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Using Current Events to Develop Classroom Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  carrying a discussion of an important real-world problem throughout the course. One topic that could produce particularly fruitful research and learning is Iraq 2 . Step 1: Establish Teaching and Learning Goals. As with the first approach, before beginning work on any simulation design, the instructor should set out some clear teaching and learning goals. For the second approach, these goals are likely to include helping the students develop research and writing skills. This is also the point where the instructor can develop a plan for how the current event topic will be integrated into the classroom. I suggest that with approach 2, the topic should be introduced as soon as possible, along with the research expectations. This way, the students can begin engaging with news reports on the topic right away, and can place new information they learn in the context of the topic. It is also helpful to introduce the goals early on, so that when step two arises after the first week or two of the course, the students are mentally prepared to contribute. Step 2: Simulation Logistics. When designing any simulation it is important to first identify the actors that will be taking part, as well as the problem they are trying to solve. This step is bit different with approach 2, as the students are active participants in designing the simulation. For the case of Iraq, I would begin by brainstorming with the students by telling them that the class will be hosting a “solve Iraq” summit towards the end of the quarter. The students can then decide what actors should be invited to this summit. Of course, this process may require a bit of guidance from the instructor. If the students suggest that Iraqis should be invited, the instructor can prompt them to think about different groups of Iraqis based on religion, level of participation in the insurgency, degree of connection to the Baath party or Saddam Hussein, etc. Students may also choose to invite international organizations or neighboring countries, or can be prompted to consider inviting such actors. 2 Unlike the Uganda simulation, I have not yet had the opportunity to run the Iraq simulation in the classroom. 7

Authors: Glazier, Rebecca.
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carrying a discussion of an important real-world problem throughout the course. One topic that
could produce particularly fruitful research and learning is Iraq
Step 1: Establish Teaching and Learning Goals. As with the first approach, before
beginning work on any simulation design, the instructor should set out some clear teaching and
learning goals. For the second approach, these goals are likely to include helping the students
develop research and writing skills. This is also the point where the instructor can develop a plan
for how the current event topic will be integrated into the classroom. I suggest that with approach
2, the topic should be introduced as soon as possible, along with the research expectations. This
way, the students can begin engaging with news reports on the topic right away, and can place
new information they learn in the context of the topic. It is also helpful to introduce the goals
early on, so that when step two arises after the first week or two of the course, the students are
mentally prepared to contribute.
Step 2: Simulation Logistics. When designing any simulation it is important to first
identify the actors that will be taking part, as well as the problem they are trying to solve. This
step is bit different with approach 2, as the students are active participants in designing the
simulation. For the case of Iraq, I would begin by brainstorming with the students by telling them
that the class will be hosting a “solve Iraq” summit towards the end of the quarter. The students
can then decide what actors should be invited to this summit. Of course, this process may require
a bit of guidance from the instructor. If the students suggest that Iraqis should be invited, the
instructor can prompt them to think about different groups of Iraqis based on religion, level of
participation in the insurgency, degree of connection to the Baath party or Saddam Hussein, etc.
Students may also choose to invite international organizations or neighboring countries, or can
be prompted to consider inviting such actors.
2
Unlike the Uganda simulation, I have not yet had the opportunity to run the Iraq simulation in the classroom.
7


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