cannot be used again.
Students may forget that they have already used their Subscription KEY or they mistakenly believe they have to use it more than once and they will get a message that they KEY has expired. Students should be advised to check their email for their GoVenture login or click the Forgot Username or Password button on the GoVenture login page.

Student forgets username or password

Advise student to click the Forgot Username or Password button on the GoVenture login page.
If the student does so and receives a message that their email is not recognized, this is likely because they used a different email address when they created their GoVenture account. Students should be advised to check their email for their GoVenture login

Refund or purchased wrong product

If a student purchases the wrong GoVenture product, direct them to click the HELP button to contact the MediaSpark-GoVenture team.

Student joins the wrong team

If a student joins the wrong team in a team-based simulation, the instructor should use their dashboard to select the simulation and in the ACTIONS tile click TROUBLESHOOTING > REMOVE PLAYER (not Remove Team).

Student missed saving

If a student does not save decisions for a period, there is no way for them to go back to a previous period.
In a head-to-head multiplayer simulation, all student decisions affect the results of the simulation, so allowing a student to go back to a previous period would completely change all of the results for all students.
Even though a student may have missed a period, they can continue to play the current and future periods.
A student is able to join a simulation late, but they cannot make decisions for periods that have already passed.
A student cannot join a simulation that has ended.

Change Business Name

Use this feature if a player chooses an inappropriate business name or if two players use the same business name. Also useful if a business name contains an unreadable character that prevents the player from joining a simulation.
Access this feature on the ACTIONS tile > TROUBLESHOOTING

Repeat or Reprocess a Period

Two features are available in case something went wrong with your simulation during the previous period and you wish to rewind back to the previous period. The most common reason this may be needed is if many students do not save their decisions in time.
Using these features is only recommended as a last resort option. It is better to start a new simulation (Create Simulation > Copy) and then invite students to join and play the new Simulation Number.
There are two options available under the Actions tile TROUBLESHOOTING — Reprocess and Repeat:
REPROCESS PERIOD— Discard the current period results, rewind back to the previous period, and KEEP all decisions made by players during that period. Use this option when you want to reprocess the results of a period without requiring players to go and make their decisions again. This option is useful if a glitch has caused some bad results and you want to have the period processed again. Once you implement this option, you may want to immediately use the MANUAL ADVANCE option to move to the next period (otherwise, players could go in and change their decisions).
REPEAT PERIOD— Discard the current period results, rewind back to the previous period, and DELETE all decisions made by players during that period. You will have to notify players that the simulation has been rewound and that they must make their decisions again. This option is useful when a number of players may have missed saving in a period and you want to give everyone a chance to try again.
WARNING: If students have already completed a COMPETENCY QUIZ for this Simulation Competition, the answers may have changed and so you may need to repeat the quiz.

Change simulation Time Advance or Schedule

You can change the schedule on which the simulation advances as follows:
Using your instructor dashboard, select the simulation in the white MANAGE tile.
In the ACTIONS tile, choose EDIT SETTINGS.
Click the green TIME ADVANCE module.
Change the setting to AUTOMATIC or MANUAL.
Click DONE.

Problem: “Unable to load simulation data”

About the Problem

The above error may occur on rare occasions when many students join a Simulation Number for the first time — and all attempt to do so at exactly the same moment in time.
This is most likely to happen in a live class when an instructor reveals a Simulation Number for the first time and students attempt to join it right away.
If two students join the Simulation Number at exactly the same fraction of a second, the two students may be joined to the same business, even though they are supposed to have their own businesses.
When this happens, one or both students will receive this error— Problem: “Unable to load simulation data.”

Avoiding the Problem

To avoid this problem from happening, consider providing students with the Simulation Number prior to the live session so that they will join at random times.
If you must provide the Simulation Number during the live session, try to coordinate students to join the Simulation Number at different times — a few seconds of spacing is all that is needed to avoid this problem from happening.

Solving the Problem

The problem business will be removed and the students with the error will join the simulation again.
Details — Step by step:
Simulation Managers (instructors) can fix this problem with a few clicks. Select the simulation and in the ACTIONS tile click TROUBLESHOOTING > FIX ERRORS and follow the directions.
NOTE: The removed business will impact the simulation in the period in which it is removed by increasing the market demand during that period (and only that period). If a business is removed after the simulation has advanced, the history of that business in previous periods will remain, but the business will no longer affect the simulation going forward.


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