A Practical Lesson on Production for Business Students: An Introduction to Business and What Businesses Do
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This practical lesson in production requires students to interact with each other and makes them aware of the basic reason why businesses exist, ie to satisfy a need or want. The activity requires students to undertake the process of adding value by creating a simple product out of basic materials, using simple equipment and their own skills. Students are required to make decisions over the product they produce, taking into account the resources required, costs involved, and likely selling price. The activity provides scope to refer to the concept of opportunity cost as well as to introduce the various stakeholders involved in business activity.
The lesson itself will take about 60 minutes. It can then be referred to throughout the teaching of Business at various points using the information contained in the ‘Discussion Points’ section. It is worth spending time on. Not only is it a good ‘ice breaker’ to use early on in a course with a relatively new group of students, it touches upon many business concepts, and so should prove to be a highly useful reference point at various stages. For example, it highlights the importance of quality control, training, and organisational structure in helping to maximise productivity and, ultimately, profit. There is also plenty of scope to make the activity more complex by adding a few figures here and there, to enable students to calculate break-even point and profit.
The resource consists of 8 pages and includes the following:
Resources for Teachers:
- an ‘Instruction and Guidelines’ sheet
- a ‘Discussion’ sheet for teachers, with key points to raise and questions to pose to students.
Resources for Students:
- a ‘Briefing’ sheet
- a ‘Design’ sheet
- a ‘Resource Costs, Selling Price and Results’ sheet
- a ‘Cube Pattern’ sheet.
- To stimulate interest in the topic
- To establish prior knowledge in the topic
- To introduce key terms relevant to the topic.
Key terms and concepts introduced:
- Inputs, outputs and the transformation of resources into finished products
- Adding value, value added, costs, price, total revenue
- Opportunity cost.