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Beyond Model UN: Simulating Multilevel, Multiactor Diplomacy with the Millennium Development Goals
Unformatted Document Text:  Crossley-Frolick student learning experiences. They facilitate the application of theories to real problems and challenge students to “examine the motivations, behavioral constraints, resources and interactions among institutional actors” (Smith and Boyner, 1996:690). Various scholars examining the Problem-Based pedagogies emphasize that student learning is enhanced with “hands-on,” active learning moments (Preston 2000; Merryfield and Remy 1995; Meyers and Jones 1993; Kille 2002). While there is no definitive or universal pedagogical formula for successful simulations, previous scholarship suggests that in order to maximize learning potential they should attempt to meet several criteria. For example, careful design and assessment (Shaw, 2004); debriefing and reflection (Petranek, 2000), clear rules of procedure and protocol (Asal, 2005), (Zeff, 2003), (Chasek, 2005) and (Lantis, 2000); good student preparation for role-playing (Asal, 2005); clearly stated objectives (Kille, 2002). It perhaps goes without saying that sufficient background information is required so that students have a clear starting point to begin their deeper exploration of the topic animated by the simulation itself. Even if a simulation is, on the face of it, well constructed, it may take several iterations and fine-tuning it so that its learning potential can be maximized. In addition, faculty face the simple fact that they have a finite amount of time to teach the material outlined in a course syllabus. Class contact hours are limited. Hence, the topic that the simulation intends to explore must be narrow enough so that it is manageable given unavoidable time constraints, but rich enough to elucidate the broader themes associated with the course. That 3

Authors: Crossley-Frolick, Katy.
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Crossley-Frolick
student learning experiences. They facilitate the application of theories to real
problems and challenge students to “examine the motivations, behavioral
constraints, resources and interactions among institutional actors” (Smith and
Boyner, 1996:690). Various scholars examining the Problem-Based pedagogies
emphasize that student learning is enhanced with “hands-on,” active learning
moments (Preston 2000; Merryfield and Remy 1995; Meyers and Jones 1993;
Kille 2002).
While there is no definitive or universal pedagogical formula for successful
simulations, previous scholarship suggests that in order to maximize learning
potential they should attempt to meet several criteria. For example, careful
design and assessment (Shaw, 2004); debriefing and reflection (Petranek, 2000),
clear rules of procedure and protocol (Asal, 2005), (Zeff, 2003), (Chasek, 2005)
and (Lantis, 2000); good student preparation for role-playing (Asal, 2005); clearly
stated objectives (Kille, 2002). It perhaps goes without saying that sufficient
background information is required so that students have a clear starting point to
begin their deeper exploration of the topic animated by the simulation itself.
Even if a simulation is, on the face of it, well constructed, it may take
several iterations and fine-tuning it so that its learning potential can be
maximized. In addition, faculty face the simple fact that they have a finite amount
of time to teach the material outlined in a course syllabus. Class contact hours
are limited. Hence, the topic that the simulation intends to explore must be
narrow enough so that it is manageable given unavoidable time constraints, but
rich enough to elucidate the broader themes associated with the course. That
3


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