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ERIC Number: EJ818802
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jan
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
Single Session Simulations: The Effectiveness of Short Congressional Simulations in Introductory American Government Classes
Baranowski, Michael
Journal of Political Science Education, v2 n1 p33-49 Jan 2006
Simulations are widely viewed to be effective pedagogical tools; however, evidence concerning their effects on student learning has been largely anecdotal or unsystematic in nature. In addition, most of the literature focuses on fairly complex simulations that require more class time and demand more of students than may be possible in many circumstances, particularly in introductory level classes. In the fall of 2004, I conducted a quasi experiment in order to better understand the potential effectiveness of short and simple legislative simulations in introductory level classes. The conditions under which students in both classes were taught were very similar, with the exception of the simulation, which was only used in one of the classes. Results of a pretest indicated that the classes were not significantly different in either their knowledge of legislative processes or a variety of other potentially relevant characteristics. Analysis of a posttest given to both of the classes after the simulation indicated that there was a difference in knowledge of legislative processes, with the class participating in the simulation performing significantly better than the nonsimulation class. In addition, the simulation class scored significantly higher than the nonsimulation class on the exam following the simulation. These results are important for two primary reasons. First, they provide empirical support for claims regarding the effectiveness of simulations. Second, they indicate that even brief simulations can increase student knowledge. (Contains 3 tables and 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A