8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2011 9:13 PM by Jeffrey Word RSS

Simulation/Exercise Questions

Jeffrey Word
Currently Being Moderated

Please post questions related to the simulated SAP environment and exercises in this thread.

 

Thanks

  • Plans for Building Upon Existing Simulations?
    Tim McLaren
    Currently Being Moderated

    Are there any plans to continue the development/refinement of the simulations? i.e. a version 2?

     

    I've tried out the simulations and although I think it is a great idea to try to simplify learning and usage of SAP, I see several areas where they could be improved:

    1) mullti-step instructions are given on a screen, then on the next screen there is no ability to get additional guidance, a reminder of what you are supposed to be doing, or to go back to the previous instructions. I suppose this would be ok if the students also had printed instructions somewhere, but that somewhat limits the value of online exercises. I didn't see any obvious printable instructions anywhere.

    2) The simulations don't appear to involve the use of number or text input, so you just click around with a mouse until you happen to click on the right thing.

    3) There are multiple ways to do something in SAP like closing a window and returning to the main menu, but the simulation only accepts one possible way as being the correct way. This is frustrating as I needed to close a window and was doing it the way I would in real life, but I had to remember the way the simulation wants me to close a window.

    • Re: Plans for Building Upon Existing Simulations?
      Jeffrey Word
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks for the feedback Tim!.  Great points.  I'll try to address them all.  As a preface to all my answers, you are completely free to make students complete the exercises in a live SAP system if you place a higher value on learning the SAP navigation and peculiarities. The focus of the sims is to show how the processes in the book are executed in enterprise systems in the most simple way possible, not to teach them how to use SAP. In theory, we could have used Quickbooks or any other system for the exercises (but I would be unemployed now if we did :{) We also designed the book and sims for schools that were NOT necessarily members of the SAP UA program and don't have access to an SAP system.  With those design goals in mind, perhaps my answers below will make more sense.

       

      Are there any plans to continue the development/refinement of the simulations? i.e. a version 2? 

       

      > yes, just waiting on a critical mass of feedback from classroom experiences.

       

      I've tried out the simulations and although I think it is a great idea to try to simplify learning and usage of SAP, I see several areas where they could be improved:

       

      > Remember, the sims aren't SAP training exercises, they're process execution exercises. We're not really concerned if they remember all the SAP navigation stuff.  They are designed for a freshman in an Intro to MIS course, not for a typical, standard SAP course- although they could be modified for that purpose.

       

      1) mullti-step instructions are given on a screen, then on the next screen there is no ability to get additional guidance, a reminder of what you are supposed to be doing, or to go back to the previous instructions. I suppose this would be ok if the students also had printed instructions somewhere, but that somewhat limits the value of online exercises. I didn't see any obvious printable instructions anywhere.

       

      > We tried to make the sims simple enough and short enough that if they didn't remember or figure it out quickly, they could quit and start over at any time. The exercises are broken up into discreet process steps.  They can just start over that step anytime they get stuck.  We toyed with the idea of having a "help" button on each page, but found that quitting and starting over was just as effective and it made the student really pay attention the next time. Plus, we wanted to avoid students just clicking their way thru the exercises blindly, so they have to really think about where they are clicking and why.

       

      2) The simulations don't appear to involve the use of number or text input, so you just click around with a mouse until you happen to click on the right thing.

       

      > Some exercises use more text and number inputs than others, but most use about 80% clicks and 20% text inputs.  We purposefully made them as point and click as possible to remove a lot of "SAP" things that weren't directly related to the process concepts in the exercise, including the complete removal of transaction codes.  It is a HIGHLY simplified SAP environment and isn't designed to be a true SAP training class.  The students have to know exactly where to click and why depending on the process step, not necessarily how to manipulate the SAP interface like an expert. Theoretically, you can just click every pixel on the page till you get the right one, but that will get old after a couple steps and they'll start paying attention to what they're doing.  Plus, the quiz at the end of each set of exercises tests them on things that actually went on in the exercise.  If they don't pay attention to where and why they're clicking, they won't pass the quiz-- which is graded pass/fail.

       

       

      3) There are multiple ways to do something in SAP like closing a window and returning to the main menu, but the simulation only accepts one possible way as being the correct way. This is frustrating as I needed to close a window and was doing it the way I would in real life, but I had to remember the way the simulation wants me to close a window.

       

      >again, we highly simplified the SAP environment to remove everything that didn't add value to the process learning from the chapters.  The simulations really are "simulations", so we don't show them the 10 ways to do the same thing you find in the real SAP system.  Since the sims aren't graded except for completed/not completed, the students can do them as many times as they want.  No pressure to get everything right and they typically figure out after the first step where to click once they've messed up a couple times. 

       

      Hope that helps. 

      I'd love any other feedback you have, especially what students think of the sims.

  • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
    Tony Pittarese
    Currently Being Moderated

    This book recently crossed my desk and I'm considering it for use in lieu of the Monk and Wagner book which I've used previously.  There are several element of this book that I think make it a better book for a particular class I have.

     

    With Monk and Wagner I used the Fitter Snacker client available from my UCC (Milwaukee) in class demos, labs, and homework.  I see that this book uses the Super Skateboard Builders case in a web-based simulation environment.  Is there an SSB client available from the UCC?  (I understand the value of the web interface, but in this same class we use the HEC ERPsim, and so the students will already be used to the full SAP interface.)

    • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
      Jeffrey Word
      Currently Being Moderated

      Hi Tony

       

      Thanks for the feedback.  We designed the exercises for both SAP and non-SAP schools, so we had the requirement that there not be any SAP software required to complete the exercises.  We also had a design criteria that students would have no experience at all with SAP, so we'd be starting from scratch.  We also wanted to simplify everything since the book's focus is on the processes, not the software. 

       

      That said, you could easily use a real SAP system to do the exercises if you want to.  The SSB client is from GVSU and is their self-hosted client.  Its substantially more robust than fitter snacker, but I'm not sure if any of the UCC's have it.  You should contact Simha Magal (the co author) and he'd be happy to fill you in.  magals (at) gvsu (dot) edu

       

      Cheers

      Jeff

      • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
        Tony Pittarese
        Currently Being Moderated

        Is there anything more known at this point regarding the availability of the exercise content to those who would want the students working in a full UCC-supported SAP client?

         

        I can access a client without issue, but I've not seen the exercises or their presentation method to know how they could be incorporated with students working in a non-web-based-simulation environment.

         

        I understand there are publisher logistics that factor into this, and I was just wondering if there was any news on this front.  For me, this is a major adoption decision element, and those decisions for next year are now due.

         

        Thanks.

        • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
          Jeffrey Word
          Currently Being Moderated

          Tony--

           

          perhaps we should chat real time?  couple of things to consider.

           

           

           

          Thx

          Jeff

          • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
            Polina Orlova
            Currently Being Moderated

            Dear Sir,

             

            I have a questions regarding the simulations:

             

            When I am being asked what kind of modules of SAP and version of SAP I used during the simulations

            what would be my answer?

             

            I know these exercises ( ~simulations) cross different modules such as SD,MM, PP..

            But since I have neve used SAP in real world , it is hard for me to phrase.

             

            Mainly my question is of how to use this experience in my resume, how to describe it during interview.

            Additionaly, I can not judge from simulation interface which version of SAP have been used.

             

            I really appreciate your help,

             

            Thank you in advance

            • Re: Simulation/Exercise Questions
              Jeffrey Word
              Currently Being Moderated

              Hi

               

              The BPIS simulations use most of the modules of SAP ERP.  The simulations were created on SAP ERP version 6.0 with EhP 2.  We specifically removed all the tell-tale SAP interface and user aspects to focus on process execution.

               

              RE:  putting this course on your resume.  Don't put anything about having SAP experience after only taking this class, its not enough to claim you know much, if anything, about SAP at this point.   Just because you played around with SAP a little bit in these simulations doesn't mean you actually have experience with SAP.  You will need to take an advanced SAP course and get hands on experience in a LIVE SAP system before you're ready to talk to employers about your SAP knowledge.  Focus on the broad process knowledge and vocabulary you learned in the course only.  Its extremely valuable and employers will immediately appreciate its value, but you're quite a ways from being able to say you "know" SAP after only completed the content in BPIS. 

               

              Keep learning about SAP and take several more classes.  You can then put all that on your resume and be able to demonstrate that knowledge to an employer easily.

               

              Thx

              Jeff

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