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  Political Science Simulation Design Team

"Political Science Simulation Exercise"


Design Team
  Team: Samina Yasmeen and Michael Fardon


  Focus: Role-Play
  Discipline: Arts & Humanities
  Target: Undergraduate (early)
  ICT used: Web pages and discussion tools
  Scope: Over several learning sessions

Designer's Summary


This exciting learning experience has political science students engaging in a role-play simulation.

The role-play simulation spans a period of 5 weeks and has students assuming the role of members of the United Nations Security Council. The Security Council has been convened to discuss the critical issue of the sanctions imposed on Iraq.

The learning design has been divided into the three critical phases normally associated with role-play activities: planning and preparation, interaction, and reflection and evaluation. The first phase sees students preparing for the activity by researching their particular role. For this they are provided with specific references for their role and general references regarding international diplomacy, both electronic and paper-based. The next phase involves both face-to-face and electronic communication in the form of “meetings” of the UN Security Council and secret diplomacy via the web site. The final phase involves students reverting to themselves and reflecting on the process and experience, leading to a collaborative group report.

Facilitation of the activity by tutors is critical, particularly during the interaction phase.

Rationale for Inclusion


This exemplar has been selected for inclusion for the following reasons:

  • It illustrates the implementation of an online role-play utilising a mix of face-to-face and online modes. The initial development of this exemplar was funded by the former Australian Government Committee for University Teaching and Staff Development (CUTSD).
  • It represents a learning design influenced by the work of Andrew Vincent and John Shepherd in the Macquarie University Middle East Politics Role Play.
  • It illustrates the use of a custom-built web application developed by the Arts Multimedia Centre at the University of Western Australia called "Simulation Builder".
  • The learning design can be reused in other disciplines and contexts.

A comprehensive Designer Template, plus a number of checklists and associated documentation is provided to guide the design and implementation of such an online role-play model.

Please Cite As:

  Yasmeen, S. & Fardon, M. (2002). Description of Political Science Simulation Exercise. Retrieved , from Learning Designs Web site:
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