a1 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Classroom simulations can make a significant contribution to learning outcomes in political science courses, provided that they are firmly linked to course content and learning objectives. This article offers a step-by-step decision framework for instructors seeking to use simulations as a core component of their courses, including selection of an exercise, pre-simulation preparation, instructor role during a simulation, and techniques for debriefing after the exercise. Options such as online and face-to-face, synchronous and asynchronous, distributed and single classroom, and individual and team formats are compared, with a focus on their associated learning outcomes.
Timothy Wedig is a visiting lecturer in global studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. His research and teaching interests include diplomacy and negotiation, international humanitarian intervention, and the use of the Internet by political organizations and social movements. He can be reached at email@example.com.
I would like to thank Audrey Tettah and my other former colleagues at the ICONS Project for their invaluable advice in framing this piece, as well as my fellow participants at the 2008 APSA Teaching and Learning Conference for their constructive input.