Computer-based simulations are important tools to support learning. In this respect, so-called microworlds may build substantial synergy between learning to think in systems frameworks and learning to deal with the complexity of actual settings. The implications of adopting microworlds are explored in terms of student learning, educational approach and course design. These implications are illustrated with data from a course in a pre-experience undergraduate programme and in a post-experience MBA programme. These data suggest that learning processes can be deepened and accelerated by creating effective combinations of readings, discussions, presentations and microworlds.