Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations
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Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations

Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon

With a focus on providing concrete teaching strategies for scholars, the Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations blends both theory and practice in an accessible and clear manner. In an effort to help faculty excel as classroom teachers, the expert contributors offer representation from various types of institutions located throughout the world. Split into three distinct parts, this book discusses curriculum and course design, teaching subject areas and in class teaching techniques.
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Chapter 27: Developing your own in-class simulations: design advice and a ‘commons’ simulation example

Mark A. Boyer and Elizabeth T. Smith


Simulations have long been part of scientific research methods. Meteorologists use computer simulations to help predict the path of weather fronts; economists use them to make economic forecasts for an economy; military strategists use simulations to conjecture about the course of events during military campaigns; and the list could go on. Less traditional, however, is the use of simulation as a teaching tool. Sometimes viewed by one’s colleagues as merely ‘playing games’ in the classroom, simulation has been perceived in some teaching environments as diverting faculty and student attention away from the main goal: absorbing the lessons. But even when teachers are sympathetic to an active learning approach, the use of simulation in the classroom is often hindered by a lack of available and applicable simulations on relevant topics. Thus, the two current authors have often settled on creating their games specific to their goals and approach in the classroom. As such, this chapter seeks to provide some on-the-ground criteria for others to use in developing their own simulation.

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