Critical Thinking Skills and DECA's VBCs Go Hand-in-Hand

I recently read an article that discussed the importance of critical thinking skills for students and the value these skills hold for their future.

Did you know that students who develop their critical thinking skills earn better grades, are less dependent on others to find answers, and develop the ability to evaluate, challenge and change the structure of our society?

Studies show that students who have good critical thinking skills have the potential to earn more money in their chosen career.

Providing the opportunity for your students to develop these skills in your classroom is a high priority and DECA can help. DECA's Virtual Business Challenges (VBC) are the perfect way to provide your students with experiential learning opportunities using highly visual simulation software to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to be successful in college and careers.

DECA's VBCs are interactive technological competitions that guide students in making decisions that support solving different kinds of business challenges in both conventional and innovative ways. They encourage students to ask the important questions that lead to better solutions. Students who engage in these online challenges learn to interact with others to produce overall outcomes in complex systems. All of these elements are part of the 21st Century Employability Skills and map directly to critical thinking and problem solving skills development.

Here's how you can integrate DECA's Virtual Business Challenges into your next lesson:

Review Your Options

  • Review the event guidelines found on DECA's website.
  • Check out the 2014-2015 VBC details just announced on DECA Direct Online.
  • Find the VBC category that best fits your curriculum. You can choose from the restaurant, retailing, personal finance, sports or hotel management industries.
  • For a brief overview of what your students will experience watch a spotlight video for retailing, sports or hotel management.

Engage Your Students

  • Have your students choose one to two classmates as their teammates or business partners.
  • Have your students, with their teammates/business partners, visit to register and start their VBC experience.

Your students will need access to computers with Internet capability. No additional software is required, there's nothing to download or install. DECA's VBC events are open to all registered DECA members. Registration begins October 6 so get started today!

For more details and rules regarding the DECA Virtual Business Challenges, please visit the Knowledge Matters website at or contact Maureen Ginley, Director of Strategic Partnerships, at

Follow Sandra on Twitter @stuckerdeca.

Categories: Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Compete, HS Competitive Events, Online, Teaching Resources