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Collaborative Learning in Course Simulations
Unformatted Document Text:  Van Vechten, 25 and compose a thoughtful and persuasive argument explaining why your colleagues ought to support it. Emphasize the significance, importance, benefit(s) -- and of course the necessity! – of passing your legislation. See Bell p. 39 for further instruction; see also Appendix II (pp. 85-89) for sample letters. III. SIMULATION ANALYSIS PAPER, or “EVALUATION PAPER” Due 12/12 Now that you’ve experienced legislative action as a member of Congress, it’s time to reflect on your role. WHAT DID YOU LEARN through acting, and how does this compare to what you read about in the scholarly accounts of Congress? Evaluate your participation in a thoughtful essay of at least four -- but no longer than eight -- pages. Keep in mind that this is supposed to be an academic paper allowing you to reflect about what you have learned from the simulation. It is NOT intended to be a journal or a mere recounting of interesting events. In other words, avoid writing an excessively descriptive paper (“this is what happened,” etc.) because such a paper would be, by definition, dully unanalytical and poorly graded. Begin by composing a thesis/research statement around which you can organize your thoughts and analysis. Whenever possible, you should attempt to explain simulated events and behavior in terms of theories about Congress, which means that you should draw on the readings, lectures, or supplementary materials. Include some kind of an analysis of your legislative record. You might consider the following: How controversial did your goals, proposal, actions turn out to be? Did your bill pass? What factors affected its passage or failure? Did you cast controversial votes at any point? Did you cast votes that conflicted with your personal beliefs? What factors influenced your decisions? In representing your district, did you tend to act as a trustee or delegate? Were you impressed (or unimpressed) with the level of deliberation, and how do you think this compares with the actual workings of Congress? How do you justify your decisions to your professor, your colleagues, and your constituents? Another issue to consider is how you would portray your record in order to gain reelection. What would you “play up” or downplay to your constituents in a bid for reelection? Think about how you would communicate your successes to your constituents now that you’re a veritable legislative force, and how this might contrast with the overall lessons you gained from the simulation.

Authors: Van Vechten, Renee.
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Van Vechten, 25
and compose a thoughtful and persuasive argument explaining why your colleagues ought to
support it. Emphasize the significance, importance, benefit(s) -- and of course the necessity!
– of passing your legislation. See Bell p. 39 for further instruction; see also Appendix II (pp.
85-89) for sample letters.
III. SIMULATION ANALYSIS PAPER, or “EVALUATION PAPER” Due 12/12
Now that you’ve experienced legislative action as a member of Congress, it’s time to reflect on
your role. WHAT DID YOU LEARN through acting, and how does this compare to what you
read about in the scholarly accounts of Congress? Evaluate your participation in a thoughtful
essay of at least four -- but no longer than eight -- pages.
Keep in mind that this is supposed to be an academic paper allowing you to reflect about what
you have learned from the simulation. It is NOT intended to be a journal or a mere recounting of
interesting events. In other words, avoid writing an excessively descriptive paper (“this is what
happened,” etc.) because such a paper would be, by definition, dully unanalytical and poorly
graded.
Begin by composing a thesis/research statement around which you can organize your thoughts
and analysis. Whenever possible, you should attempt to explain simulated events and behavior in
terms of theories about Congress, which means that you should draw on the readings, lectures, or
supplementary materials.
Include some kind of an analysis of your legislative record. You might consider the following:
How controversial did your goals, proposal, actions turn out to be? Did your bill pass? What
factors affected its passage or failure? Did you cast controversial votes at any point? Did you
cast votes that conflicted with your personal beliefs? What factors influenced your decisions? In
representing your district, did you tend to act as a trustee or delegate? Were you impressed (or
unimpressed) with the level of deliberation, and how do you think this compares with the actual
workings of Congress? How do you justify your decisions to your professor, your colleagues,
and your constituents?
Another issue to consider is how you would portray your record in order to gain reelection.
What would you “play up” or downplay to your constituents in a bid for reelection? Think about
how you would communicate your successes to your constituents now that you’re a veritable
legislative force, and how this might contrast with the overall lessons you gained from the
simulation.


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