Using a Blended Learning Approach to Simulate the Negotiation of a Multilateral Environmental Agreement


  • Authors's notes: Financial support for the SUST 2001 Learning Technology Assistant was provided by a Teaching with Technology grant, offered through Dalhousie's Centre for Learning and Teaching. Any reader interested in emulating this simulated negotiation is invited to contact the authors for specific materials.


This paper presents the case of a role-play simulation that recreates a recent negotiation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Using a blended learning approach, our simulated negotiation integrates three educational delivery methods—preparatory learning, face-to-face learning, and online collaborative learning—to recreate the complexity of negotiating global environmental issues. Qualitative student feedback is used to analyze the benefits and challenges of this approach. Our results suggest that blending learning methods within a role-play simulation is an effective strategy to help students appreciate the challenge of achieving consensus among competing interests, understand the pervasive power dynamics that shape political outcomes within the realm of global environmental governance, and hone skills relevant to policy analysis, negotiation, and consensus building.