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Using Current Events to Develop Classroom Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  them in the next class session. For the Iraq simulation in particular, there are likely to be actors that simply cannot settle on a single solution. Encourage the students to think about the potential costs and benefits of excluding those actors from the process. It is also beneficial to have students think about what the actual outcome of the conflict in Iraq might be. This is one of the great things about using current events for the simulation. There is a real problem in the world for which a solution has yet to be found. Hopefully, by role playing as actors dealing with this problem, the students will stay engaged with the issue and with political science. In the spirit of carrying the idea of the simulation throughout the course, instructors might consider an essay question for the final exam that asks the students what they think the outcome will be and why. Helpful Hints for Using Current Events to Design Classroom Simulations Designing classroom simulations can be a daunting task. I hope that the suggestions provided in this paper have demonstrated the enormous payoffs associated with a well-designed and executed classroom simulation. Following are some hints that I have found helpful as I have worked on my own classroom simulations: 1. Actor preferences are key. When the students are in the heart of a simulation, most of what they know about the actor they are representing will come from the page long “position paper” the instructor hands out. It is important that instructors write these papers in such a way that clear points of conflict will emerge as the actors discuss. It is also possible to suggest the way towards some solutions in these papers, but this should be limited in order to allow the students the greatest amount of creativity and flexibility possible. 10

Authors: Glazier, Rebecca.
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them in the next class session. For the Iraq simulation in particular, there are likely to be actors
that simply cannot settle on a single solution. Encourage the students to think about the potential
costs and benefits of excluding those actors from the process.
It is also beneficial to have students think about what the actual outcome of the conflict in
Iraq might be. This is one of the great things about using current events for the simulation. There
is a real problem in the world for which a solution has yet to be found. Hopefully, by role
playing as actors dealing with this problem, the students will stay engaged with the issue and
with political science. In the spirit of carrying the idea of the simulation throughout the course,
instructors might consider an essay question for the final exam that asks the students what they
think the outcome will be and why.
Helpful Hints for Using Current Events to Design Classroom Simulations
Designing classroom simulations can be a daunting task. I hope that the suggestions
provided in this paper have demonstrated the enormous payoffs associated with a well-designed
and executed classroom simulation. Following are some hints that I have found helpful as I have
worked on my own classroom simulations:
1. Actor preferences are key. When the students are in the heart of a simulation, most of
what they know about the actor they are representing will come from the page long
“position paper” the instructor hands out. It is important that instructors write these
papers in such a way that clear points of conflict will emerge as the actors discuss. It is
also possible to suggest the way towards some solutions in these papers, but this should
be limited in order to allow the students the greatest amount of creativity and flexibility
possible.
10


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