Developing and Adapting Simulations through Six points of Variance: An Example of Teaching Applied Game Theory through International Negotiations



The essay describes a new way to evaluate variation among simulations through six distinct categories. The six points involve the content of the simulation, the integration of the simulation with other aspects of the course, the length of a simulation, the strictness of rules, the interaction among students during the simulation, and assessment techniques. The essay assesses the benefits and costs of the simulation and course design through student feedback and instructor evaluation. In addition, the essay uses these six points of variation as a framework to explain a sample simulation integrated with course objectives, goals, lecture material, two short research essays, and other class activities designed to teach game theory applied to current international problems. The simulation uses current world issues to help students incorporate class content, game theoretic modeling, and strategic interaction into an international negotiation conducted in class.