Financial Literacy: Rotary Challenge Department of Finance at the University of Illinois
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The UISES Simulation

The University of Illinois Securities Exchange Simulation is a web-based investment simulation designed to bring real world experience into the classroom under controlled conditions.

An investment simulation inspires a new drive to search out the information and develop skills needed to manage an investment portfolio. UISES allows us to create an environment where the students go out in search of real world information in order to succeed in the classroom. Every year we experience several cases of severe ticker addiction as students watch stock prices move up and down before the market closes.

The UISES simulation was designed by teachers for teachers. This means putting control and oversight functions back into the hands of the teacher. Trading and Investment rules appropriate for the MBA Investments class are not necessarily appropriate for a high school class. So UISES was designed such that each section or class could have its own trading parameters. Teachers use the default parameters or adjust them to suit their own requirements. UISES fosters communication and learning - When a student forgets a password or puts his account into overdraft there's no email to an outside entity - the student must come and explain what's going on to his own teacher. The teacher can then reset the password, look at his investment portfolio, and point out where the student went astray. This fosters communication and learning. This is not only engaged learning; this is a partnership between the student and the teacher in engaged learning.

One of the unique features of the UISES system is its challenge structure. Any combination of classes/schools on UISES can challenge any other combination of classes/schools to duel by investment. This adds spice to the investment simulation. Students participate as part of their consumer education classes and compete to generate the highest rates of return on an individual basis as well as contribute to the average rate of return for their class or school. At the touch of a button UISES publishes results to the web by student investment company alias, by class, or by school. Since each challenge is set up separately, one class can be part of a challenge against another class in the same school while the two classes unite as a team to challenge other schools in the area. It's this feature of UISES that makes it ideal for the Rotary Challenge.


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