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Using Current Events to Develop Classroom Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  this “mini-simulation” format is useful because it avoids some of the problems associated with classroom simulations, like students with strong personalities dominating the activity . I have found that it is helpful to provide the students with real names of actual people they will be representing at the negotiating table. You can provide all of this information in the short descriptive handout specific to each role. Preparing these “position papers” is one of the most important steps in ensuring that the simulation proceeds as planned. In these few paragraphs, you set up which actors are going to come in conflict with one another, which issues are going to be intractable, and even hint at some potential solutions. The students will need some time to read through this document and become comfortable with their role before proceeding to the next step of the simulation. Step 3: Let the Students Work it Out. The act of simulating the negotiations is where the magic happens. The students should be allowed to talk with one another and discuss the problem at hand without any interference from the instructor. The role of the instructor at this point is very small. Instructors should stay present in order to answer questions that arise, but should not try to guide the students towards particular solutions. Step 4: Discussion. The next step is to debrief as a class in order to allow students to share their experiences with others. With multiple groups working on the same problem, the class is sure to offer a variety of solutions. The instructor can use this time to ask some probing questions as well as to bring the discussion back to the concepts of the course. Some questions that I found elicited good discussion include the following: 1. Who was holding up the decision the most? 2. What issue was the greatest sticking point? 3. Who had the best and worst bargaining position? Why? 5

Authors: Glazier, Rebecca.
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this “mini-simulation” format is useful because it avoids some of the problems associated with
classroom simulations, like students with strong personalities dominating the activity . I have
found that it is helpful to provide the students with real names of actual people they will be
representing at the negotiating table. You can provide all of this information in the short
descriptive handout specific to each role.
Preparing these “position papers” is one of the most important steps in ensuring that the
simulation proceeds as planned. In these few paragraphs, you set up which actors are going to
come in conflict with one another, which issues are going to be intractable, and even hint at some
potential solutions. The students will need some time to read through this document and become
comfortable with their role before proceeding to the next step of the simulation.
Step 3: Let the Students Work it Out. The act of simulating the negotiations is where the
magic happens. The students should be allowed to talk with one another and discuss the problem
at hand without any interference from the instructor. The role of the instructor at this point is
very small. Instructors should stay present in order to answer questions that arise, but should not
try to guide the students towards particular solutions.
Step 4: Discussion. The next step is to debrief as a class in order to allow students to
share their experiences with others. With multiple groups working on the same problem, the
class is sure to offer a variety of solutions. The instructor can use this time to ask some probing
questions as well as to bring the discussion back to the concepts of the course. Some questions
that I found elicited good discussion include the following:
1. Who was holding up the decision the most?
2. What issue was the greatest sticking point?
3. Who had the best and worst bargaining position? Why?
5


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