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Reacting to the Past: Extended Simulations and the Learning Experience in Political Science
Unformatted Document Text:  work (and attendance) to the games that far exceeds what I have found in other simulations. Fur- ther, since the roles and game strategies have been exhaustively tested and are included in the extensive instructor’s manuals available for the games, a common obstacle to using simulations - the need to develop detailed role descriptions and playing rules - has been removed (Lean et al. 2006). Phase 2: The Game The second phase moves on to the simulations. In my course, this took six 50 minute class sessions in both games. 3 The games take the form of a series of debates and votes on actual is- sues either considered at a hypothetical Simla Conference in 1945 or by the National Assembly during 1791. 4 Each faction member, the individual characters, and the indeterminates present speeches supporting their side of the issues debated. In both games, the speeches are supported by papers (4 - 5 pages) due at designated sessions of the games; the first to lay out initial posi- tions, the others to further explain those positions in light of on-going events as the games pro- gress and to respond to criticism. There are two such papers in the India game; three in the French Revolution game. In the latter, the factions also produce three editions of a newspaper supporting their views. Indeterminates can ally themselves with factions, but most prefer not to show their hand until later sessions when it may be easier to see who is winning. There is an open podium rule (this feature is found in most Reacting games) and speeches are given and re- futed during the course of each session. All players can make speeches from the floor as well. 5 Students quickly begin to identify with their characters as the games progress. They also become adept at developing victory strategies, insuring teamwork (even among the indeterminates), and 7

Authors: Lightcap, Tracy.
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work (and attendance) to the games that far exceeds what I have found in other simulations. Fur-
ther, since the roles and game strategies have been exhaustively tested and are included in the
extensive instructor’s manuals available for the games, a common obstacle to using simulations -
the need to develop detailed role descriptions and playing rules - has been removed (Lean et al.
2006).
Phase 2: The Game
The second phase moves on to the simulations. In my course, this took six 50 minute class
sessions in both games.
3
The games take the form of a series of debates and votes on actual is-
sues either considered at a hypothetical Simla Conference in 1945 or by the National Assembly
during 1791.
4
Each faction member, the individual characters, and the indeterminates present
speeches supporting their side of the issues debated. In both games, the speeches are supported
by papers (4 - 5 pages) due at designated sessions of the games; the first to lay out initial posi-
tions, the others to further explain those positions in light of on-going events as the games pro-
gress and to respond to criticism. There are two such papers in the India game; three in the
French Revolution game. In the latter, the factions also produce three editions of a newspaper
supporting their views. Indeterminates can ally themselves with factions, but most prefer not to
show their hand until later sessions when it may be easier to see who is winning. There is an
open podium rule (this feature is found in most Reacting games) and speeches are given and re-
futed during the course of each session. All players can make speeches from the floor as well.
5
Students quickly begin to identify with their characters as the games progress. They also become
adept at developing victory strategies, insuring teamwork (even among the indeterminates), and
7


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