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Peer Review

Interactive Business Simulation - Costs and Break Even Analysis

by Jim Riley


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: May 20, 2008 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: Found in the Teacher Resource Exchange repository, this flash-based interactive simulation helps introduce students to the concept of business costs and break-even. Supporting notes and a worksheet are available to help guide students through the simulation. Materials appear to be designed for the United Kingdom.
Type of Material: Simulation
Recommended Uses: Accompanying notes can be used for a class session. The simulation can be demonstrated or linked to individual homework assignments.
Technical Requirements:
  • Requires FlashPlayer and an Internet browser to view/interact with the simulation.
  • Pdf viewer for supporting notes and worksheet.
  • Identify Major Learning Goals: To develop knowledge, understanding and application of key business analytical techniques; specifically to understand and apply costs, as well as understand the breakeven concept.
    Target Student Population: Introductory levels of managerial accounting, finance, and economics (high school or undergraduate college students).
    Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Some basic knowledge of concepts such as: selling price, variable costs, profit and loss account, contribution, and break-even.

    Evaluation and Observation

    Content Quality

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    Strengths: This module provides a macro level understanding of breakeven analysis in a way that serves as an introduction to the concepts. A primary strength is showing the visual aspects as well as the impact on the numbers. An added feature is the international dimension of using the pound for currency instead of dollar signs. Content is clear, concise, current, relevant and informed by scholarshop. The simulation is flexible in that it can be used for an in-class demonstration of a core concept as well as for individual review or a homework assignment. Concepts are integrated and well summarized. Overall the quality of the content is very high.
  • More detail exists in the area of breakeven analysis that a student needs to know than is included in this tutorial.
  • One answer is incorrect. The sales level when the selling price is increased by 5 pounds is 825,000 pounds, not 850,000 pounds.

  • Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

    Rating: 5 stars
    Strengths: This module is a stand-alone tool. Objectives and prerequisite knowledge are identified. The module clearly demonstrates the concept through the use of the simulation. In addition, relationships between concepts are directly established. Having a visual picture and ability to conduct "what if" scenarios using a graphical display is extremely beneficial to students. Also the problem set is very good, emphasizing important points and changes in features at an appropriate pace. Additional assignments can easily be built. Using this overview to supplement a textbook and other problems would be a valuable way to begin coverage of the concepts.
    Concerns: None.

    Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

    Rating: 4.75 stars
    Strengths: This simulation is excellent from a design viewpoint and visually appealing. It has large text and an uncluttered screen. Color is used effectivly and consistently to visually differentiate components. The graphical presentation is very powerful. Overall, this module is a very nice, easy to use, interactive teaching and learning tool for highlighting and providing an overview of this analytical technique.
  • Instructions are dificient. As a result students may wonder how to approach the tutorial. For example, users may not realize that the colored buttons are sliders.
  • Toggling to some of the values for price, variable cost and fixed costs is a bit touchy.
  • The logic used to reset values in the simulation seemed odd.
  • The link within the teaching notes to the simulation did not work.
  • Would be nice to have a version of the simulation using $.

  • Other Issues and Comments: This interactive tool conveys a quick intuitive understanding of the concepts presented. It allows students to visually see the immediate impact of different scenarios from a graphically perspective in addition to having the numerical amounts.

    Creative Commons:
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States