Virtual CEO

Activity Overview: 

Students use Capitalism Plus software while creating a virtual corporation. They try to make as much money as possible in the simulations, through retailing, wholesaling, and investing in the stock market. Students create a company website to demonstrate their knowledge.


To create a corporation and survive against competition.

To determine how price affects the revenue, profit, and quantity sold of a product.



Students will use Capitalism Plus to create a virtual corporation. Students will try to make as much money as possible in the simulation through retailing, wholesaling, and investing in the stock market. Students will create a company Web site to demonstrate their knowledge.



(Note:  This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks.  Not all of the following activities/standards will appear in the video clips used.)


Curriculum Standards

National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) Performance Indicators

Students should have a copy of the simulationCapitalism Plus andProduct Pricingworksheet.

Social Studies VII: High School, b

Grades 9-12: 8-10


As a class, students will run three pricing tests on a product inCapitalism Plus.



Students will discuss how the changes they made, if any, affected the product.

How did the supply and demand lines change for the product?

How did the revenue, quantity sold, and profit graphs change?

Social Studies

VII: High School, b



Capitalism Plus.  Enlight Software 1995.

Student Web sites



The assessment is done by discussion while the students are working on the simulation.  Assessment is also done through evaluations of their Web sites.



Mr. Chris Hungerford, Instructor, EXCEL Alternative High School



Virtual CEO is a complete course that takes a semester to complete.



The activities demonstrated are just the tip of the iceberg of Virtual CEO.


Technology Resources:

I choose to use Capitalism Plus because it is a very in-depth business and economics simulation.  There are other programs out there, but they are too “gamey”.  Capitalism Plus can teach students a great deal about business and economics.


Teaching Strategy:

Overall, Virtual CEO is a constructivist class.  Students are in control of their own learning by interacting with the simulation.  Students learn better by doing rather than just memorizing facts.

School Background Information:

  • The population of Marshalltown, Iowa is 26,009. The majority of people are employed by companies such as Fisher Controls, Lennox Industries, Marshalltown Trowel Cooper Manufacturing, Bruin Manufacturing, Kiowa Corporation, Diamond-Vogel Paints, Ryerson-Tull Steel, Morgan-Hauser Steel, Handy Industries, Marshalltown Packaging, Scott Manufacturing and Packaging Corporation of America. Agriculture and agriculture-related industries are also a significant part of the local economy. 

  • EXCEL Alternative High School serves students who have dropped out of their regular high school and wish to continue their pursuit of a high school diploma. Students can range in age from 15-21 years old. Most students are of typical high school age. EXCEL serves approximately 50 students per day. 

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model Components Highlighted in This Activity

(Note:  This is a unit plan that may cover several days to several weeks.  Not all of the elements from the Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education Model that are described below will appear in the video clips used.)

Principles of Learning:

Direct Experience

Students get Direct Experience in a simulated environment where they can test what they believe to be true.  They will find out if their thinking is correct or flawed.  If it is flawed, they can come up with another idea for a solution. From this, they can build their knowledge base.


Compelling Situation

Students are involved in the complex and challenging problem of making a business succeed.  Since it is their business, students have a real interest in making it succeed.


Frequent Feedback

Students are receiving Frequent Feedback in Virtual CEO through theCapitalism Plus simulation.  Students find out if their decisions are working by interpreting the data from the simulation.  For example, if a student decides to lower prices to increase demand for a product, they will watch the demand line immediately after lowering the price to see if what they did had the desired result.



Students are constantly building their knowledge base using the simulation.  Students come up with a solution to a problem and can apply it the next day and even think of another way to solve the same problem that may be more efficient.  Student’s Web sites are also a way for them to reflect on what they have done through journal writing and reviewing data.


Information Processing:


Students are constantly interpreting data from the simulation and using it to determine what they will do next, how they will do it, and why they should do it.


Student Characteristics:

Teaching at an alternative school, student attendance is irregular. Therefore, students do Virtual CEO individually.  Virtual CEO would also work great with students pairing up or with groups of students.  The number of students in a group depends also on the number of computers in your classroom.


Evolution of the Activity:

I have added more assignments and activities, trying to make the experience more thought provoking and challenging for students.


(Learning activity format adapted from National Educational Technology Standards for Students Connecting Curriculum & Technology