The Long Game: Five Years of Simulating the Middle East
Keywords:Role play, simulation, Middle East, Politics
Scholarly literature attesting to the benefits of role play in teaching International Relations or Political Science subjects is abundant and universally positive. However, despite many case studies presenting snapshots of single examples, long term data concerning a role play exercise is difficult to find. This study presents student feedback data gathered from ten iterations of the Middle East Politics Simulation carried out over five years from 2011-15. The data obtained from hundreds of respondents establishes very clear trends in terms of satisfaction, engagement and workload. The findings demonstrate that students can be significantly engaged in the subject matter through role plays and that they value these opportunities and the learning that ensues, even though it may represent more work than they are used to allotting to traditional assignments. The results show that year after year, successive student cohorts have made a clear judgement that extra work is worthwhile when it pays off against their perceived learning. The inference can also be drawn that they do not see this same pay off when completing essay type assignments.
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