Asynchronous simulations influence student engagement and academic outcomes

Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

von der Heidt, T 2017, 'Asynchronous simulations influence student engagement and academic outcomes', paper presented to Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference 2017: Marketing for Impact, Melbourne, VIC, 4-6 December.

Abstract available on Open Access

Peer Reviewed



Engaging and motivating students remains a challenge for todays’ educators. Online asynchronous marketing simulations are an alternative to traditional learning styles. They provide an active, deep learning environment that stimulates higher order thinking. Research findings focused on the connection between technology (e.g. simulations) and students’ academic outcomes have been mixed. A pre-post field experiment with treatment and control groups involving 45 marketing management students was undertaken at an American university. Three key components of engagement were assessed: Conscious attention, Enthused participation and Social connection. The research indicates that students knowingly participating in an asynchronous online simulation started the course with high initial enthused participation. By being more engaged early on, students generally performed better academically. While it is important to keep students engaged throughout the learning process, students with simulation tasks appear to be more likely to exceed their grade point average (GPA) by an entire mark or more.