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ERIC Number: EJ926759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-1551-2169
A Computer Simulation Comparing the Incentive Structures of Dictatorships and Democracies
Nishikawa, Katsuo A.; Jaeger, Joseph
Journal of Political Science Education, v7 n2 p135-142 2011
The draw of simulations is that by replicating a simplified version of reality they can illustrate the repercussions that individual choices create. Students can play the role of a judge, an ambassador, or a parliamentarian and can experience first hand how their decisions play out. As a discipline, we assume that such practices are an improvement over textbook-based lectures. However, sometimes the difficulty implicit in designing and implementing large-scale or semester-long simulations can be a tangible drawback to their adoption. This article discusses the use of simple, small-scale computer-based simulations or games and argues that they can be used as an uncomplicated way of implementing active learning goals. The authors argue that small-scale simulations can be used as a discreet, one-time game that assists student comprehension of complex theoretical concepts. In order to assess the effectiveness of the simulation, the authors conducted a randomized experiment where participants were assigned to a traditional classroom lecture or a class using a computer game simulation. Student performance was evaluated by a posttest and a delayed posttest. Results show strong evidence that epigrammatic simulations are as effective as traditional classroom lectures in the short run and produce better concept retention in the long run. (Contains 1 figure, 2 tables, and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A