Simulating Diplomacy: Learning Aid or Business as Usual?


School of Conflict Management, Peacebuilding and Development

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Political Science and International Affairs

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The use of simulations has increasingly gained momentum as a way of captivating students’ attention and enhancing learning in the classroom. However, despite its increasing use as a teaching tool, only recently have scholars increasingly empirically considered how the use of simulations may impact student learning. Moreover, whereas qualitative studies argue that simulations help student learning, mixed-methods, and quantitative research have been more divided on the impact of simulations. This study, therefore, sets out to investigate how simulations contribute, or not, to student learning in an American Foreign Policy classroom. Specifically, we analyze the use of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Model Diplomacy simulations. We collect data through observation of participants, the use of pretests and post-tests, and surveys, and find support for the idea that simulations in the classroom contribute to student learning.

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Journal of Political Science Education

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