Changing the Game of Education


In my college days*, the only games students were found playing typically involved red Solo cups, ping pong balls or precious hours invested in Halo or Madden NFL (versions 1-16, you can pick any relevant version here.) Interactive games were rarely utilized to enhance the hospitality & tourism learning experience in the classroom. Time spent in my revenue management courses cost me many weekends pouring over spreadsheets containing manual calculations and imaginary competitive set analysis (its completion celebrated afterwards with red Solo cups and ping pong balls, mind you.)

Advances in learning and its application have come a long way since then; however, the education of our next generation hoteliers and revenue managers still remains a critical need in today’s colleges and universities. One source of pride that working at IDeaS has instilled in me is the contribution that our company is investing into the education of our industry’s future talent.

In 2012, we launched the Academic Partner Program, a program designed to support educators in enabling students with hands-on practical and theoretical revenue management experience before they even enter the workforce. Most recently, we have advanced this program even further by providing access to an “Academic Portal” that houses learning tools, system demos and education tracking for educators participating in the program.

The Academic Partner Program includes a curriculum that is designed to be flexible and customizable to the needs of the instructor and their individual approach to revenue management. The learning courses support a blended learning environment and are self-paced for students, allowing the courses to be incorporated easily into the current curriculum. Instructors may select the elements that best complement their audience and class structure. A further testament to how far learning has come from my scholastic days? The responsive design makes everything accessible across all platforms – tablets, smartphones & PCs.

The program isn’t just getting attention from the academic circles either; The Revenue Management Challenge, one of the interactive games included in the “Academic Portal,” recently won the bronze honor in the 2015 International Serious Play Awards competition. The Serious Games Association (SGA) is a program that recognizes outstanding examples of titles delivering a high quality of engagement and learning opportunities for students, employees or other educational situations.

With universities embracing this type of industry partnership, our hospitality industry’s future talent is in a prime position to enter the workforce upon graduation with a sense of familiarity and hands-on application of today’s revenue management principles and systems. In fact, one could say it’s a win-win for students altogether. The less time spent sorting through tabs of manual spreadsheets means more time spent with other games – like Call of Duty, for example.

*Not to date myself entirely, let’s just say you would have found this former collegiate studying sometime between Y2K and the Royal Wedding – albeit not throughout that entire duration.

Interested in becoming an Academic Partner?

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