Office of Education Development and Gateway Education

Perceiving Pseudo-reality: The Utility of Simulations

TDGs - Teaching Development Grants

Principal Investigator

  • Dr. THOMAS Nicholas


A fundamental challenge in teaching international relations is the need to bridge the students' learning gap between knowledge and practice, and then to provide them with opportunities to reflect on what they have learned and develop greater cognition of their own abilities in the area. International relations is a particularly difficult subject to bridge as students are rarely afforded the opportunity to participate in diplomatic or crisis resolution activities. Understanding these issues is therefore an important task for students in the field, but the complexity of the disputes makes teaching them problematic. This project is designed to support two simulations run at a postgraduate level to address this pedagogical challenge. This project will explore the utility of simulations as an active learning tool (in particular how closely the pseudo-reality of simulations can be aligned with the real world), consider ways to optimize structure and design of such pedagogical tools, and identify ways that student-centered evaluations can be incorporated into future iterations to make the simulations more engaging to students and more relevant to intended learning outcomes.