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Getting the Most from Classroom Simulations: Strategies for Maximizing Learning Outcomes
Unformatted Document Text:  two-level games where appropriate) as well as identifying the strategies that they used for internal organization and interactions with other teams. As students relate experiences within their groups, this can be connected to specific content areas as well as group dynamics issues including topics such as aggregation of interests and even general group work skills applicable to the workplace. This discussion serves to emphasize useful skills and approaches to working within groups, and it also serves to move the focus back to the level of individual students. The final element of the group debrief should be an instructor-led discussion that relates the exercise back to course content. This discussion serves as a capstone to fit the exercise within the framework of the overall course, and for the instructor to again resume the role as classroom leader. Ideally, this wrap-up discussion should move from simulation-specific specific examples to increasingly more general applications in order to encourage students to leave their roles behind and return their focus to classroom outcomes and content. Individual Assignment After working in a group for a period of days or even weeks, most students are quite eager for an opportunity to offer their own individual reactions to the exercise. An individual assignment, generally in the form of a short reflection paper, is a good opportunity for them to do this. Instructors should link this paper to course objectives as well as teachable elements of the exercise itself, such as those related to specific outcomes or events that took place. The length of the paper should be correlated to the length of the exercise, but it should ideally be long enough to focus on both process as well as content issues. This paper could be a formal research paper, although it generally works best as a simple reaction paper drawing from student experience rather than cited works. It is helpful for the instructor to provide a list of questions related to process and content, including elements such as team preparation, internal team organization, negotiation strategy and tactics, and the personal reactions of the student. It is recommended, although not necessary, to include an element of analysis to this assignment, either by asking students what they may have done differently given what they now know or how they might apply their experiences to situations they may face in the future. Finally, this is a good opportunity to include a question asking the student to explain what they did within their group during each phase of the exercise. While the instructor should have a good idea of what each student contributed, this can serve to either reinforce or fill gaps in this observation. Simulation as Case Study Provided that the simulation takes place early enough in the course, it is possible to use this exercise as a form of case study example going forward. Unlike traditional case studies, the simulation exercise is a common shared experience that all students took part in and, therefore, is one that they should have a complex understanding of. Referring 13

Authors: Wedig, Tim.
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two-level games where appropriate) as well as identifying the strategies that they used for
internal organization and interactions with other teams. As students relate experiences
within their groups, this can be connected to specific content areas as well as group
dynamics issues including topics such as aggregation of interests and even general group
work skills applicable to the workplace. This discussion serves to emphasize useful skills
and approaches to working within groups, and it also serves to move the focus back to the
level of individual students.
The final element of the group debrief should be an instructor-led discussion that
relates the exercise back to course content. This discussion serves as a capstone to fit the
exercise within the framework of the overall course, and for the instructor to again
resume the role as classroom leader. Ideally, this wrap-up discussion should move from
simulation-specific specific examples to increasingly more general applications in order
to encourage students to leave their roles behind and return their focus to classroom
outcomes and content.
Individual Assignment
After working in a group for a period of days or even weeks, most students are
quite eager for an opportunity to offer their own individual reactions to the exercise. An
individual assignment, generally in the form of a short reflection paper, is a good
opportunity for them to do this. Instructors should link this paper to course objectives as
well as teachable elements of the exercise itself, such as those related to specific
outcomes or events that took place. The length of the paper should be correlated to the
length of the exercise, but it should ideally be long enough to focus on both process as
well as content issues.
This paper could be a formal research paper, although it generally works best as a
simple reaction paper drawing from student experience rather than cited works. It is
helpful for the instructor to provide a list of questions related to process and content,
including elements such as team preparation, internal team organization, negotiation
strategy and tactics, and the personal reactions of the student. It is recommended,
although not necessary, to include an element of analysis to this assignment, either by
asking students what they may have done differently given what they now know or how
they might apply their experiences to situations they may face in the future. Finally, this
is a good opportunity to include a question asking the student to explain what they did
within their group during each phase of the exercise. While the instructor should have a
good idea of what each student contributed, this can serve to either reinforce or fill gaps
in this observation.
Simulation as Case Study
Provided that the simulation takes place early enough in the course, it is possible
to use this exercise as a form of case study example going forward. Unlike traditional
case studies, the simulation exercise is a common shared experience that all students took
part in and, therefore, is one that they should have a complex understanding of. Referring
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