Situation 6: Your challenge is to climb the Knowledge Pyramid to reach your goal of successful selling. To do this, you must correctly answer questions about important trends in retailing that will affect your selling success.
Directions: To begin, click the Start Climbing button. Read the resulting question, then in each of the boxes at that level click on the box and enter a number from the list of possible answers. After your last answer in each row press Enter to check your answers. If you didn't get them all right, you can change or review them at any time by pressing Enter after your new answer. You must get them all correct to proceed to the next level.
Participate: Summary of B&M Trends
Situation 7: Category management has allowed food and drug retailers to make much better merchandising decisions. But to accomplish this, they have had to re-organize their buying offices. This exercise lets you test your knowledge of who is responsible for a variety of issues under a category management system.
Directions: In the following exercise, drag each task to the wall of the executive most likely responsible for it.
Participate: Whose Job Is That
To be sure, there are lots of conflicting opinions about the value of crossword puzzles. But many agree that they’re worth using as optional reinforcement exercises. Most important, there are numerous tools available for creating them.
Situation: Supply chains have plenty of their own terms to learn, so this can be a fun reinforcement exercise.
Directions: Key in the terms whose definitions appear in the Across and Down boxes. Choose Help for more specific directions on using the game interface.
Participate: Supply Chain
These are another type of potentially boring exercises—until they’re jazzed up with graphics and put in the form of a game, of course.
Situation: The objective of the "Hang-Person" game is to enter letters into the phrase that answers the question before too many wrong guesses result in a hanged person—including briefcase and cell phone.
Directions: Letters are entered one at a time. A letter contained in the answer is displayed in the appropriate highlighted block. A letter not contained in the answer is added to a pile at the bottom of the exercise, and another part of the hang-person is displayed.
This type of question is very efficient for testing knowledge, understanding of concepts, and so forth, which explains why it’s used so often in formal testing—not to mention, they’re easy to grade. Yet, when technology is added, multiple choice also can become a useful reinforcement exercise.
Situation: There are several software tools available to help retailers peek into their customer and supplier databases to help improve operations, profitability, and more.
Directions: Choose the correct answer, and note the feedback and its potential for reinforcing learning.
Participate: Multiple Choice with Feedback
The sequence in which things must work/flow/happen is important in most businesses. Colorful, movable graphics employing immediate feedback can be fun while simultaneously reinforcing learning.
Situation: This exercise is similar to the previous one; it tests knowledge of the sequence in category management.
Directions: Use the cursor to highlight a caption, then drag it to the appropriate box.
Participate: Category Management
Spreadsheets can be extremely informative when used to show relationships, and to demonstrate how changing one parameter affects others.
Situation: This exercise illustrates how key performance indicators affect profit and loss. The top left-hand side of the spreadsheet shows a simple profit-and-loss account. Data (based on three real companies in the greeting cards and gift business and uses real data from their published accounts) has been compiled for three companies: your company and two competitors. Below the profit-and-loss account is a section containing other data, as well as a whole series of key performance indicators.
Directions: Press the START button in the first column then follow the pop-up directions. (Note: You may have to change the zoom setting in Excel, and widen some columns if you see XXXXXX displayed in some columns.)
Participate: Productivity Comparison Spreadsheet
I believe that anything that can be simulated should be simulated. Learning by doing is the way to go, and software applications are the easiest to simulate. (This exercise is an actual application program written in Visual Basic.)
Situation: This exercise simulates a “window” into a database, which enables some high-level query operations. Various frames hold instructions and hints, yet the actual window that you input to duplicates exactly how the real software looks and works.
Directions: Most people will be able to open the file without downloading it, but if not, then download and double-click it. Follow the instructions in the left column, and look for hints at the top (actual students would have already seen the actual window and how it works, so if you get lost just click something).
Participate: Database Window Simulation.
Hopefully, these exercises answer the question posed earlier: “How do you design engaging activities?” Now, it’s just a matter of adapting them to your content area. If you do, or you springboard from these examples to clever ideas of your own, I’d appreciate a chance to see what you come up with.