I am grateful to the staff of ICONS, most notably Audrey Tetteh and Devin Ellis, for their gracious and generous accommodation to work with the students on this project. I would also like to thank the students of PSCI 494—“Wargaming and Simulation,” who kindly allowed me to use comments from their reflection essays as well as our design debrief in this paper. Thanks are also due to Duel Thyer, who participated in the follow-up discussions and provided feedback on the development of the paper, and the helpful comments provided by anonymous review.
Stimulating Learning by Simulating Politics: Teaching Simulation Design in the Undergraduate Context†
Article first published online: 4 OCT 2012
© 2012 International Studies Association
International Studies Perspectives
How to Cite
2012) Stimulating Learning by Simulating Politics: Teaching Simulation Design in the Undergraduate Context. International Studies Perspectives, doi:10.1111/j.1528-3585.2012.00501.x © 2012 International Studies Association(
- Article first published online: 4 OCT 2012
While literature exists on the use of classroom simulations to teach international relations (Kaufman 1998; Lantis 1998; Wilkenfeld 2004; Asal 2005), there is a tacit assumption that students engage primarily as participants. Remaining relatively unexplored are the learning dynamics when students become responsible for simulation design. This paper addresses this gap in the literature via an examination of PSCI 494—“Wargaming and Simulation,” a senior seminar focused on design principles for war games and role-based simulations. The students' project (2010) was to create a simulation for the International Communications and Negotiations Simulations project. From the experience, this paper concludes that simulation design is a valuable active-learning strategy with regard to negotiation; course length and class size both strongly impacted the process and product created in the course; and a range of skills, especially research, were enhanced as a result of the project.