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Active Learning and Globalization: Creating a Class and Assessing Student Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  Bromley Active Learning and Globalization As a complement to small and large group discussions, I asked students to participate in several simulations. Simulations are an example of role-playing, where students are assigned the role of a particular actor in an imagined, but realistic, situation. They then determine the goals of that actor, and work during the negotiation to achieve those goals. Role playing mimics the learning-by-doing method that students have used all their lives. It motivates students to interact with the material through the act of “playing.” It encourages students to think critically about cause and effect. It compels students to engage with key facts, costs and benefits, and alternative strategies. It promotes cooperation and communication among students. And it allows all students to engage with the material, each at an appropriate level. 16 In short, simulations “force” students to “think on their feet, question their own values and responses to situations, and consider new ways of thinking.” 17 During the course of the term, I facilitated two simulations: one focused on trade and the other on climate change. Both asked students to portray actors participating in an international negotiation about a topic we had studied in class. Students were randomly assigned to portray a particular government, a non-governmental organization, an international negotiation, or a powerful business. They were then asked to determine their views on the topics up for discussion and then portray that actor during the simulation. Like simulations, case studies ask students to grapple with a particular situation, and both are important ways to promote active learning. 18 While simulations put students into the role of key actors, case studies ask students to think through the issues from a variety of perspectives. Case studies provide 16 pp. 167-182. 17 p. 93. 18 7

Authors: Bromley, Pamela.
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Bromley
Active Learning and Globalization
As a complement to small and large group discussions, I asked students to
participate in several simulations. Simulations are an example of role-playing,
where students are assigned the role of a particular actor in an imagined, but
realistic, situation. They then determine the goals of that actor, and work during
the negotiation to achieve those goals. Role playing mimics the learning-by-doing
method that students have used all their lives. It motivates students to interact
with the material through the act of “playing.” It encourages students to think
critically about cause and effect. It compels students to engage with key facts,
costs and benefits, and alternative strategies. It promotes cooperation and
communication among students. And it allows all students to engage with the
material, each at an appropriate level.
In short, simulations “force” students to
“think on their feet, question their own values and responses to situations, and
consider new ways of thinking.
During the course of the term, I facilitated two
simulations: one focused on trade and the other on climate change. Both asked
students to portray actors participating in an international negotiation about a topic
we had studied in class. Students were randomly assigned to portray a particular
government, a non-governmental organization, an international negotiation, or a
powerful business. They were then asked to determine their views on the topics up
for discussion and then portray that actor during the simulation.
Like simulations, case studies ask students to grapple with a particular
situation, and both are important ways to promote active learning.
While
simulations put students into the role of key actors, case studies ask students to
think through the issues from a variety of perspectives. Case studies provide
16
pp. 167-182.
17
p. 93.
18
7


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