Student comments about "Business Foundations"

Great learning tool.

Great learning experience.

Small groups are really helpful.

I plan to keep this information for practice.

This is a really fun way to learn!


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Business Foundations
, is a computerized simulation of some common management decisions required in a dental practice. The simulation is a guided learning system that helps dental students discover the business foundations of operating the small business dental practice. Students work either individually or in teams. Each set of decisions represent one quarter (three months) of real time. Each quarter's learning module is based on a "Case Study" which is a management problem commonly faced by a new practitioner. The web site contains background information, which students use in responding to the case. The cases help students to understand the importance of the topic and focus on possible solutions to real life problems.

The simulation is web-based. All cases, background material, objectives and terms are available on the web site. Students make their management decisions, and the instructor (game administrator) then runs the game and distributes to results to participants, all via the web. Students then printout their results, or view them on their computer through a PDF reader. They then use this information to make and enter a new set of decisions for the upcoming simulated quarter. Learning takes place through both the anaysis if the case, and through progression of the simulated practice.

THE DENTAL PRACTICE: Business Foundations, is the basic entry-level dental practice management learning system. It is intended for dental students and residents who have little or no management background.

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Strategic Challenge
, is an advanced computer business simulation. Students compete against each other to develop the most profitable practice.  Game participants write a practice philosophy, plan a strategy to acheive that philosophy, set goals to measure success of the strategy, and then make management decisions to achieve their goals. This simulation requires an instructor, or "Game Administrator" to run printouts for the participants, to manipulate economic variables, and to customize the game for a particular geographic area. However, no advanced computer expertise is required to administer the game. The program prompts the administrator for any needed information.

This simulation is also web-based. Students can work indivually, but most prefer a team format. A student manual presents the business scenario and describes management decisions and their implications. Web presentations show students how analyze their financial statements and to perform financial ratio analysis on their simulated practice. Each case is an "Incident," which is an ethical, patient relations, staff or community dilemma commonly faced by practitioners. At the completion of the simulation, student teams should make a "Report to the Banker" which brings closure to the exercise and allows for sharing of findings. and strategies with the other participating groups.

THE DENTAL PRACTICE: Strategic Challenge, is the advanced dental practice management learning system. It is intended for dental students and residents who have had previous management courses or experience, such as THE DENTAL PRACTICE: Business Foundations. As such, it works well in a capstone course or experience, or in a continuing education format for residents or new graduates.