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Effects of a Simulation on Exam Scores and Teaching Evaluation Results
Unformatted Document Text:  significant difference in student attitudes . . . The benefits associated with the game’s use were few if any (Wentworth and Lewis 1975, 118). In more recent research, Krain and Lantis (2006) found no statistically significant difference in quiz scores earned by students who participated in role-playing simulations on disarmament and torture and those of students who experienced the more traditional pedagogical techniques of classroom lecture and discussion. In a study that examined short term factual recall and analytic comprehension, Powner and Allendoerfer (2008) also found no statistically significant difference between a role-playing exercise and classroom discussion. Structure of the Course The international relations course used in this study is an introductory level requirement for both the political science and an interdisciplinary major. Many students who enroll in the course do so during their first year of college. In the instructor’s sections of the course, understanding different international relations theories and using those theories to explain the behavior of international political actors were primary learning objectives; exams and writing assignments were designed to evaluate students’ achievement of these objectives. Course content was consistent across all sections of the course taught by the instructor, and all students, whether they participated in the role-playing simulation or not, heard the same lectures by the instructor, took three exams containing similar or identical questions on the same topics, and were required to answer the same questions the same reading assignments. All students were asked to write a five page essay that demonstrated how an international relations theory could be used to explain an historical event such as the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty or the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Authors: Raymond, Chad.
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significant difference in student attitudes . . . The benefits associated with the
game’s use were few if any (Wentworth and Lewis 1975, 118).
In more recent research, Krain and Lantis (2006) found no statistically significant
difference in quiz scores earned by students who participated in role-playing simulations on
disarmament and torture and those of students who experienced the more traditional pedagogical
techniques of classroom lecture and discussion. In a study that examined short term factual
recall and analytic comprehension, Powner and Allendoerfer (2008) also found no statistically
significant difference between a role-playing exercise and classroom discussion.
Structure of the Course
The international relations course used in this study is an introductory level requirement
for both the political science and an interdisciplinary major. Many students who enroll in the
course do so during their first year of college. In the instructor’s sections of the course,
understanding different international relations theories and using those theories to explain the
behavior of international political actors were primary learning objectives; exams and writing
assignments were designed to evaluate students’ achievement of these objectives. Course
content was consistent across all sections of the course taught by the instructor, and all students,
whether they participated in the role-playing simulation or not, heard the same lectures by the
instructor, took three exams containing similar or identical questions on the same topics, and
were required to answer the same questions the same reading assignments. All students were
asked to write a five page essay that demonstrated how an international relations theory could be
used to explain an historical event such as the signing of the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty or
the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.


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