Simulations drive learning at collegiate conference

When you think about a conference, what kind of images conjure up? Keynote speakers, tracks on various topics, panel discussions, gala reception, good food and networking.

The Midwest Collegiate Computing Conference (MWC3) had all of that, plus something more. The conference featured a series of competitions that involved simulations on topics like cyber security, Python, IBM Mainframe, Visual Studio, Networking, Systems Analysis and Project Management. Students participated in competitions, running game like simulations, immersed in experiential learning. Winners were awarded prizes during the reception at the end of the two day conference.   

This year’s conference was hosted by Cornerstone University at Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr. John Reynolds, the chair for the conference, and Victoria Fleenor have gathered a cohort of universities who have made this conference a reality. Participating universities included Cornerstone University, Central Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo Valley Community College.

Simulation Powered Learning sponsored the project management competition offering SimProject – an engaging online project management simulation.  Students grappled with delivering a project while navigating real life like challenges, dealing with conflict resolution, motivating team members to perform to achieve their project goals. Students were challenged, teams debated on what actions to take and some felt the real stress of managing projects.

Paul Newman from IBM Consulting, in his keynote address, presented some very interesting ideas around how computing is evolving and how IBM is forging technologies around cloud based on demand mainframe computing capabilities.

Conference website:

Competitions based on simulations