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Collaborative Learning in Course Simulations

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Abstract:

While semester-long simulations couple theoretical knowledge with complementary experiential learning, the value of that experience is contingent on sufficient opportunities for problem-solving, conflict resolution, and the development of interpersonal relationships that help reinforce students’ understanding of textbook information. By enlarging the scope of such simulations to include students from other classes – i.e. by linking classes through assignments – opportunities for more “realistic” cross-pressures, socialization, and lessons about democratic governance can be created. In this paper I show how the collaborative learning experience of linking an Introduction to American Politics class to an upper-division U.S. Congress course (organized around a semester-long simulation) provides elements important to student learning that are normally absent from “contained” simulations. From feedback gained from regular course evaluations and a post-semester student focus group, I explore the lessons that “stick” and the usefulness of such collaborative learning. What I find is that the two-way interaction can create a greater sense of accountability, responsibility, and purpose for students in both classes.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

student (142), simul (124), class (122), congress (117), member (114), bill (86), cours (75), committe (65), assign (63), particip (59), one (56), role (53), polit (51), paper (50), also (49), legisl (47), read (46), work (45), constitu (43), van (43), would (43),

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congress, simulation, american politics, hands-on, collaboration
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Name: APSA Teaching and Learning Conference
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http://www.apsanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Van Vechten, Renee. "Collaborative Learning in Course Simulations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California, Feb 22, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245628_index.html>

APA Citation:

Van Vechten, R. B. , 2008-02-22 "Collaborative Learning in Course Simulations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, San Jose Marriott, San Jose, California Online <PDF>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p245628_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: While semester-long simulations couple theoretical knowledge with complementary experiential learning, the value of that experience is contingent on sufficient opportunities for problem-solving, conflict resolution, and the development of interpersonal relationships that help reinforce students’ understanding of textbook information. By enlarging the scope of such simulations to include students from other classes – i.e. by linking classes through assignments – opportunities for more “realistic” cross-pressures, socialization, and lessons about democratic governance can be created. In this paper I show how the collaborative learning experience of linking an Introduction to American Politics class to an upper-division U.S. Congress course (organized around a semester-long simulation) provides elements important to student learning that are normally absent from “contained” simulations. From feedback gained from regular course evaluations and a post-semester student focus group, I explore the lessons that “stick” and the usefulness of such collaborative learning. What I find is that the two-way interaction can create a greater sense of accountability, responsibility, and purpose for students in both classes.

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